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" After I learned the piano, I went on to learn percussion, the tuba, b-flat baritone, French horn, trombone, trumpet, most of the instruments in the orchestra. Trumpet was my instrument. "
" We got into all the trouble you could ever imagine. We figured that if the Jones boys and all the gangsters ran Chicago, we had our own territory now. All the stores, all the crime, we were in charge of everything, my stepbrother and my brother. "
" I never cared about money or fame, and I don't care now. I follow the groove, and money always follows. "
" When I was about five or seven years old my mother was placed in a mental institution and so we were with our father who worked very hard, and we had to figure a lot of things out. "
" I don't remember feeling love. "
" Working with kids in Soweto in South Africa, it's rough out there. But the bottom line is you've got to go to know. In Cambodia, there are 10,000 landmines. Same in Afghanistan, same in Colombia. I'm totally addicted to traveling. "
" My earliest memories are being pinned to a fence with a switchblade. "
" I travel like a maniac. I travel more than anyone I know. I love learning the languages. "
" I met Ray Charles at 14, and he was 16. But he was like a hundred years older than me. "
" I've never been bored in my life, man. I've never been bored or lonely. Are you kidding? No way! I'm an orchestrator, a musician, a producer. I love everything. I've studied languages from Farsi to Greek to French, Swedish, Russian... How can you get bored? "
" I don't ever want to grow up. That's boring. "
" Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing. "
" I'm never in my life going to do a record that's a tribute to myself. I don't need it. "
" Young people should travel, and they don't. You can't know if you don't go. "
" I only hope that one day, America will recognize what the rest of the world already has known, that our indigenous music - gospel, blues, jazz and R&B - is the heart and soul of all popular music; and that we cannot afford to let this legacy slip into obscurity, I'm telling you. "
" To me it's no accident that all the symphony orchestras around the world tune up to the note A. And A is 440 cycles, except in Germany where it's 444. But the universe is 450 cycles. So what I'm trying to say is, I think it's God's voice, melody especially. Counterpoint, retrograde inversion, harmony... that's the science and the craft. "
" Arts is just as important as military defense, you know? Emotional defense is just as important. "
" I started imagining this whole different world. It was a society of musicians, a family I hoped I could belong to one day. "
" I didn't understand key signatures or anything, you know. I'd say silly things at the top of a trumpet part like, 'Note, when you play B naturals, make the B naturals a half step lower because they sound funny if they're B naturals.' And some guy said: 'Idiot, just put a flat on the third line and it's a key signature, you know?' "
" I think the attraction of 'American Idol' is about the basic human nature attitude that is, 'We can put you up there. But we can take you down.' "
" I got in the school band and the school choir. It all hit me like a ton of bricks, everything just came out. I played percussion for a while, and stayed after school forever just tinkering around with different things, the clarinets and the violins. "
" Everybody has their idiosyncrasies. "
" My son is a hip-hop producer. "
" I was married for 36 years but now I'm free. "
" I'd been in love before - I was always in love. "
" I lost my mother when I was 7 and they put her in a mental hospital. My brother and I watched her being taken away in a strait jacket. That's something you never forget. And my stepmother was like in the movie 'Precious.' I couldn't handle it. So I said to myself, 'I don't have a mother. I don't need one. I'm going to let music be my mother.' "
" When I was 14, I was a passenger in a terrible accident. "
" My father was a carpenter, a very good carpenter. He also worked for the Jones boys. They were not family members, we weren't related at all. They started the policy racket in Chicago, and they had the five and dime store. "
" Sidney Poitier and Sidney Lumet were instrumental in helping me get started as the first black composer to get name credit for movie scores. "
" I believe that a hundred years from now, when people look back at the 20th century, they will look at Miles, Bird, Clifford Brown, Ella and Dizzy, among elders as our Mozarts, our Chopins, our Bachs and Beethovens. "
" I like all music. The only music I don't like is bad music. "