Jazz Quotes


The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician. Things like old folks singing in the moonlight in the back yard on a hot night or something said long ago. - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

 

By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with. - Duke Ellington

 

One thing about playing the real jazz is that you can't count it. - Mahalia Jackson

 

It seems to me monstrous that anyone should believe that the jazz rhythm expresses America. Jazz rhythm expresses the primitive savage. - Isadora Duncan

 

New York seems conducted by jazz, animated by it. It is essentially a city of rhythm. - Anais Nin

 

Writing is a question of finding a certain rhythm. I compare it to the rhythms of jazz. Much of the time life is a sort of rhythmic progression of three characters. If one tells oneself that life is like that, one feels it less arbitrary. - Francois Sagan

 

I think Wes Montgomery is the greatest jazz guitarist that ever lived.-Kevin Eubanks

 

I'm not going to play funk licks on a jazz album. That makes no sense.-Branford Marsalis

 

There is an apprenticeship system in jazz. You teach the young ones. So even if the musicians weren't personally that likable, they felt an obligation to help the younger musicians.-Dave Van Ronk

 

I wanted to play some more grown-up music - jazz.-Rick Derringer

 

Personally, I think young musicians need to learn to play more than one style. Jazz can only enhance the classical side, and classical can only enhance the jazz. I started out playing classical, because you have to have that as a foundation.-Doc Severinsen

 

Then I took 8 years of French Horn, first jazz, and then classical.-Jim Coleman

 

Most jazz players work out their solos, at least to the extent that they have a very specific vocabulary.-Lee Konitz

 

I always hated jazz guitar. I loved jazz saxophone but I hated jazz guitar. If I would buy an organ trio record I would make sure I'd buy one that did not have a guitar player on it. The sound was awful!-Tom Verlaine

 

New York is the dream world, the center of jazz and rock.-Gyorgy Ligeti

 

As long as there are people trying to play music in a sincere way, there will be some jazz.-Lee Konitz

 

When you are studying jazz, the best thing to do is listen to records or listen to live music. It isn't as though you go to a teacher. You just listen as much as you can and absorb everything.-Carla Bley

 

Everything we did, we did live - and then Bobby took it home and chopped it up and edited it. Which is pretty much what they did with every jazz record you've ever heard.-Charlie Hunter

 

I don't know if I have enough guts to do a whole standard jazz record.-Gary Cherone

 

It was a particularly interesting and exciting time, and the European political and artistic establishment was turned on by the Civil Rights Movement and the artistic revolution that was becoming a part of jazz.-Archie Shepp

 

I find Indian music very funky. I mean it's very soulful, with their own kind of blues. But it's the only other school on the planet that develops improvisation to the high degree that you find in jazz music. So we have a lot of common ground.-John McLaughlin

 

I played saxophone, so I was into jazz. I learned from each audience and each teacher that I had. I can't really tell you any rules or anything, but the way I develop my beliefs is really just by personally learning from different situations.-Chad Hugo

 

I'm not really a country singer, although I did make a couple albums and love its simple, straight-from-the-heart approach, but I have always sung a lot of jazz, show tunes, pop tunes, gospel and blues.-Dinah Shore

 

I don't limit my taste. There's some jazz that I like and there's some opera. I've been listening to what was essentially country music, but it crossed over to rock.-Rick Moranis

 

I wanted to make a jazz record. I didn't want it to be a standards record.-Rita Coolidge

 

My stuff was more of a folk coffeehouse thing, with more acoustic guitar, just me doing a single, and then adding on instruments and voices, with emphasis on lyrics and singing and light kind of acoustic jazz.-Dan Hicks

 

I played Big Band jazz music. I wasn't into rock and roll. I was just there because it was a living. I surprised everyone. I'm still surprising people.-Bobby Vinton

 

What is jazz? It, It's almost like asking, What is French? Jazz is a musical language. It's a musical dialect that actually embodies the spirit of America.-Branford Marsalis

 

Actually John, Paul Rutherford, and Trevor Watts, and several other rather well known English jazz musicians had got their training by joining the Air Force, which was a pretty standard way for people to get some kind of musical education in those days.-Evan Parker

 

You know, Equal Interest played at the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival Awards and not one musician from that category was even thought of. Even thought of! The idea, that here's this vital energy, and that element doesn't even know it exists!-Joseph Jarman

 

If you met my dad, I think a lot of things would be put to rest. Because my pops is a pretty silly guy. But, Coldcut, they're based in the U.K. I'm a big fan of jazz music, so American music has had a big influence on what I listen to.-Eric San

 

At this point we've answered about every question you could possibly imagine about Deep Space Nine, so we do this thing called Theatrical Jazz, where we do a show of bits and pieces of things from plays and literature, poetry... stuff that we like. It's fun.-Rene Auberjonois

 

The public, hearing pop music, is, without knowing it, also soaking up jazz.-Norman Granz

 

I don't think that jazz, as any kind of an art form, has any permanence attached to it, apart from the practitioners of it.-Norman Granz

 

We had common interests in the beauty of the French language. We both had a tremendous love of jazz. We shared dreams of getting married and having a family, living in the country, leading an idyllic life.-David Amram

 

I was pretty much prepared because I was already playing in extremely good ways when I arrived from Europe because I played jazz four or five years before I arrived here.-Miroslav Vitous

 

What I see for the band by the end of this year is the Complex live at the Montreux Jazz Festival. I want my guys to be comfortable. I'm certainly not in this for the money, but I'd really like to see my guys make some money off of this stuff.-Jimmy Chamberlin

 

When I was doing jazz concerts in America, I would use the biggest names I could find.-Norman Granz

 

He would catapult you forward, and that was his intention with the Jazz Messengers. He would take young people with a potential and help them develop a voice as a player and as a writer.-Benny Green

 

I listen to classical music very much. There's a lot of jazz that I don't enjoy listening to.-Lee Konitz

 

Bernstein grew up in my building in New York. He's a very, very fine player. When he was a kid, he came by to find out what was going on in the world of jazz.-Lee Konitz

 

Jazz, rock and roll, movies and comics are the culture of America.-Bill Griffith

 

I don't know who's 18 years old today that, 20 years hence, is going to be a jazz fan.-Norman Granz

 

I'm concerned with trend. I don't know where jazz fans will come from 20 years from now.-Norman Granz

 

Jazz radio is not very friendly to pop singers who decide to make a jazz record. But a lot of people have been. A lot of the people I've talked to like the record.-Rita Coolidge

 

That's kind of like how jazz is sometimes. You're out there predicting the future, and no one believes you.-Branford Marsalis

 

Change is always happening. That's one of the wonderful things about jazz music.-Maynard Ferguson

 

The blues is the foundation, and it's got to carry the top. The other part of the scene, the rock 'n' roll and the jazz, are the walls of the blues.-Luther Allison

 

We always feel pretty creative as far as writing songs. We write them together; we just get in a room, or on occasion in Flea's garage. We just sort of improvise, like jazz musicians.-Chad Smith

 

I was in every band class I could get in, like after school jazz band and marching band, and that's where I really learned to read music from elementary all the way through junior high and high school.-Chad Smith

 

There are editing procedures for talks just as there are editing procedures in jazz improvisation.-David Antin

 

I have been steadily exchanging a rock audience who were nervous about what they had just bought for a jazz audience who not only were happy with their purchase, but are increasingly coming again.-Bill Bruford

 

I haven't a great jazz band, and I don't want one.-Glenn Miller

 

As my career has progressed, I've had the pleasure of playing with the baddest jazz cats on the planet. But that doesn't change my desire to entertain folks. That's really who I am.-George Benson

 

In my view a jazz musician is a great musician.-Michael Parkinson

 

There are singers that I have enjoyed, from Nina Simone and Ray Charles onward. But the music that made music the number one thing for me as a youth was jazz.-Robert Wyatt

 

I also like Western classical music and jazz.-Nusrat F. A. Khan

 

I think that people should learn about that. In most music, there's one way that you do something, and that's the only way. In jazz, it's a lot different.-Billy Higgins

 

From blood banking to the modern subway, from jazz to social justice, the contributions of African Americans have shaped and molded and influenced our national culture and our national character.-Bill Frist

 

Jazz is the folk music of the machine age.-Paul Whiteman

 

Jazz was uplifted by what I did.-Norman Granz

 

Jazz is the last refuge of the untalented. Jazz musicians enjoy themselves more than anyone listening to them does.-Tony Wilson

 

The lion's share of what I hear right now are people who, intentional or accidental, have avoided all jazz prior to 1960. And all the musicians who were successful in the '60s spent their entire lives, prior to 1960, listening to all the musicians these people avoid.-Branford Marsalis

 

A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges.-Benny Green

 

This music that was supposed to only come from tapes like in any restaurant. Something would happened. One bird will start to do a little jazz thing, and another bird will start to answer.-John Hench

 

For years, Jazz At The Philharmonic albums were the only ones of their kind.-Norman Granz

 
Last modified 11-Sep-2011 10:35 PM