Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time.
You don't have to worry about being a number one, number two, or number three. Numbers don't have anything to do with placement. Numbers only have something to do with repetition.
I'm having this conversation with you now. I'm talking, but I'm thinking, feeling, smelling, and moving. Yet I'm concentrating on what you're saying. So that means there's more things going on in the body than just the present thing that the person's got you doing.
I had a really good time in New Orleans, although I had some very tragic times in Baton Rouge. Some guys beat me up and threw my horn away. 'Cause I had a beard, then, and long hair like the Beatles.
It's just someone has labelled us as having a different label to do what you do. I find that labels are the worst thing in the world for artistic expression.
No one has to learn to spell to talk, right? You see a little kid holding a conversation with an adult. He probably doesn't know the words he's saying, but he knows where to fit them to make what he's thinking logical to what you're saying.
It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.
I remember once I read a book on mental illness and there was a nurse that had gotten sick. Do you know what she died from? From worrying about the mental patients not being able to get their food. She became a mental patient.
To me, human existence exists on a multiple level, not just on a two-dimensional level, not just having to be identified with what you do and what you say.
Actually, when I was in elementary school, I saw a saxophone. A band came to my school, and I saw this guy get up and play this solo. And I said, 'Oh man, what is that! That must be fantastic!'
You've got to realize. In the western world, regardless of what color you are, what title the music is, it's all played by the same notes.
I don't know what they're thinking about. Just because someone says, 'I like what you do' or something: They might like it today and tomorrow they might not. I've had that experience with record companies.
I asked my mother could I have an instrument. She said, 'Well if you go out and save your money.' So I went and got - I made me a shine box. I went out and started shining shoes, and I'd bring whatever I made.
That's why I haven't been so anxious. But now, lots of people write and say, 'I want to find out what you're doing.' So I know that this book will enlighten them.
That's what I was trying to say when we were talking about sound. I think that every person, whether they play music or don't play music, has a sound - their own sound, that thing that you're talking about.
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