You should never be comfortable, man. Being comfortable fouled up a lot of musicians.
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If you’re gonna sing meaningful songs, you have to be committed to living a life that backs that up.
I think the one thing that I’ve learned is that you cannot predict what’s going to happen. You can’t sit back and try to figure out what people want or leave it up to them to decide. When we all started in this business we would dictate to the audience what was great and they picked up on that based on the fact that we believed that it was great. But that’s all changed. What’s happened in the last ten years or so because is that the technology now means that everyone with a computer can make music and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.
Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness – I wouldn’t know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.
They said Bird played bebop, but Bird could still swing. I’ve heard a lot of guys play bebop, but they wasn’t swinging.
I decided that I would be one of the biggest new names; and I actually had some little fancy business cards printed up to announce it, ‘Count Basie. Beware, the Count is Here.
I am attracted to Jazz music for the idea of being in the moment and communicating to people spontaneously.