quotations about jazz
When people say they hate jazz it's because they have no context.
DAMIEN CHAZELLE, La La Land
Jazz has endured because it doesn't have a beginning or an ending. It's a moment.
ROBERT ALTMAN, Esquire, Mar. 2004
Music is a journey. Jazz is getting lost.
JOHN O'FARRELL, The Best a Man Can Get
As long as there is democracy, there will be people wanting to play jazz because nothing else will ever so perfectly capture the democratic process in sound. Jazz means working things out musically with other people. You have to listen to other musicians and play with them even if you don't agree with what they're playing. It teaches you the very opposite of racism and anti-Semitism. It teaches you that the world is big enough to accommodate us all.
WYNTON MARSALIS, Z Magazine, 1995
We're making something, something, what is it? Is it jazz? Why, yes, Lord, it's jazz. Thank you, sir, and thank you, sir, we finally got it, something that is ours, something great that belongs to us and to us alone, that we made, and that's why it's important and that's what it's all about.
CHARLES BEAUMONT, American Fantastic Tales
The aim of jazz is the mechanical reproduction of a regressive moment, a castration symbolism. 'Give up your masculinity, let yourself be castrated,' the eunuchlike sound of the jazz band both mocks and proclaims, 'and you will be rewarded, accepted into a fraternity which shares the mystery of impotence with you, a mystery revealed at the moment of the initiation rite.
THEODOR W. ADORNO, "Perennial Fashion--Jazz", Prisms
The true spirit of jazz is a joyous revolt from convention, custom, authority, boredom, even sorrow -- from everything that would confine the soul of man and hinder its riding free on the air.
J. A. ROGERS, "Jazz at Home"
Jazz players do it standing up.
Where's jazz going? I don't know? Maybe it's going to hell. You can't make anything go anywhere. It just happens.
THELONIOUS MONK, attributed, Monk's Music: Thelonious Monk and Jazz History in the Making
The teaching of jazz is a very touchy point. It ends up where the jazz player, ultimately, if he's going to be a serious jazz player, teaches himself.
BILL EVANS, Bill Evans: How My Heart Sings
Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny.
FRANK ZAPPA, "Be-Bop Tango"
Prior to what we call jazz musicians were almost in slavery, except for the conductor and the composer. It was just sitting in an orchestra doing the bidding of two people.
JOE NEWMAN, Cadence, 1979
Jazz is comedy, American-style: comedy darkened by tragic experience.
ROBERT G. O'MEALLY, introduction, The Jazz Cadence of American Culture
Jazz is like bananas -- it must be consumed on the spot.
JEAN-PAUL SARTRE, "Jazz in America"
Collective improvisation in jazz is like a fast break in basketball; the cornet or trumpet player is like the ball handler. Both are located in the center of the action--mid-range melody for the musician, center court for the basketball player. Other players flank the center and react to what the player controlling the action does. In both cases, the process is spontaneous, but it occurs within prescribed and well-understood boundaries.
MICHAEL CAMPBELL, Popular Music in America: The Beat Goes On
Jazz is the false liquidation of art -- instead of utopia becoming reality it disappears from the picture.
THEODOR W. ADORNO, attributed, The Sociology of Rock
I will say, too, that lovemaking, if sincere, is one of the best ideas Satan put in the apple she gave to the serpent to give to Eve. The best idea in that apple, though, is making jazz.
KURT VONNEGUT, Timequake
How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you're such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future.
DAMIEN CHAZELLE, La La Land
Rock and roll ain't nothing but jazz with a hard backbeat.
KEITH RICHARDS, Life
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.
DUKE ELLINGTON, attributed, Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington