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 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.
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.
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.
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.
If it's not going to sound like Terrapin Station, what's the point of playing Terrapin Station?
Pop doesn't really look back. It can't. What makes pop work is simplicity.
That's kind of like how jazz is sometimes. You're out there predicting the future, and no one believes you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There's not one Tin Pan Alley song on my record.
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