Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jazz Quotes

In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, I wanted to share some quotes and music to lighten the week. Hopefully, when you read the quote and listen to the song, you can find a connection between the two that relates to your own life.

I included ten artists, ten quotes, and ten songs. If you are new to listening to jazz, any of these songs or musicians would be a great way to start listening!

Jazz Quotes

1. Charlie Parker
Music is your own experience, your 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.
Listen to Charlie Parker playing, "Laura": 

2. Thelonious Monk
You gotta dig it to dig it, ya dig?
Listen to Thelonious Monk playing, "Ruby My Dear": 

3. Charles Mingus
Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.
Listen to Charles Mingus playing, "Peggy's Blue Skylight":

4. Miles Davis
Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself. 
Listen to Miles Davis playing, "Round Midnight": 

5. Duke Ellington
There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.
Listen to Duke Ellington playing, "Single Petal of a Rose": 

6. Dizzy Gillespie
It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play.
Listen to Dizzy Gillespie playing, "A Night in Tunisia": 

7. Billie Holiday
I never sing a song the same way twice.
Listen to Billie Holiday singing, "Yesterdays": 

8. Louis Armstrong
What we play is life. 
Listen to Louis Armstrong playing, "All of Me": 

9. Wynton Marsalis
Invest yourself in everything you do. There’s fun in being serious. 
Listen to Wynton Marsalis playing, "What a Little Moonlight Can Do": 

10. John Coltrane
You can play a shoestring if you’re sincere. 
Listen to John Coltrane playing, "Naima": 

Final Thoughts:

During Jazz Appreciation Month, I would really like to connect jazz to words, stories, people while also sharing the music. I like so many kinds of music, but what makes me love jazz is the connection I feel to people. There is something so special about being at a jazz concert, surrounded by so many different people, and absorbing all of that energy.

My sketch of Vijay Iyer from a recent concert

Please visit my jazz poetry blog, "Without a Poem", where I improvise a new poem everyday! I also include artwork and songs on that blog, so stay tuned. This week inspired my haiku, "Energy".

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