quote by Jaco Pastorius

I'm not a star. I'll never be a Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley or a Ray Charles. I'm just an imitator, man. I'm doing a very bad imitation on the bass of Jerry Jemmott, Bernard Odum, Jimmy Fielder, Jimmy Blanton, Igor Stravinsky, Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, James Brown, Charlie Parker... the cats, man. I'm just backing up the cats.

— Jaco Pastorius

Most Powerful Charlie Parker quotations

Since I was seventeen I thought I might be a star.

I'd think about all my heroes, Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix... I had a romantic feeling about how these people became famous.

I didn't know what the hell Charlie Parker was playing... I just liked the way he played.

We loved one another, man. I mean all those stories about the rift ... there was no question of a rift between Charlie Parker and me.

I don't remember that I copied any guitar player note-for-note.

But I remember copying Charlie Parker note for note.

Life has many changes. Tomorrow it may rain, and it's supposed to be sunshine, 'cause it's summertime. But God's got a funny soul, he plays like Charlie Parker.

It's in my stars to invent; I was born on Madame Curie's birthday. I have this need for originals, for innovation. That's why I like Charlie Parker.

Dizzy, Duke and Charlie Parker were the greatest jazz legends of all time.

I didn't know Charlie Parker well, but I spent some time with him, and he was articulate and well-spoken with a lot of curiosity about music and the world. But the only way he seems to be depicted is as a junkie. And that's not the full picture.

Charlie Parker lifted jazz music off the dance floor and into the stratosphere!

A portrait of the young Charlie Parker with a degree of vivid detail never before approached. . . [Kansas City Lightning is] a deft, virtuosic panorama of early jazz. . . This is a mind-opening, and mind-filling, book.

I was blessed that I got married early and had a good wife.

That sort of kept me straight. Probably I would have been like Charlie Parker, you know, involved in drugs or alcohol or something like that if I hadn't had this stability.

People with talent are not interested in showing off behind another person.

They're more interested in the music. [Charlie Parker] was playing with me. That's the difference between the kind of musician I like to work with and singing with a musician who thinks he has to accompany me. That is so annoying I cannot tell you.

It was my band. I organized the band and Dizzy was in the band. Dizzy was the first musical director with the band. Charlie Parker was in the band. But, no, no, that was my band.

As a very small girl, I listened to Charlie Parker and loved him and Max Roach and people like that.

When I did 'Bird,' it was a surprise to some people, first because I wasn't in it and second because most of the films I'd been doing were cop movies or westerns or adventure films, so to be doing one about Charlie Parker, who was a great influence on American music, was a great thrill for me.

What does New York sound like? For me, the Charlie Parker at the Royal Roost recordings on the Savoy label are the total embodiment of the New York music experience.

If you started in New York you were dealing with the biggest guys in the world.

You're dealing with Charlie Parker and all the big bands and everything. We got more experience working in Seattle.

I admire mold-breakers. People that bust free from traditional thinking and change the game completely. Steve Jobs. Charlie Parker (jazz saxophonist). The Groupon guys. Seth Godin (author). People who dare to be different and end up creating something truly different and remarkable.

When [Charlie Parker] saw the young guys, especially the ones that were scuffling... "Did you eat today?" And if you hadn't eaten, he'd take you and buy you some lunch.

Sometimes you think "Okay, well I'm going to play my horn, and I'm going to study Charlie "Bird" Parker solos or [John Coltrain] or whatever." But as [Phil Wood] said to me, "Man, Bird listened to everything."

When I heard Charlie Parker the first time on a record, it had seemed like an old, scratchy kind of record and I didn't get it.

In those days before hearing Charlie Parker and Dizzy, and before learning of the so-called bebop era--by the way, I have some thoughts about that word, "bebop"--my first jazz hero ever, jazz improvisor hero, was Lester Young. I was a big "Lester Young-oholic," and all of my buddies were Lester Young-oholics. We'd get together and dissect, analyze, discuss, and listen to Lester Young's solos for hours and hours and hours. He was our god.

Nothing surpasses my performances with small bands, especially with Charlie Parker. A small band doesn't forestall creativity.

In all honesty, I think I just played what I felt was right for me.

And I think I would have done the same thing, even if I'd been born later, when Charlie Parker was influencing everybody. The truth is, I never gave it much thought. I just played what I had to play.

I went up to his [Hank Jones'] house and there were four guys there: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, and Max Roach. Not a bad place to be. Scared shitless, but a nice place to be on my second day in New York.

I listen to tons of hard rock and metal, like Iron Maiden, Motorhead, etc.

, but I also listen to Beethoven and Mozart, to Discharge and the Bad Brains, and to Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington. So I think there's merit to both the melodic punk and to the hardcore stuff too.

Some musicians, man, you hear the note almost before they hit it.

Jimi, Coltrane and Charlie Parker were like that.

Charlie Parker was the greatest individual musician that ever lived.

Every instrument in the band tried to copy Charlie Parker, and in the history of jazz there had never been one man who influenced all the instruments.

There was not a lot of rock n roll in the house.

Our parents didnt think it was very groovy, and I tend to agree with them. If you grew up with Charlie Parker, Bill Haley wasnt very hip.

My grandfather was Bob Shad, one of those legendary jazz and blues producers - he worked with Charlie Parker and Dinah Washington, and he produced Janis Joplin's album [1967's Big Brother & the Holding Company]. He always owned small labels as well - he had a label called Mainstream Records in the 70s.

I used to take musical instruments home from elementary school.

There were some music teachers there - we all learned instruments. A lot of us got started in public schools. Charlie Parker and Bud Powell, for example. But now there are no more music teachers in public elementary schools. It's like (Senator) Moynihan said, 'benign neglect.' Just let it rot and fester.

Charlie Parker stuck out in my mind.

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.

I’ve worked with such legendary guitar players as Allan Holdsworth, Ronnie Montrose, Eric Clapton, Lowell George and Steve Vai, but none of them come close to having Ed’s [Eddie Van Halen's] fantastic combination of chops and musicianship. I rank him along with Charlie Parker and Art Tatum as one of the three greatest musicians of my lifetime. Unfortunately, I don’t think Ed puts himself in that class.