If you listen to a lot of the songs that are popular now, there's very little melody in there. People love the beat. But to musicians, it's melody, because we understand how elusive it is and how hard it is to hold.— Branford Marsalis
The most wonderful Branford Marsalis quotes that will activate your desire to change
The whole point is, give me a break with the standards.
You go to the average jazz label and suggest a record and they want to know which standards you're going to play. I'm saying let's break the formula.
That's kind of like how jazz is sometimes.
You're out there predicting the future, and no one believes you.
When you're dealing with music without words, titles are more a means of identification than anything else. What's the point of getting lofty?
Humans are imperfect. That's one of the reasons that classical and jazz are in trouble. We're on the quest for the perfect performance and every note has to be right. Man, every note is not right in life.
One of the things that's clear to me from interviews that I've read is that the more popular successful jazz musicians had audiences above and beyond the music community.
Or check the curated lists with quotes from Branford Marsalis:
• Quotes about Jazz
What is jazz? It, It's almost like asking, What is French? Jazz is a musical language. It's a musical dialect that actually embodies the spirit of America.
The biggest problem with American music right now, is that kids don't listen.
They come by it honestly, Americans don't listen anyway. When people go to concerts, they say I'm going to see... not, I'm going to hear.
I'm not going to play funk licks on a jazz album. That makes no sense.
There's not one Tin Pan Alley song on my record.
Coltrane came to New Orleans one day and he was talking about the jazz scene.
And Coltrane mentions that the problem with jazz was that there were too few groups.
It's something that jazz has gotten away from, and it's unfortunate. Players aren't physical anymore.
My job is to write songs that have emotional meaning to me.
We played it as long as we could play it on that CD and I think it might be 50 minutes, maybe. What you have to do is play a couple of songs and then get off the stage because everything that trails it sounds stupid.
If I were like a lot of other people, then it wouldn't be fun; but since I'm like me, it's okay.
I think that one of the problems that jazz has is that it's so incestuous that it's starting to kill itself.
Pop doesn't really look back. It can't. What makes pop work is simplicity.
It's hard to get into Newsweek because, as more of our former intellectual magazines take on a pop focus, if there's no buzz, there's no interest.
If it's not going to sound like Terrapin Station, what's the point of playing Terrapin Station?
The way to learn the language is to rip off other players.
As Benny Golson told me, "We all start off sounding like other cats. And gradually, a lick here or there,we start to sound like ourselves. But it takes a long time to do so..." That'swhat he told me, and it worked for me.
My dad was a musician, it was just what he did, like another guy's dad drives a meat truck. Our house was normal. We weren't taken with the fact our dad was a musician.
I suspect that we might actually start selling some records with these artists in about 10 years. Some the people who invested, they're a little tight-because it's a lot of money to start up a company.
If you're going to use standards as criteria for signing musicians, you can sign thousands. If you're going to use some sort of conceptual interpretation that's based on the tradition of those standards, but is trying to move away from it, you're down to about 10 people or so.
You hear it in your brain. Whatever makes sense. Some songs work well as quartet songs, sometimes they don't.
So much of Jazz doesn't have an audience other than music students or musicians.
Jazz fans love Miles and I love him for a myriad of reasons, but the overviews are always too simplistic.
There's a certain kind of motion and pacing that our music has, and this just doesn't have that. We just kind of rushed to the conclusion of most of the songs. I just would've preferred to done them over.
You know, being America, being the land of "number ones", everyone wants to be a leader before they follow.
Walter Beasley is an anomaly: a successful performing musician who possesses the rare skill of understanding the musical process beyond the intuitive. This special ability enables Walter to communicate with aspiring musicians in a way that removes the sense of mystery that sometimes enshrouds our profession.
One of the things that I loved about listening to Miles Davis is that Miles always had an instinct for which musicians were great for what situations. He could always pick a band, and that was the thing that separated him from everybody else.
We have something that is unique. We have our craft. We have our art. We have our desire.
A lot of musicians have a tough time hearing what we're doing in a trio format.
Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you.
I like to make records sound good. I'm more like a reducer than a producer. If an artist cannot produce themselves, what's the point?
You don't know what you like, you like what you know.
In order to know what you like, you have to know everything.
There is not a sentence in the world that could respectfully do justice to the life and music of Jerry Garcia.
Jazz is so incestuous that it's starting to kill itself.
I don't care who likes it or buys it.
Because if you use that criterion, Mozart would have never written Don Giovanni, Charlie Parker never would have played anything but swing music. There comes a point at which you have to stand up and say, this is what I have to do.
The lion's share of what I hear right now are people who, intentional or accidental, have avoided all jazz prior to 1960. And all the musicians who were successful in the '60s spent their entire lives, prior to 1960, listening to all the musicians these people avoid.
I think that if you keep banging at the door all you need is a little foothold, a little tiny foothold, and then the rest will take care of itself.
The piano is the X factor. People have a tough time following the structures when there's no piano there, spelling it out. It makes it more easily understood, particularly to people who don't know as much about music.
We all played bad before we played good.
I gave up my base in popular culture when I left the Tonight Show.