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Horrible analogy in my opinion. Who exactly are you playing against, in jazz? Critics? Who cares if the musicians recognize your licks as being memorized? How are they going to check mate you, exactly? By pulling another Pat Metheny? Is the point in jazz to checkmate other musicians? What context was he talking in? Are the other musicians listeners, or part of the band one is playing in? Why are jazz purists so arrogant? Don't they have other things to live for besides their music?
 

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I just say his analogy sucks. I do agree that it is important to not be a lick dispenser. I do think that most of the saxophonists who depend on licks are the ones you'd find in the lounges of hotels in Vegas or some clubs, you know, the working musicians who don't have the luck of getting a record deal or doing studio work through an inside connection (let's be honest, here folks. There's no such thing as a self-made gazillionaire all the rich people you know probably have been rich from birth; same with famous celebs or musicians; they HAD to have known somebody in the industry). Musicians who have no aspirations of "making it big" are the ones who'll most likely rely on predictable, recognizable licks, as it is the standard of the niche they've fallen in.
 
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