What do all the jazz greats have in common? They all try to find their own sound. This is what I fear the American jazz education system doesn't teach or encourage: trying to find your own sound.
I’m still a pretty unconventional saxophone player but my early influences or the people I liked when I was younger were Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Ben Webster, Don Byas, not that I tried sounding like them but their message is much clearer to me now than it was back then. Which means try to find your own sound and way of phrasing, I do that much more consciously now than I did back then. (Peter Brötzmann, from We Thought We Could Change the World, Brötzmann and Rouy, 2014, quoted here)