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