Jazz Quotes

Here are some quotes from Jazz Masters. Be inspired by their wisdom and music!

“What is music to you? What would you be without music? Music is everything. Nature is music (cicadas in the tropical night). The sea is music, the wind is music. The rain drumming on the roof and the storm raging in the sky are music. Music is the oldest entity. The scope of music is immense and infinite. It is the ‘esperanto’ of the world.”—Duke Ellington

“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 

Miles Davis

“I’ll play it and tell you what it is later”—Miles Davis

 “Musically, I love to talk just off the top of my head and that’s what jazz is all about.”—Stan Getz

 “At heart I’ve always been a jazz man.”— James Brown

“If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it.”—Louis Armstrong

 “I know I’m no glamour girl, and it’s not easy for me to get up in front of a crowd of people. It used to bother me a lot, but now I’ve got it figured out that God gave me this talent to use, so I just stand there and sing.”—Ella Fitzgerald

 “You can’t explain jazz to anyone without losing the experience because it’s feeling, not words.”—Bill Evans

 “I’ve found you’ve got to look back at the old things and see them in new light.” –John Coltrane

Thelonious Monk

“The piano ain’t got no wrong notes.” Thelonious Monk

 “The idea is more important than the style or the contents of the style you’re trying to play in.”—Ornette Coleman

 “One thing I like about jazz is that it emphasized doing things differently from what other people were doing.”—Herbie Hancock

“I always wanted to be a spontaneous composer.”—Charles Mingus

 “That’s the thing about jazz: it’s free flowing it comes from your soul.”—Billy Crystal

 

Jazz Appreciation Month: Jazz Quotes

Here are some quotes from Jazz Masters. Be inspired by their wisdom and music!

Charlie Parker and Miles Davis

“Don’t play the saxophone. Let it play you.”—Charlie Parker

“When people believe in boundaries, they become part of them.” –Don Cherry

“And that’s the soulful thing about playing: you offer something to somebody. You don’t know if they’ll like it, but you offer it.”― Wynton Marsalis, To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters from the Road

“Composing is improvisation slowed down.”—Wayne Shorter

“When you play music you discover a part of yourself that you never knew existed.”—Bill Evans

“Music should always be an adventure.”—Coleman Hawkins

“A good quartet is like a good conversation among friends interacting to each other’s ideas.”—Stan Getz

“The real innovators did their innovating just by being themselves.”—Count Basie

“Improvisation is the ability to create something very spiritual, something of one’s own.”—Sonny Rollins

“The whole thing of being in music is not to control it but to be swept away by it. If you’re swept away by it you can’t wait to do it again and the same magical moments always come.”—Bobby Hutcherson

“The spirit of jazz is the spirit of openness.”—Herbie Hancock

Ella Fitzgerald

“Forgive me if I don’t have the words. Maybe I can sing it and you’ll understand.”—Ella Fitzgerald

“Sometimes I wish I could walk up to my music for the first time, as if I had never heard it before. Being so inescapably a part of it, I’ll never know what the listener gets, what the listener feels, and that’s too bad.”—John Coltrane

“A goal is a dream with a finish line.”—Duke Ellington

Listen to their music on our playlist!

[spotify spotify:user:berkleecmn:playlist:6EV5egXO2rLqFPUTVD0Xn3]

Friday JAM part 1

The National Museum of American History has designated April as Jazz Appreciation Month. JAM has been created to be an annual event that honors the legacy and spirit of jazz as the heart and soul of all popular music.

Berklee City Music is joining this festivity with special jazzy posts and events on our Blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoy our weekly updated Jazz Appreciation Month playlist and explore the history of jazz through song. New tunes every Friday!

Also, one of the special activities we are doing is a Transcription Challenge for City Music students at Network sites.  Students who enter and follow the rules will have the opportunity to win Berklee City Music swag.  Songs for the transcription challenge can also be found on the first edition of the Playlist!

Let us know which songs you’d like to hear next Friday! We’re eagerly waiting for your suggestions!

Elegant, Experimental and Undeniably Daring – Ladies who rock today

king

 

The King– a fresh, jazzy, soulful, synthy music trio, whose breakthrough to the music scene has been nothing less than a phenomenon and embracement of artistic independence.

Paris and Amber Strother are twin sisters who grew up in Minneapolis, currently residing in Los Angeles. Paris started playing piano at the age of 2 and Amber, on the other hand, has only been singing publicly for a couple of years. Anita Bias, a singer-songwriter from Compton, briefly met Paris at a recital while they were both studying at Berklee College of Music. Later in 2008, the force of serendipity reconnected them at a jam session in L.A.

The newly formed trio perfectly “clicked” within their common vision and began building their own musical kingdom, creating the three-song EP, which was recorded in twins’ bedroom and produced by Paris, who also managed to make a DIY stop-animation video for their first single The Story.

On a life-changing night in the early March of 2011, King released their EP titled The Story. What followed after that was a virus-like wave of tweets that was spreading across cyberspace, from Phonte, Estelle, Questlove, Erykah Badu to Prince who invited the trio to open for him on one of his Welcome 2 America Tour dates in front of 17,000 people.

Soon to follow collaborations included The Foreign Exchange’s All the Kisses and  Robert Glasper’s Black Radio Album feature Move Love . Their first LP is currently in the making, as the crowd is still eagerly awaiting its arrival.

With no industry machine or talent show behind them, the achievement of these “anti-Dreamgirls” seems to be a perfect blend of talent, hard work, strong commitment, wholehearted involvement in their music, unique sound, lucky star alignment and “little” help of the social media.

acs trio

Emerging out of Carrington’s Grammy winning The Mosaic Project, the multi-generational supergroup ACS, is a stupefying fusion of three of jazz’s brightest stars, each crowned with daunting technique and a questing spirit of improvisation.

Geri Allen is internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and active music educator who fulfills the role of musical matriarch of this expressionistic collective. Since 1982 she has recorded, performed or collaborated with Ravi Coltrane, Dianne Reeves, Bill Cosby, Ron Carter, Ornette Coleman and Paul Motian. Her album Flying Toward the Sound appeared on the Best of 2010 lists for NPR, Downbeat, All About Jazz, and the Village Voice’s Jazz Critics’ Poll.

Terri Lyne Carrington is a Grammy-award winning drummer, composer, producer, educator and entrepreneur.  Developing a reputation of a drum prodigy, she was jamming with Dizzy Gillespie and Clark Terry at the age of 10, a   year before receiving the full scholarship at Berklee College of Music. Growing and developing musically next to Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, she’s been at the top of the music industry for more than 25 years, collaborating with the luminaries of the jazz scene.  Her Mosaic Project brought together different musical shapes and colors of some of the world’s most celebrated female instrumentalists and vocalists and inspired the creation of this transcending trio.

Esperanza Spalding captured wider audience’s attention upon being the first jazz musician ever to win the Best New Artist Grammy award, leaving Justin Bieber’s fans in absolute shock.  And ever since she earned two more. She got hooked on music after watching Yo-Yo Ma perform on an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood  at the age of 4. She became the youngest bass player at Portland State University when she was 16 and later was awarded a full scholarship at Berklee , where she subsequently began performing to larger audiences and eventually teaching. Today, as a gallant composer, extremely melodic bassist, eclectic, playful vocalist and young icon of contemporary jazz scene, she continues her evolution of stretching the conventional structures of jazz into new style zones with her ingenious works like Chamber Music Society and Radio Music Society.

 

 

 

Jazz Appreciation Month: Happy Birthday Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock, River: The Joni Letters Album Cover (Verve Music Group, Universal Music Group)

Herbert Jeffrey Hancock was born on April 12, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois. He began playing the piano at age 7, and four years later performed a Mozart piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He attended Grinnell College and double majored in music and electrical engineering, and as he told Wired Magazine, always refers to himself as a “free-footed techie.” When he graduated in 1960 he had already been performing in Chicago jazz clubs with Coleman Hawkins and Donald Byrd, and Bryd later invited him to join his quintet and move to New York City. Not long after that Blue Note Records gave him the opportunity to record as a leader, and he debuted with Takin’ Off.

In 1963, Miles Davis asked Herbie Hancock to join his quintet, consisting of Ron Carter on bass, Tony Williams on drums, and at different times George Coleman, Sam Rivers, and Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone. Herbie played with them for five years. During his time with Miles his solo career also moved ahead, where he composed the songs Maiden Voyage, Dolphin Dance, Cantaloupe Island, The Sorcerer, and Speak Like a Child, which have become jazz standards.

He left the Miles Davis Quintet in 1968 and continued his musical journey and started to use electronics and electronic instruments more heavily, like the Fender-Rhodes piano, the Mellotron, and the Hohner Clavinet. “I’ve been involved with technology for a long, long time, and I’m one of the people who really pushed musicians toward embracing the technology from the pioneering days and development of computers and digital technology,” he said in an interview with Wired Magazine

Check out this video from 1984 of Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones demonstrating the Fairchild CMI (computer musical instrument), a digital sampling synthesizer.

In 1973 he released the album Head Hunters and in 1983 he released the song Rockit, which climbed to number one on the pop chart and won a Grammy for Best R&B Instrumental Performance.

In 2001 Herbie Hancock continued his exploration with the collaborative album Possibilities that featured Christina Aguilera, John Mayer, and many others. In 2008 he won the Grammy for Album of the Year for River: The Joni Letters.

Herbie Hancock has won 14 Grammy Awards over his expansive and celebrated career. In an interview with Time Out London they asked him to define jazz, and he replied, “well, jazz has been defined in a lot of different ways. One thing that sticks in my mind is that jazz means freedom and openness. It’s a music that, although it developed out of the African American experience, speaks more about the human experience than the experience of a particular people. You know, like it’s ability to take sometimes the worst of circumstances and challenges of life and turning them into something of beauty and creativity. So it has continued to evolve over the years.”

Mr. Hancock, Happy Birthday! Berklee City Music music celebrates you and all of you have done for jazz!

Herbie Hancock, center, accepting the album of the year Grammy Award for “River: The Joni Letters” from Usher. On the right is he album’s co-producer, Larry Klein. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Check out some of Herbie Hancock’s music on our Jazz Appreciation Month playlist.