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

 

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!

Uniquely Swinging New Orleans Classic

johnny dodds

Johnny Dodds’s clarinet galvanized some of the greatest jazz bands of the twenties and thirties.  He was one of the earliest pioneers of New Orleans jazz, who began playing in the Crescent City before joining the mass exodus of musicians to Chicago during the twenties. Dodd’s rich tone and cascading runs were first heard on record with King Oliver’s legendary Creole Jazz Band.

Mostly self-taught, Dodds immediately earned the respect of his fellow musicians in the jazz capital of the prewar era.  Dodds rarely led his own groups but played with a wide variety of bands, often alongside fellow New Orleans expatriates as well as the Windy City’s top talent. When a young Louis Armstrong organized his first recording sessions as a leader, he picked Dodds as his clarinetist.  The recordings of Armstrong’s’ Hot Fives in turn became watershed moments in the development of jazz and American popular music.

Dodd’s style is rooted in the traditional New Orleans collective sound but Dodds was also an especially passionate blues player:

His intense, driving sound also makes fast numbers such as “Wolverine Blues” into uniquely swinging experiences:

In honor of Johnny Dodds’s birthday, Berklee City Music is proud to share the deeply blue and red-hot music of this jazz original.

Jazz Appreciation Month: The Original Cat

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and what better way to kick off the festivities than with the music of Louis Armstrong.
“Satch” is considered jazz’s first great soloist.  His brilliant tone, powerful technique and inimitable swing forever changed how jazz was heard, played, and understood.  Not just an instrumental innovator, Armstrong brought a relaxed, imaginative vocal style to popular song while introducing listeners to scat singing.  As musicologist and historian Gunther Schuller observed, Armstrong’s music “served notice that jazz had the potential capacity to compete with the highest order of previously known musical expression.”  Louis Armstrong continues to influence generations of artists in jazz, American popular music, and beyond.

Here’s Armstrong from early on in his career at a concert in Copenhagen, already serving as an ambassador for the music: