|Max Roach by Jean-Michel Basquiat|
If you play any instrument, if you don’t create design…. If the artist doesn’t know how to utilize space and sound, and the dynamics of soft and loud — all the little things — and repitition and sequential dealing with all the rules that make up what we know as an art piece — and then some more –then it’s not [an art] piece anyway. Whether you’re playing an instrument of determinate or indeterminate pitch.
I hear some people who run up-and-down the piano and it’s not musical. All I can say is, “Well, he’s got good technique.” But I never say he’s playing music, or [that] he’s creating some design.
So when I build a solo it’s design within the structure of something, sometime. Basically it’s design. Like creating a poem, a painting, or anything else. It’s how you use [design] to set up certain things.
Space is important and dynamics are important. And things like sequences or sequential things are important. And how you relate to certain timbres on the [drum]set itself is important.
And that’s how you build a solo.”
- Max Roach, interview by Scott K. Fish
There's more— hit the link, go read the whole thing. Be visiting Fish's blog all the time— it's full of great stuff.