Inspiration from a master

I had the pleasure of spending some time with Lee Konitz at the Banff Centre in 1982. I was too young (16) to really appreciate the depth of his offerings, but enjoyed it immensely  nonetheless. The first time that the saxophone master class met we went around the room with each student playing for a little bit, and after I had played Lee looked at me and said “Phew, that’s great….someone that plays sharper than I do”! Anyway, over the years I have occasionally reflected on one idea that Lee presented to us: the 10-step improvisation method. Even at my young age I recognized that this was something of great value and I’ve tried to keep it in mind as much as possible. I was pleased to see if posted on saxophonist Mel Martin’s website recently. Here it is. If you have an interest in becoming a more coherent improviser I think this is a great approach. And here is a link to a video that I absolutely love, Lee playing Melancholy Baby, with Bill Evans.

Phil Dwyer