Lee Konitz on taking risks

Now, A Jazz Moment...

MUSIC: "These Foolish Things," CD: A Proper Introduction to Lee Konitz: Palo Alto, Proper Records Intro CD 2025 (cut 22)

Lee Konitz: Most guys come up with ideas at home and then play those ideas for the paying customers.

As NEA Jazz Master Lee Konitz notes, it's often tempting for jazz musicians to fall back on comfortable licks while performing, giving the illusion of spontaneous improvisation on the bandstand. Konitz tries never to lean on that crutch.

Lee Konitz: I just go out and start from scratch, hopefully. I try to just play music, whatever form it takes. I'm an improviser, and I try to practice improvising when I play the instrument. I play every day. You know, some people talk about practicing eight and twelve hours a day. I mean I never did that, but I played every day. I just enjoy that process.

MUSIC: up and fades

This Jazz Moment with alto saxophonist Lee Konitz was created by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lee Konitz on taking risks