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Steve Lacy Quotes


Steve Lacy, born Steven Norman Lackritz in New York City, was a jazz saxophonist and composer recognized as one of the important players of soprano saxophone.
(1934 - 2004)

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

Before the work comes to you, you have to invent work.
 

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

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.
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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

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

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.
 

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

Jazz is people's music, a collectivity.
 


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