If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and the white notes together.
Richard M. Nixon
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[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.
There are wonderful things in Jazz, the improvisation, the liveliness, the being at one with the audience.
Talk of God is most often in church. Is there a God outside of church? I hope so. But how should I know? How does anybody know?
You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
When I got my first guitar my fingers wouldn’t go to the sixth string so I took off the big E and played with just five strings. I was only 6 or 7.
Jazz affirms the noblest aspirations of character, individual discipline, perseverance and innovation.
I play the way I do cause it allows me to come up w/ the sickest sounds possible. That’s the point now isn’t it?