Sunday, July 9, 2017

Jazz quotes 9

This week I wanted to share more jazz quotes to inspire us through the summer days.

1. "Just in Time" - Nina Simone

I had spent many years pursuing excellence, because that is what classical music is all about... Now it was dedicated to freedom, and that was far more important.

2. "I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)" - John Coltrane

I start from one point and go as far as possible. But, unfortunately, I never lose my way. I 'localize,' which is to say that I think always in a given space. I rarely think of the whole of a solo, and only very briefly. I always return to the small part of the solo that I was in the process of playing.

3. "Moody's Mood For Love" - James Moody

I've done what I've done but it's not enough. I'm a student of jazz and there's just so much more to learn.

4. "How About You" - Bill Evans

Intuition has to lead knowledge, but it can't be out there alone.

5. "And Then She Stopped" - Dizzy Gillespie

They're not particular about whether you're playing a flatted fifth or a ruptured 129th as long as they can dance to it.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Jazz for depression

The past months I have been struggling with severe depression. The bright side of this darkness is that I have learned a lot about myself and expanded as a compassionate person. In this time, I have utilized jazz albums to help me on my worst days, which I wanted to share.

1. Lush Life - John Coltrane

This is one of my favorite Coltrane albums. I love Coltrane for his emotional rawness and the honesty that emanates from each and every note he plays. Honesty is a quality that brings me closer to Coltrane and it makes me feel as if I am not alone when I listen to him.

2. Duke Ellington & John Coltrane

"In a Sentimental Mood" from Duke Ellington & John Coltrane is one of my favorite jazz recordings. The track is contemplative, calm and sad. When I am feeling down, this song helps express emotions that aren't always verbally ready to come out. 

3. John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman

John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman is currently my favorite vocal album. Johnny Hartman has a deep, rich and tender voice that perfectly compliments Coltrane's lush tone. The tracks are reserved without too much improvisation, yet each track emanates with passion and love that makes this album great to listen to when you need something to express yourself.

4. Sonny Stitt Sits in with the Oscar Peterson Trio

This album is one of my all time favorite albums as well. Sonny Stitt brings so much energy and charisma to each track. This album is explosively full of happiness that helps reverse a bad day and take my mind off of dwelling negative feelings. 

5. The Ellington Suites 

"Sunset And The Mocking Bird" from The Ellington Suites is my favorite Duke Ellington recording. The track has a searching, high spirited quality that connects me to feelings of being sentimental and longing. These feelings help me destress and pursue my day in a positive manner by expressing what I feel on the inside. 

6. Charlie Parker with Strings

When I was in the hospital, I found myself singing "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" in my head every day. The expressive, sweet tone of Charlie Parker along with the powerful, lush strings makes this album one of my favorite albums of all time as well. Songs from this album have become a chant for me to use whenever I am at my worst. 

7. Kind of Blue -Miles Davis

"Blue in Green" from Kind of Blue is my other favorite jazz recording of all time. This song has gotten me through some of the worst times of my life. When I was in the hospital this song got me through panic attacks and moments that I felt the world was crumbling beneath me. The song shows me what is beautiful in the world, and I relate to the level of detachment and loneliness the track emotes.

Final Thoughts:
Even at the worst moments of my life, I have found that jazz is my saving grace. I am so grateful to have found this music that helps with any problem that comes across my path. From having severe depression, I know in my heart it will get better over time as long as I keep singing on cloudy days. And to anyone else going through similar struggles, I hope you know you are not alone. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Jazz Quotes 8

1. Ornette Coleman
I don't try to please when I play. I try to heal. 

Listen to "Sadness":

2. Duke Ellington
The wise musicians play what they can master.

Listen to "Jubilee Stomp":

3. Wynton Marsalis 
Don't settle for style. Succeed in substance. 

Listen to "Jungle Blues":

4. Ella Fitzgerald
Just don't give up on trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong. 

Listen to "Blue Skies":

5. Dizzy Gillespie
Men have died for this music. You can't get more serious than that.  

Listen to "Umbrella Man":