I’m not a star. I’m just backing up the cats.
More quotes by Jaco Pastorius
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I would sit on the street corners in my hometown of Indianola, Mississippi, and I would play. And, generally, I would start playing gospel songs. People would come by on the street – you live in Time Square, you know how they do it – they would bunch up. And they would always compliment me on gospel tunes, but they would tip me when I played blues.
When you begin to teach jazz, the most dangerous thing is that you tend to teach style I had eleven piano students, and I would say eight of them didnt even want to know about chords or anything – they didnt even want to do anything that anybody had ever done, because they didnt want to be imitators. Well, of course, this is pretty naive but nevertheless it does bring to light the fact that if youre going to try to teach jazz you must abstract the principles of music which have nothing to do with style, and this is exceedingly difficult. So there, the teaching of jazz is a very touchy point. It ends up where the jazz player, ultimately, if hes going to be a serious jazz player, teaches himself.
Today Jazz music is performed and listened to by people of all ethnicity, backgrounds, ages and creeds.
Jazz to me is a living music. It’s a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes, of the people.
If my own work had more importance than any others, it’s because the piano is the key instrument in music.
[On the word Jazz] There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s only a word. What’s in a name? Nothing! Cats say, Call me Muhammed so-and-so. But what’s the difference? A name doesn’t make the music. It’s just called that to differentiate it from other types of music. Jazz is known all over the world as an American musical art form and that’s it. No America, no jazz. I’ve seen people try to connect it to other countries, for instance to Africa, but it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with Africa.
It became a kind of a game, to remember the things that had happened five minutes ago. I would start making notes about the things I was doing, on an instrument that was foreign to me, the guitar, so it was just a fun way of doing cognitive therapy. I was none the wiser to it until I began to improve and my ability to speak began to come back.
When the label came to me to say, ‘would you like to do another record,’ I said, ‘Well I got these sixteen songs sitting here, so let’s do it.’ And that was pretty much it… I never stopped writing, it’s just the way that the business is now; you just try to find a different model.