- You can’t sing it. You can’t dance it. May be you can’t even stand it. It’s Bebop” — Colliers Magazine
- “All them weird chords which don’t mean a thing…you got no melody to remember, and no beat to dance to”
On Jazz musicians:
- What separates great jazz musicians from average ones is Taste. Those who have taste consistently choose notes, tempos, timbres and voicings that seduce and satisfy attentive listeners.
— Marc Myers
A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges. — Benny Green
Mogie, what have I done?”
Helen More, on shooting dead her boyfriend, Lee Morgan
The outer space beings are my brothers. They sent me here. They already know my music.” — Sun Ra
On the Avant Garde:
- Contrary to general belief, an artist is never ahead of his time, but most people are far behind theirs. — Edgard Varèse
(Hat-tip The Blues Poodle for the following)
On music and self- expression:
- Art is self expression. If you are expressing someone else’s personality, that is not art.
— Bennie Wallace
- Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread–without it, it’s flat.
— Carmen McRae
- In the midst of creating, a person is raised to another level of consciousness that doesn’t have that much to do with everyday thinking. It’s as if you could imagine life before there were words.
— Charlie Haden
On being Miles Davis:
- I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later.
— Miles Davis