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 LEE KONITZ

It was in the early 1960's, I was new to New York City, and I had discovered The Village Voice, which was new also,  and through it had found a cheap ratty apartment on the lower east side. 6th Street, between avenue C and Avenue D. Later known as alphabet city.

 

I saw an add in the Voice for musical instruction, Lee Konitz! I had bought a Saxophone while in the army but had not done anything with it. I called Lee and asked if he took beginners. He said yeas and we arranged to meet.

 

I took lessons for less than a year, i think, never practiced and never learned how to play. But i got a glimpse of what it took to be a musician, and what it took to be a musician of that caliber. Lee was famous for never playing cliches and for me his remarkable melodic invention. But I just didn't have the passion for music that I later had for photography. You have to love practicing.

 

I learned that it takes a lot to develop the physical ability to play 6 hours a night, for example. I learned from Lee an attitude about being creative. He has played the same tunes for 60 years and still finds new figures that amaze me.

 

All of his career he has been "avant garde", exploring new ways of doing things but still able to find new and moving figures  while playing a blues and standards. So a respect for your craft, a respect for the masters of the craft, being open to having new ideas and an attitude that i felt that the picture is always there. If I am in touch with what is in front of me, how I feel about it, and with ample technical ability, I should be able to get the picture.

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