The Importance Of Not Knowing

“In the mind of the expert, the possibilities are few. In the mind of the beginner, the possibilities are infinite.” -Ryo Suzuki It is natural for us to want to know. It’s what fuels our growth, our curiosity and our inspiration. Without knowing certain things, life itself would become quite difficult, if not impossible. But […]

The Sad Irony Of Imitation

Throughout the history of jazz there have been various artists that have greatly influenced the direction of the music. We can feel the still-unfolding impact of these masters on the jazz aesthetic even though many of them are no longer with us. What do jazz artists as diverse as Bill Evans, Lester Young, Michael Brecker, […]

Managing Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety, whether mild or debilitating, is nearly a universal human condition. It is not only musicians who struggle with it. Anybody who has had to “deliver the goods”, on the spot, in real time, has probably experienced some anxiety. Performing artists, athletes, as well as business people, educators, (and just about anyone else) have […]

Listening Beyond Your Instrument To Open Up Your Musical Imagination

“Some of my favorite saxophonists don’t play saxophone.” I remember saying that once, some years back, when I was being interviewed on a radio show. The host asked me a simple question, “Who are some of your favorite saxophonists?” This is a logical question to ask a saxophonist (me). But truth be told, at that […]

The Sum Total Value Of Non-Doing

Some years back, after I’d been studying the Alexander Technique for a couple of years, a friend of mine, George McMullen (a highly accomplished trombonist), came to hear me play saxophone at a concert in West Los Angeles. He hadn’t heard me play in quite a while (since before I started studying the Alexander Technique). After the […]