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" You need a team. You need people to push you. You need opponents. "
" Even in these times, there are still neighbors that will turn their backs on neighbors. "
" I believe in professionalism, but playing is not like a job. You have to be grateful to have the opportunity to play. "
" My daddy thought - no, he expected - that my brothers and I and our generation would make the world a better place. He was correct in his belief because he had lived in an America of continual social progress, depression followed by prosperity, segregation by integration, and so on. "
" There is an idea that a mind is wasted on the arts unless it makes you good in math or science. There is some evidence that the arts might help you in math and science. "
" Jazz music is America's past and its potential, summed up and sanctified and accessible to anybody who learns to listen to, feel, and understand it. The music can connect us to our earlier selves and to our better selves-to-come. It can remind us of where we fit on the time line of human achievement, an ultimate value of art. "
" I sounded like myself. People be saying I sound like Miles or Clifford Brown. "
" We always hear about the rights of democracy, but the major responsibility of it is participation. "
" I believed in studying just because I knew education was a privilege. It was the discipline of study, to get into the habit of doing something that you don't want to do. "
" What I really have in my head, my imagination, my understanding of music, I never really get that out. "
" Don't settle for style. Succeed in substance. "
" The majority of the high schools and the public schools in N.Y.C. don't even have band programs. Hip-hop in a lot of ways is an outgrowth of a lack of instruments and a desire to play music, so we can't really fault the kids for that. "
" Musicians like to converse. There's always interesting conversation with musicians - with classical musicians, with jazz musicians, musicians in general. "
" When people dress well, they play well. "
" There are forces all around you who wish to exploit division, rob you of your freedom, and tell you what to think. But young folks can rekindle the weary spirit of a slumbering nation. "
" My thing is, once you start to put a backbeat on your music or something that has a machine in it, you have popularity, but you lose the flexibility. And you lose a richness. "
" I'm not a person who writes really abstract things with oblique references. I look at abstraction like I look at condiments. Give me some Tabasco sauce, some ketchup, some mayonnaise. I love all of that. Put it on a trumpet. I've just got to have the ketchup and Tabasco sauce. That's my attitude about musical philosophy. "
" The bandstand is a sacred place. "
" The blues. It runs through all American music. Somebody bending the note. The other is the two-beat groove. It's in New Orleans music, it's in jazz, it's in country music, it's in gospel. "
" Don't wish for someone else to do later what you can do now. "
" I didn't have a philosophical understanding of music until I came to New York. I didn't understand how it applied to my kind and my generation. I thought it was just old people talking. "
" When I was 12, I began listening to John Coltrane and I developed a love for jazz, which I still have more and more each year. "
" Maybe the preoccupation with technological progress has overshadowed our concern with human progress. "
" Whenever you face a man who's playing your instrument, there's a competition. "
" The main three components are the blues, improvisation - which is some kind of element that people are trying to make it up - and swing, which means even though they're making up music, they're trying to make it up together. It feels great, like you're having a great conversation with somebody. "
" When me and my brother would go to see our daddy playing, there'd be 30 people in the audience. I was only 14 or 15, but I realised something was wrong. "
" There's always the cliche of the choir shouting and clapping. OK, you have to do that, but there's also introspective parts, parts where you just follow someone that's preaching. There's lots of different emotions and moods that a service requires. "
" There's the tradition in jazz of having the Battle of the Bands, and you do not want to get your head cut when you're playing. "
" Don't worry about what others say about your music. Pursue whatever you are hearing... but if everybody really hates your music maybe you could try some different approaches. "
" The rebuilding of New Orleans is an important point in the history of the United States. "
" Swing is extreme coordination. It's a maintaining balance, equilibrium. It's about executing very difficult rhythms with a panache and a feeling in the context of very strict time. So, everything about the swing is about some guideline and some grid and the elegant way that you negotiate your way through that grid. "