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A pretty girl is like a melody. Once you start dissecting either one, they aren’t so pretty anymore. If it sounds good, it is good.

All that said, sometimes thinking analytically about things gives an insight that would otherwise be missed. I actually enjoy reading about theory, sometimes, but I tend to think mostly about pretty girls when I’m playing.
 

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If you practice patterns a lot that’s what you will sound like when you improvise, because you are what you practice. Personally I’d rather have some fun learning and practicing my own licks and patterns rather than trying to make sense of someone else’s through reading sheet music.

And there are great jazz players who are woman and don’t seem to lack anything - Diana Krall comes to mind. But that’s pretty off topic isn’t it?
I practice patterns for several reasons. Two of them are maintain/increase my technical facility, and investigate new (to me) melodic/harmonic approaches to music. Do those patterns creep into my improvisation? Sure. Do patterns or licks or set phrases crop up in the improvisations of the greats that we study? You betcha. Do I investigate those patterns of others? Yes. Do I make up my own? Yes again.

I have equal fun learning and practicing my own licks and other people’s patterns. I don’t think there is a conflict between the two; indeed, to me they are the same, because I will never ever sound like someone else. Once I have internalized a pattern it’s mine - I won’t sound like the guy I stole it from, I’ll sound like me. False dichotomy. Practice what you want, don’t apologize for it, but don’t make a value judgement on someone who spends her life incorporating Trane licks - that’s what she hears.

Regarding women in jazz, I wish there were more. It’s really a cultural issue, not a musical one. Of course, I wish a lot of things that aren’t happening these days…
 
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