SKF NOTE: I always read books with a pencil nearby for underlining good passages so I can easily return to them.
Sound is at the heart of the musical conception of great jazz musicians. Miles Davis once said to me: “Sound is the heart of my music. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but creating a sound all your own is most important.”
Sonny [Rollins] agrees[:] “I think that sound is the overall biggest component. It’s more important than ideas, really. …I have found that sometimes ideas can help generate a sound. That can happen if you have a definitive style, that your ideas are usually part of the sound itself. But sound itself supercedes ideas in general.”
Source: Open Sky: Sonny Rollins and His World of Improvisation, by Eric Nisenson (Da Capo Press, 2000)