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" As improvisers, we're acting as composers in front of people. "
" I want to be the jazz singer. "
" You don't want to make records so you can win a Grammy. You make records because you want to be a musician. "
" The idea is to be unrestrained by categories. "
" Why limit yourself to one discipline or field of study? "
" While I revel in the memories of my own Grammy moment, I also know how it feels to walk away empty-handed. "
" I know how hard it's been for me to get my thing out there. "
" I travel all the time. And as I go around the world, I try to learn a little something and not just take up all the available air. "
" You work very hard on the lyrics. Getting them to fit the contours of improvised melodies. "
" People just want to dig; they want to dance. They don't want to work all through the night, and neither do I. I like getting 'out there,' but communication should be occurring on more levels than heavy-laden philosophical. "
" Out in L.A., things relax even further than they do in Chicago. There's such a looseness to it, and there's a potentially refreshing advantage to that. "
" I couldn't do what I do without the encouragement and influence of the musicians I played with in Chicago. "
" The musicians in Chicago gave me my vocation, but New York calls to a jazz musician, for sure. You want to test your mettle. "
" Man, I just feel so fortunate to be a jazz musician at all. I have a hard time thinking of it any other way. It's such a fulfilling vocation. I love it. "
" There is an actor's responsibility in presenting the emotional content of the lyrics to an audience. But whether you do that in a straightforward fashion or an ironic fashion or a blase fashion is all about opportunities, and singers are missing opportunities as artists if they don't pay attention to the lyric. "
" I think of jazz as being homage through innovation. Don't quote that as a definition, but it comes pretty close. "
" It's pretty rare in jazz to have a full-on steady band. "
" If you start to dwell on your pain, the amount of pain will increase. "
" I hope to be at the top of my game when I'm 65 or 70. I don't want to reach my peak at 29. Not that I'm holding back anything, but there's a bunch of junk I don't know. "
" I like the power and versatility of a big band and how an orchestra can vary the dynamics from very loud to very quiet, and SNJO covers those bases. "
" Audiences have taught me how to sing better and entertain better. "
" My goal is to be really incredible by the time I'm 70. "
" I haven't been afraid of John Coltrane or Miles Davis or Bill Evans or Wayne Shorter or Herbie Hancock. Why would I be afraid of the Beatles? "
" Music is a physical expression that has a physical impact upon the listener. Sound travels in waves through the air. This is not abstract. This is scientific fact. And it makes physical contact with the eardrum... and with the heart... and with the rest of the body. "
" I'm a goof, man. "
" People want to have access to jazz because it has a vibe that's very strong. "
" I've tried to educate myself in the world and what's beautiful and what has meaning and is lasting. Then I just follow my intuition and see how it fits. "
" When improvisation is properly applied, it is compositional thinking, sped way up. "
" I remember seeing Tony Bennett on television. He was the only guy in the orchestra who was wearing a white tux, and I thought, 'That would be good. To be the only man on stage in a white jacket.' "
" I had everything to gain by giving it everything I could. "
" We live in a society where it's cool to be criminal. "