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SUSAN JOHNSTON OWEN-JAZZ  /  SITE OWNER/MUSICIAN, WRITER,ARTIST, ELEMENTARY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER (RETIRED)

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MUSICIAN'S QUOTES

MUSICIANS SPEAK

 


 

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  • Bob Brookmeyer - "A Jazz man should be saying what he feels: humor, sadness, joy... all the things that humans have."
  • Les Brown - "If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams."
  • Ray Brown - "The better it gets, the fewer of us know it."
  • Ray Brown - "Jazz is something that you have to feel. It's something that you have to live."
  • Ray Brown - "Jazz is a complete lifestyle, something that you feel, something that you live."
  • Dave Brubeck - "You can be beyond yourself, better than your technique, better than most of your usual ideas.

    • Billy Eckstine - "I'm not much on gimmicks. I never have been because they don't last."
    • Billy Eckstine - "I'm glad I don't have perfect pitch because it can drive you crazy."
    • Billy Eckstine - "You can't sing about love unless you know about it."
    • Billy Eckstine - "If you want to be a musician, study your craft. Study music."
    • Roy Eldridge - "I didn't know the right names for anything at first, but I knew what knocked me out. Changes... man I dug."
    • George Eliot - "I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music."
    • Kurt Elling - "Jazz singing is like pornography. You can't say what it is, but you know it when you see it."
    • Kurt Elling - "The audience should feel they are hearing the future, that is arriving just on time."
    • Duke Ellington - "It's all music."
    • Duke Ellington - "A goal is a dream with a finish line."
    • Duke Ellington - "There is no art without intention."
    • Duke Ellington - "A problem is a chance for you to do your best."
    • Duke Ellington - "What does music mean to you? What would you do without music?"

    • Duke Ellington - "Music is my mistress & she plays second fiddle to no one."
    • Duke Ellington - "I merely took the energy it takes to pout & wrote some blues."
    • Duke Ellington - "To keep a band together you simply need a gimmick. The gimmick I use is to pay them money."
    • Duke Ellington - "By & large Jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with."
    • Duke Ellington - "The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen."
    • Duke Ellington - "Critics get a little carried away with what someone should have done, rather than what he did."
    • Don Ellis - "I expect the audience to come up to my level."
    • Don Ellis - "I am not interested in compromising my music to make it palatable to an assumed sub-standard mass."
    • Don Ellis - "To be a true artist you have to play the way you feel not the way others think you should feel."
    • Don Ellis - "I worked until I could play & do changes at any tempo in any key & said 'What else is there?' Now I'm finding out."
    • Herb Ellis - "It was in tune when I bought it."
    • John Erskine - "Music is the only language in which you cannot say anything sarcastic."
    • Kevin Eubanks - "Let your life be your music & let your music be your life."

    • Bill Evans - "Jazz is not a what, it is a how."
    • Bill Evans - "You give up your own personality when you imitate somebody."
    • Bill Evans - "You can't explain Jazz to anyone without losing the experience because it's feeling, not words."
    • Bill Evans - "I'm using the insides of sounds to move around in a very subtle way which, I think, ends up being inevitable."
    • Bill Evans - "Despite the fact I'm a professional performer, it's true that I have always preferred playing without an audience."
    • Maynard Ferguson - "The day of the great Jazz improviser who doesn't know how to read music is over."
    • Maynard Ferguson - "Change is always happening. That's one of the wonderful things about Jazz music."
    • Ella Fitzgerald - "Forgive me if I don't have the words. Maybe I can sing it & you'll understand."
    • Ella Fitzgerald - "When we were at the Apollo, Holiday was a block away. I asked her for her autograph."
    • Bela Fleck - "It doesn't have to be happy music to be inspiring."
    • Bill Frisell - "There's so much music out there & so many possibilities. I like anyone who plays any instrument."
    • Robert Fripp - "What we hear is the quality of our listening."
    • Robert Fripp - "If the audience doesn't hear what is going on, is it going on?"
    • Bill Frisell - "There's always this sound out there that's just a little beyond my reach & that just sort of keeps me going."
    • Pete Fountain - "If you're making money people don't think you're playing Jazz. When you're not making money they think you're a great Jazz musician."
    • Roberta Gambarini - "There's always room for improvisation or changes of expression."

     

    • Roberta Gambarini - "We change every minute, never the same. If there's no room to express the changes there can't be any truthfulness."
    • Erroll Garner - "Every day when I sit down to play, I learn something new."
    • Kenny Garrett - "Rather than say I play Jazz, I simply say I play music."
    • George Gershwin - "Life is a lot like Jazz... it's best when you improvise."
    • George Gershwin - "Jazz is one of the best things that you can find in your life, it can always be your friend."
    • George Gershwin - "True music must repeat the thought & inspirations of the people & the time. My people are Americans & my time is today."
    • Ira Gershwin - "Love is sweeping the country."
    • Ira Gershwin - "One can be very happy without demanding that others agree with them."

     

    • Eddie Harris - "If you believe, you will. If you don't, you won't."
    • Coleman Hawkins - "Music should always be an adventure."
    • Isaac Hayes - "Have you ever wondered why young people take to music like fish to water? Maybe it's because music is fun, plain & simple."
    • Isaac Hayes - "Music opens up minds to dream great dreams about where you can go & what you can do."
    • Roy Haynes - "You must own it to play it."
    • Percy Heath - "Jazz is letting everybody do his or her thing with the music."
    • Skitch Henderson - "I listen to everything, I listen to all artists that come along."
    • Jon Hendricks - "Bird said he worked as dishwasher at Onyx Club on 52nd St. in the early 1940s just to hear Art Tatum play."
    • Jon Hendricks - "Jazz is an art form that depends on its antecedents. There must be respect for the people that have gone before."
    • Dave Holland - "I think music needs to be of its time & speak to that time."
    • Dave Holland - "Jazz has such great feeling & emotional content it really doesn't require technical understanding."
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    • Billie Holiday - "A kiss that is never tasted, is forever & ever wasted."
    • Billie Holiday - "I've been told that nobody sings the word 'hunger' like I do."
    • Billie Holiday - "Don't threaten me with love, baby. Let's just go walking in the rain."
    • Billie Holiday - "I never had a chance to play with dolls like other kids. I started working when I was 6 years old."
    • Billie Holliday - "I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That's all I know."
    • Billie Holiday - "I'm always making a comeback but nobody ever tells me where I've been."

     

    • Oliver Wendell Holmes - "Music is to the soul what water is to the body."
    • Freddie Hubbard - "Dizzy used to tell me I'm playing too hard. He'd say to not give everything. Miles told me that too."
    • Freddie Hubbard - "When I got started in New York, if you were different from Miles & Dizzy it was very difficult."
    • Freddie Hubbard - "They always want to sell me as a hard bopper."
    • Victor Hugo - "Music expresses that which cannot be said & on which it is impossible to be silent."

     


     

     

    "I've always felt that blues, rock 'n' roll and country are just about a beat apart."-Waylon Jennings (1937-2002)

     "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." -Decca Recording Company rejecting the Beatles, 1962

     "It's much too late to do anything about rock & roll now ..." - Jerry Garcia / Grateful Dead

    "It occurred to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception." (When asked about his theory of relativity) - Albert Einstein

    "Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art." - Charlie "YardBird" Parker

     "There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another." -Frank Zappa

    "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side ..." -Hunter S. Thompson

    "Of the whole bunch of guys who play hollow body guitar, I think Herb Ellis has the most drive" - Les Paul

     "... Lightnin' Hopkins taught us, "the rubber on a wheel is faster than the rubber on a heel" and Muddy Waters taught us "you don't have to be the best one; just be a good 'un" .. that just about says it all, always strive to be a good 'un..." - Billy F. Gibbons - Z.Z. Top

     "I don't know anything about music, In my line you don't have to." -Elvis Presley (1935-1977)

     " DIZZ FOR PRES " - a bumber sticker seen in 1956 during the U.S. Presidential Election when Dizzy Gillespie decided to run for president

     

    Kate Bush

     


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