quote by John McLaughlin

I find Indian music very funky. I mean it's very soulful, with their own kind of blues. But it's the only other school on the planet that develops improvisation to the high degree that you find in jazz music. So we have a lot of common ground.

— John McLaughlin

Powerful Jazz Improvisation quotations

Jazz improvisation quote If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way.
If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way.

A jazz musician can improvise based on his knowledge of music.

He understands how things go together. For a chef, once you have that basis, that's when cuisine is truly exciting.

Jazz is all about improvisation and it's about the moment in time, doing it this way now, and you'll never do it this way twice. I've studied the masters. Why would I want to play ball after the guys who sit on a bench? I want to play like Michael Jordan.

Jazz improvisation quote Jazz is not a what, it is a how.
Jazz is not a what, it is a how.

The genius of our country is improvisation, and jazz reflects that.

It's our great contribution to the arts.

Composing is improvisation slowed down.


Liquid architecture. It's like jazz - you improvise, you work together, you play off each other, you make something, they make something. And I think it's a way of - for me, it's a way of trying to understand the city, and what might happen in the city.

The real power of Jazz is that a group of people can come together and create improvised art and negotiate their agendas... and that negotiation is the art

But no one, when you stop to think, has ever equated abstract expressionism as a movement with jazz music. It's based on improvisation. The rhythms, the personal involvement, all of this is part of the jazz experience.

I feel that Jazz improvisation is the ultimate.

You have to create on the spot, the essence of this music.

Improvisation is the ability to talk to oneself.


Life is a lot like jazz... it's best when you improvise.

In Jazz, improvisation isn't a matter of just making any ol' thing up.

Jazz, like any language, has its own grammer and vocabulary. There's no right or wrong, just some choices that are better than others.

In composition you have all the time you want to decide what to say in 15 seconds, in improvisation you have 15 seconds.

You have to practice improvisation, let no one kid you about it!

My father was a jazz tenor sax player.

He played in a lot of big bands. So I had that sound around me all the time. The first record that really caught my ear was Clifford Brown's 'Brownie Eyes.' I grew up listening to John Coltrane and Illinois Jacquet. This is where I come from... I love improvisational music.


Improvisation is the ability to create something very spiritual, something of one's own.

I also thought of playing improvisational jazz and I did take lessons for a while. At first I tried to write fiction by making up things that were completely alien to my life.

I think there are dozens or hundreds of different forms of creativity.

Pondering science and math problems for years is different from improvising jazz. Something which seems to me remarkable is how unconscious the creative process is. You encounter a problem, but can't solve it.

I anticipated all the changes in jazz because they were all problematical things, that I was dealing with myself. In New York in the late '50s, there were a lot of experiments being made on how to avoid playing popular standards and how to get improvising out of those constricting formats.

And more than anything, I like the improvisation of jazz.

That's the same thing with DJ-ing. There's so much improvisation you can do with cuttin' and scratchin' that's reminiscent of jazz music, because it's all about how you feel. You're capturing a vibe and just going with it.


We always feel pretty creative as far as writing songs.

We write them together; we just get in a room, or on occasion in Flea's garage. We just sort of improvise, like jazz musicians.

The Beatles came and everybody forgot about everything else.

That was a friendly, together, hip interpersonal music, introducing electric sustain, and it captured the imagination of everybody. So improvising, even though it was in a very rich period in terms of impact on the public, the '6Os were very hard times on players financially.

As any jazz musician knows, it takes flexibility and adaptability for improvisation to create beauty.

As far as I'm concerned, the essentials of jazz are: melodic improvisation, melodic invention, swing, and instrumental personality.

There are editing procedures for talks just as there are editing procedures in jazz improvisation.


When you listen to someone improvise, the notes that are played are only half the story.

Certainly one of the more common experiences in the jazz field is discovering someone new. Improvising musicians are capable of being musical travelers, voyagers. We want to join in on whatever we hear. There is a freedom to wander the musical landscape.

Not with the Rochester Philharmonic, but I formed my own orchestra, made up of musicians from the Eastman School, where I'm on the faculty now, direct the Jazz Ensemble and teach improvisation classes.

Improvisation in the jazz sense - like the business sense - is not formless.

It is built on a skill set. Jazz, for example, involves selecting a tune.

I used to think that running an organization was equivalent to conducting a symphony orchestra. But I don't think that's quite it; it's more like jazz. There is more improvisation.


Music and culture are intrinsically improvisational, existential.

The only element of jazz that I keep is improvisation.

I continued studying by myself in the field of jazz with my own technique of improvisation, walking bass lines, rhythms, all kinds of stuff, which I created for myself.

I just try to do as good job with the material as I can and play some jazz as well, some improvised music, and do that every night. Just see where it goes.

There are wonderful things in Jazz, the improvisation, the liveliness, the being at one with the audience.

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