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What I learned with Cecil Taylor was strategy and survival
by Steve Lacy

What I learned with Cecil Taylor was strategy and survival
and how to resist temptations and resist getting discouraged.
- Steve Lacy

Before the work comes to you, you have to invent work.
- Steve Lacy

There is an awful lot of what I call recreational jazz going on,
where people go out and learn a particular language
or style and become real sharks on somebody else's language.
- Steve Lacy

Jazz is people's music, a collectivity.
- Steve Lacy

 

When I heard Monk in person in 1955,
he was playing with a quartet in a small club.
The place was full of musicians, but there was no public at all.
- Steve Lacy

If you have music you want to play that no one asks you to play,
you have to go out and find where you can play it.
It's called do or die.
- Steve Lacy

Saxophone is one thing, and music is another.
- Steve Lacy

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The soprano has all those other instruments in it.
It's got the soprano song voice, flute,
violin, clarinet, and tenor elements and can even approach
the baritone in intensity.
- Steve Lacy

You can work on the saxophone alone,
but ultimately you must perform with others.
- Steve Lacy

I've been working on the soprano saxophone for 40 years,
and the possibilities are astounding.
It's up to you, the only limit is the imagination.
- Steve Lacy

Register is very important.
Music sounds best in a certain register.
- Steve Lacy

If you listen to Louis Armstrong from 1929,
you will never hear anything better than that really,
and you will never hear anything more free than that.
- Steve Lacy

Kenny G, I have to be grateful to him for proving that
the instrument can be played all different kinds of ways.
- Steve Lacy

I started in New Orleans music and played all through the history of jazz.
- Steve Lacy

I've performed solo for 20 years now,
but I don't do much of it, because if you only play alone,
you go crazy and out of tune and play foolish music.
- Steve Lacy

You have to sound sad first of all, then maybe later you can sound good.
- Steve Lacy

I've always been extremely lucky in playing with great
people who knew much more than I did.
That's how I got from there to here.
- Steve Lacy

I think it is in collaboration that the nature of art is revealed.
- Steve Lacy

Bamboo is not a weed, it's a flowering plant.
Bamboo is a magnificent plant.
- Steve Lacy

To me, there is spirit in a reed.
It's a living thing, a weed, really,
and it does contain spirit of a sort.
It's really an ancient vibration.
- Steve Lacy

I still love the whole history of jazz.
The old things sound better than ever.
- Steve Lacy

Risk is at the heart of jazz.
Every note we play is a risk.
- Steve Lacy

It starts with a single sound.
If there's something in that sound, then it's worth continuing.
- Steve Lacy

I heard Sidney Bechet play a Duke Ellington piece and
fell in love with the soprano saxophone.
- Steve Lacy

I fell in love with jazz when I was 12 years old from
listening to Duke Ellington and hearing a lot of jazz
in New York on the radio.
- Steve Lacy

You must have the music to justify an instrument's extensive use.
- Steve Lacy

Whoever has an original thing to say,
it is sort of a threat to the status quo.
- Steve Lacy

The potential for the saxophone is unlimited.
- Steve Lacy

When I came up, it was all about originality and collective research.
There is an awful lot of imitation going on now.
- Steve Lacy

Circumstances can be very important.
Find the right people to work with.
- Steve Lacy

The more original something is, the more of a threat
it seems until the people catch up with it.
That happened with Thelonious Monk.
It happened with anybody who is really original.
- Steve Lacy

People don't want to suffer.
They want to sound good immediately,
and this is one of the biggest problems in the world.
- Steve Lacy

The saxophone is a very interesting machine,
but I'm more interested in music.
- Steve Lacy

Some people really want to play Mozart and be just performers.
I was more interested in invention.
- Steve Lacy

It's very important to go through periods where you
sound just rotten and you know it,
and you have to persevere or give up.
- Steve Lacy

When I found the music of Monk I finally found music that fit that horn.
Every one of his tunes fit it perfectly.
- Steve Lacy

Nobody was playing the soprano saxophone and certainly
nobody was trying to do anything with it.
So I was all alone.
I didn't know that at first.
- Steve Lacy

I wanted to be a pianist but it just wasn't my thing.
I guess I wanted to stand up rather than sit down.
- Steve Lacy

I was spoiled by Monk's music because it was so good,
so complete.
- Steve Lacy

When I first started playing music in 1955,
there was just a small body of people that knew it.
It was a very esoteric type of thing.
- Steve Lacy

We played for peanuts.
But we did what we wanted to do, we heard what we wanted to hear,
we performed what we wanted to perform,
we learned what we wanted to learn.
- Steve Lacy

The soprano turned out to sound to me like the right hand on the piano.
- Steve Lacy

If you're trying to invent something new,
you're going to reach a lot of discouraging points,
and most people give up.
- Steve Lacy

They call me before they go into production,
when they have a prototype, and they call legitimate saxophonists,
too.
As opposed to the other kind.
- Steve Lacy

Jazz is like wine.
When it is new, it is only for the experts,
but when it gets older, everybody wants it.
- Steve Lacy

Play difficult and interesting things.
If you play boring things, you risk losing your appetite.
Saxophone can be tedious with too much of the same.
- Steve Lacy

I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear,
but the triumph over it.
The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid,
but he who conquers that fear.
- Nelson Mandela

I've learned that mistakes can often be
as good a teacher as success.
- Jack Welch

Only those who have learned the power
of sincere and selfless contribution
experience life's deepest joy: true fulfillment.
- Tony Robbins

Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy,
to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter,
and to lead but not manipulate.
- William Arthur Ward

You must unlearn what you have learned.
- the character Yoda in the movie Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Education is what survives when
what has been learned has been forgotten.
- B. F. Skinner

He who is not everyday conquering some fear
has not learned the secret of life.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

True wisdom cannot be learned in a lifetime,
but can be revealed in a moment,
for it has always lived within each and every one of us.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I am determined to be cheerful and happy
in whatever situation I may find myself.
For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness
is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.
- Martha Washington

Love is what we were born with.
Fear is what we learned here.
Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.
The real miracle is the love that inspires them.
In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.
- Marianne Williamson

I have learned, that if one advances confidently
in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
- Henry David Thoreau

In the long history of humankind (and animal-kind, too)
those who learned to collaborate and
improvise most effectively have prevailed.
- Charles Darwin

No stream rises higher than its source.
Whatever man might build, could never
express or reflect more than he was.
He could record neither more nor less
than he had learned of life.
- Frank Lloyd Wright

The secret of merging with Spirit
and recognizing the oneness of the whole Universe
cannot be learned in a lifetime, but can be revealed in a moment,
for it has always lived within each and every one of us.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I've learned that you should always
leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.
- Anonymous

My childhood should have taught me lessons for my own fatherhood,
but it didn't because parenting can only be learned
by people who have no children.
- Bill Cosby

In three words, I can sum up everything
I've learned about life - it goes on.
- Robert Frost

One of the illusions of life is that the present hour
is not the critical, decisive hour.
Write it on your heart that
every day is the best day in the year.
No man has learned anything rightly,
until he knows that every day is Doomsday.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy.
First, let her think she's having her own way.
And second, let her have it.
- Lyndon B. Johnson

I learned the value of hard work by working hard.
- Margaret Mead

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant
I could hardly stand to have the old man around.
But when I got to be 21, I was astonished
at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
- Mark Twain

Friendship...
is not something you learn in school.
But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship,
you really haven't learned anything.
- Muhammad Ali

I would rather entertain and hope that people learned
something than educate people and hope they were entertained.
- Walt Disney

Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope,
to love - and to put its trust in life.
- Joseph Conrad


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