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Jazz Quotes and Sayings
Quotes about Jazz

Please enjoy these Jazz Quotes from the wise, the romantic, and the famous of the past and present.

Jazz has an audience all around the globe and has had for many decades,
I think speaking of the United States,
let's say that what we need is more of an official recognition.
- Sonny Rollins

I recorded my first jazz record in the '70s.
- Rita Coolidge

Jazz to me is a living music.
It's a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings,
the dreams, hopes, of the people.
- Dexter Gordon

Some people try to get very philosophical and cerebral
about what they're trying to say with jazz.
You don't need any prologues, you just play.
- Oscar Peterson

 

Jazz tickles your muscles, symphonies stretch your soul.
- Paul Whiteman

I love good rock'n'roll, blues and jazz,
gospel, and a little reggae.
- Jerry Hall

All the classic jazz players all sang and a lot of 'em sang blues.
- Mose Allison

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Coltrane was moving out of jazz into something else.
And certainly Miles Davis was doing the same thing.
- Jan Garbarek

Jazz is the folk music of the machine age.
- Paul Whiteman

Jazz radio is not very friendly to pop singers who
decide to make a jazz record.
But a lot of people have been.
A lot of the people I've talked to like the record.
- Rita Coolidge

It is rare that even a jazz musician finds an individual voice.
- David Baker

It was the early days of Rock 'n' Roll in this country.
We were all struggling to learn music,
it might be Country, Jazz, Classical,
Blues or even Rock 'n' Roll.
- Jim Sullivan

I suppose subconsciously I was thinking in terms of
having the scale of it matching the scale of the images.
Hence the sort of string quartet, jazz band and electronic stuff.
- Jonny Greenwood

The day of the great jazz improviser who doesn't know
how to read music is over.
- Maynard Ferguson

Then I took 8 years of French Horn, first jazz,
and then classical.
- Jim Coleman

I missed jazz, kind of.
And by the time I came to it in life,
it was too intimidating to enjoy thoroughly.
- Warren Zevon

By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of
a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with.
- Duke Ellington

Well, actually, I don't consider myself a jazz legend or anything.
- Joseph Jarman

Well, being a jazz musician is not a rose garden!
- Toots Thielemans

If it has more than three chords, it's jazz.
- Lou Reed

Live action writers will give you a structure,
but who the hell is talking about structure? Animation
is closer to jazz than some kind of classical stage structure.
- Ralph Bakshi

Louis Armstrong is quite simply the most important
person in American music.
He is to 20th century music (I did not say jazz) what Einstein is to physics.
- Ken Burns

As long as there are musicians who have a passion for spontaneity,
for creating something that's never been before,
the art form of jazz will flourish.
- Charlie Haden

The genius of our country is improvisation,
and jazz reflects that.
It's our great contribution to the arts.
- Ken Burns

I use rock and jazz and blues rhythms because I love that music.
I hope my poetry has a relationship with good-time rock'n roll.
- Adrian Mitchell

I don't worry too much about the fundamentalist principles
that are in almost any discussion about jazz.
- Pat Metheny

I don't think that jazz, as any kind of an art form,
has any permanence attached to it, apart from the practitioners of it.
- Norman Granz

The thing to judge in any jazz artist is,
does the man project and does he have ideas.
- Miles Davis

As far as I'm concerned, the essentials of jazz are:
melodic improvisation,
melodic invention, swing, and instrumental personality.
- Mose Allison

I also thought of playing improvisational jazz and
I did take lessons for a while.
At first I tried to write fiction by making up things
that were completely alien to my life.
- Amy Tan

Blues and jazz pulled me away from what was left of my family.
- Alexis Korner

My mother was a jazz fanatic and she wanted me to play
the piano so I could play jazz tunes.
I wish I had learned but I was too busy getting into trouble!
- Etta James

A jazz beat is a dynamic changing rhythm.
- Ken Burns

And I played in jazz band as well during all three years in school.
- Travis Barker

The stories from 1975 on are not finished and there is no resolve.
I could spend 50 hours on the last 25 years of jazz
and still not do it justice.
- Ken Burns

A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges.
- Benny Green

Today jazz is still very much alive.
Everywhere I go there's a new generation of musicians.
- Toots Thielemans

The French - they like jazz, they've been on jazz a long time.
- Billy Higgins

Boxing is like jazz.
The better it is, the less people appreciate it.
- George Foreman

I listen to a mixture of old jazz, contemporary,
pop, some world beat stuff and various odds and ends.
- Walter Becker

If he's a true symphony artist, he knows better than
that because he knows that the only truly creative
musician is the jazz musician.
- Buddy Rich

As far as I'm concerned, blues and jazz are the great
American contributions to music.
- Edgar Winter

I've been saying for almost 20 years that I need to
do a jazz project and it ought to be either big band
or I should do some jazz songs with a trio or quartet.
- Al Jarreau

Most jazz players work out their solos,
at least to the extent that they have a very specific vocabulary.
- Lee Konitz

I think you have to have a jazz pedigree to be on jazz radio.
- Rita Coolidge

By its very nature, no one person can ever be the center of jazz.
- Ken Burns

So I went into jazz and performed in jazz clubs all over the country.
- Cy Coleman

If I am playing any music at all it is jazz music.
- Ginger Baker

I like a lot of electronica.
I like older jazz rather than newer.
- Greg Ginn

Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be
played night after night but differently each time.
- Ornette Coleman

I'd rather play jazz, I hate rock and roll.
- Ginger Baker

Jazz is not the format where I want to stay,
but it really is a starting point for me.
- Justin Guarini

I couldn't get my album played over the so-called smooth jazz stations.
Jazz stations would not play it.
You don't always know who you're making that soul connection with.
- Roy Ayers

The spirit of jazz is the spirit of openness.
- Herbie Hancock

Jazz is there and gone.
It happens.
You have to be present for it.
That simple.
- Keith Jarrett

I can turn on some jazz guitarist, and he won't do a thing for me,
if he's not playing electrically.
But Jeff Beck's great to listen to.
- Ritchie Blackmore

As long as there are people trying to play music in a sincere way,
there will be some jazz.
- Lee Konitz

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.
- Wynton Marsalis

I wanna show that gospel, country, blues,
rhythm and blues, jazz, rock 'n' roll are all just really one thing.
Those are the American music and that is the American culture.
- Etta James

Many jazz artists go to L.A.
seeking a more comfortable life and then they really stop playing.
- Sonny Rollins

New York is the dream world, the center of jazz and rock.
- Gyorgy Ligeti

Jazz is a very accurate, curiously accurate accompaniment to 20th century America.
- Ken Burns

You don't rehearse jazz to death to get the camera angles.
- Stan Getz

It's not exclusive, but inclusive, which is the whole spirit of jazz.
- Herbie Hancock

Change is always happening.
That's one of the wonderful things about jazz music.
- Maynard Ferguson

The people in Japan know more about the history of
jazz and the musicians than the people in the United States do.
- Billy Higgins

Giving jazz the Congressional seal of approval is a
little like making Huck Finn an honorary Boy Scout.
- Melvin Maddocks

My music is jazz.
- Yusef Lateef

Jazz was more of a tool for me to use to enhance my musicality.
- John Otto

Gospel music rhythms are not African in origin,
although I know that's what the jazz experts say.
- Mahalia Jackson

I like to listen to classical music...
I like mainline jazz.
- Herb Alpert


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