Do not fear mistakes. There are none.
For me, music and life are all about style.
Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.
The thing to judge in any jazz artist is, does the man project and does he have ideas.
Always look ahead, but never look back.
You should never be comfortable, man. Being comfortable fouled up a lot of musicians.
It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play.
If you're trying to be hip, be hip.
Bebop didn't have the humanity of Duke Ellington. It didn't even have that recognizable thing. Bird and Diz were great, fantastic, challenging — but they weren't sweet.
I still got my Ferrari.
I never thought Jazz was meant to be a museum piece like other dead things once considered artistic.
I don't care if a dude is purple with green breath as long as he can swing.
Don't play what's there, play what's not there.
My father's rich, my momma's good looking. Right? And I can play the Blues. I've never suffered and don't intend to suffer.
I never thought that the music called "jazz" was ever meant to reach just a small group of people, or become a museum thing locked under glass like all the other dead things that were once considered artistic.
You know why I quit playing ballads? Cause I love playing ballads.
Jazz is the big brother of Revolution. Revolution follows it around.
We're not going to play the blues anymore. Let the white folks play the blues. They got 'em, so they can keep 'em.
There are no wrong notes in jazz: only notes in the wrong places.
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me!
Don't worry about playing a lot of notes. Just find one pretty one.
Jazz is like blues with a shot of heroin!
To keep creating you have to be about change.
You have to be born with it. You can't even buy it. If you could buy it, they'd have it at the next Newport Festival.
Monk taught me more about music composition than anyone else on 52nd Street.
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