It's taken me all my life to learn what not to play. -- Dizzie Gillespie

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Charles Mingus - Great Quotes

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In my music, I’m trying to play the truth of what I am. The reason it’s difficult is because I’m changing all the time.

Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that's easy. What's hard is to be as simple as Bach. Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.

 

Most of the soloists at Birdland had to wait for Parker’s next record in order to find out what to play next. What will they do now?

 

Good jazz is when the leader jumps on the piano, waves his arms, and yells. Fine jazz is when a tenorman lifts his foot in the air. Great jazz is when he heaves a piercing note for 32 bars and collapses on his hands and knees. A pure genius of jazz is manifested when he and the rest of the orchestra runaround the room while the rhythm section grimaces and dances around their instruments.

 

Just because I’m playing jazz I don’t forget about me. I play or write me the way I feel through jazz, or whatever. Music is, or was, a language of the emotions.

 

I, myself, came to enjoy the players who didn’t only just swing but who invented new rhythmic patterns, along with new melodic concepts. And those people are: Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Parker, who is the greatest genius of all to me because he changed the whole era around.

 

I’m too busy playing. When I’m playing I don’t pay attention to who’s listening. When I was listening I listened to symphony orchestras, Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Stravinsky. You don’t listen to one instrument; you listen to music.

 

I always wanted to be a spontaneous composer.

 

 

Charles Mingus


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Last modified on Friday, 25 July 2014 12:10