It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.
Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time.
For me, being an innovator doesn't mean being more intelligent, more rich, it's not a word, it's an action.
We in the Western world suffer from too many categories and classes; we've forgotten that we all still have diapers on. We've separated music from life.
Music has many uses and I think the most perfected use that music has is one of a healing quality.
I don't try to please when I play. I try to cure.
The idea is more important than the style you're playing in.
Whatever you do, it's over when you do it - but first you have to do it.
You've got to realize. In the western world, regardless of what color you are, what title the music is, it's all played by the same notes.
You don't have to worry about being a number one, number two, or number three. Numbers don't have anything to do with placement. Numbers only have something to do with repetition.
I have often read critical pieces where the critic said that what the composer was trying to do didn't come off. I have wondered what the critic meant if he didn't know what the composer was trying to do.
That's what I was trying to say when we were talking about sound. I think that every person, whether they play music or don't play music, has a sound - their own sound, that thing that you're talking about.
The only thing my mother would say about my music-I'd say, "Mom, listen to this," and she'd say, "Junior, I know who you are.
I think that those elements - light and sound - are beyond democratic. They're into the creative part of life.
Even when you write it, someone's got to play it. So if you can play it and bypass all the rest of the things, you're still doing as great as someone that has spent forty years trying to find out how to do that. I'm really pro-human beings, pro-expression of everything.
It seems the activity of expressing sound to do with music has just started blooming - and because of that, the beginners feel like they're professionals, and the professionals feel like they are beginners, which is very healthy.
I asked my mother could I have an instrument. She said, 'Well if you go out and save your money.' So I went and got - I made me a shine box. I went out and started shining shoes, and I'd bring whatever I made.
Most of my relationships have been like that - with record companies. I've never had a legitimate business relationship with a company. I've always had a personal relationship with someone in the company.
I wasn't so interested in being paid. I wanted to be heard. That's why I'm broke.
I'm interested in music, not in my image. If someone plays something fantastic, that I could never have thought of, it makes me happy to know it exists.
I had a really good time in New Orleans, although I had some very tragic times in Baton Rouge. Some guys beat me up and threw my horn away. 'Cause I had a beard, then, and long hair like the Beatles.
Musicians tell me, if what I'm doing is right, they should never have gone to school.
It's just someone has labelled us as having a different label to do what you do. I find that labels are the worst thing in the world for artistic expression.
To me, human existence exists on a multiple level, not just on a two-dimensional level, not just having to be identified with what you do and what you say.
I don't really live like a musician myself. I think music is just something that I do, but I'd like to be doing lots of other things. I like to cure all kinds of illness.
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