Jazz is a white term to define black people. My music is black classical music.
When I was a little kid I thought I would grow up to be black and sing jazz in nightclubs.
My faith is the grand drama of my life.
I'm a believer, so I sing words of God to those who have no faith. I give bird songs to those who dwell in cities and have never heard them, make rhythms for those who know only military marches or jazz, and paint colors for those who see none.
There's more bad music in jazz than any other form.
Maybe that's because the audience doesn't really know what's happening.
Jazz is the art of skipping obvious convention while still following it.
Jazz will endure just as long people hear it through their feet instead of their brains.
Louis Armstrong is quite simply the most important person in American music.
He is to 20th century music (I did not say jazz) what Einstein is to physics.
What makes my approach special is that I do different things.
I do jazz, blues, country music and so forth. I do them all, like a good utility man.
I haven't a great jazz band, and I don't want one.
Jazz really does try to include everything.
It's always been popular music. But the wonderful thing about jazz is its willingness to take chances.
We didn't go for music that sounded like blues, or jazz, or rock, or Led Zeppelin, or Rolling Stones. We didn't want to be like any of the other bands.
Everybody in all countries tries to play jazz.
We went to see all the shows. American musical theater and jazz were very big.
Jazz is like wine. When it is new, it is only for the experts, but when it gets older, everybody wants it.
There is an awful lot of what I call recreational jazz going on, where people go out and learn a particular language or style and become real sharks on somebody else's language.
Where I grew up, Bob Wills and his western swing was very popular.
And western swing is not that far from jazz and blues.
It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theaters, etc.
that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands.
Writing is a question of finding a certain rhythm.
I compare it to the rhythms of jazz. Much of the time life is a sort of rhythmic progression of three characters. If one tells oneself that life is like that, one feels it less arbitrary.
Marijuana is a useful catalyst for specific optical and aural aesthetic perceptions. I apprehended the structure of certain pieces of jazz and classical music in a new manner under the influence of marijuana, and these apprehensions have remained valid in years of normal consciousness.
It seems to me monstrous that anyone should believe that the jazz rhythm expresses America. Jazz rhythm expresses the primitive savage.
The further jazz moves away from the stark blue continuum and the collective realities of Afro-American and American life, the more it moves into academic concert-hall lifelessness, which can be replicated by any middle class showing off its music lessons.
Jazz is the big brother of the blues.
If a guy's playing blues like we play, he's in high school. When he starts playing jazz it's like going on to college, to a school of higher learning.
Something was still there, that something that distinguishes an artist from a performer: the revealing of self. Here I be. Not for long, but here I be. In sensing her mortality, we sensed our own.
Commercial jazz, soap opera, pulp fiction, comic strips, the movies set the images, mannerisms, standards, and aims of the urban masses. In one way or another, everyone is equal before these cultural machines; like technology itself, the mass media are nearly universal in their incidence and appeal. They are a kind of common denominator, a kind of scheme for pre-scheduled, mass emotions.