Maybe you've read that book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother? One of the tenets of the Tiger Mom was that her daughters were to only participate in activities where they could be #1. Fortunately, my mom wasn't like that, but as an adult sax player, I did feel that I should not play out or lead a band if I couldn't be the best (why would folks come out to see me play if I wasn't the best?) For me, the being the best sax player meant being an altissimo master and being able to flutter tongue convincingly (as I always felt defeated at jams when other sax players pulled out these skills.)
Is anyone else burdened with this issue? Sometimes I struggle to promote my shows because I know I'm not the best and I fear the audience might feel like they are wasting their time (though I try to hedge this by using great players to round out the group.)
Have you ever enjoyed listening to a sax player that isn't the best?