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- Talent is cheap, and many talents treat themselves cheaply.
- I'm a rather simple person with a limited talent and perhaps a limited perspective.
- I believe that all people are in possession of what might be called a 'universal musical mind.'
- Especially, I want my work – and the trios, if possible – to sing.
- I'm using the insides of sounds to move around in a very subtle way which, I think, ends up being inevitable. I feel it's the only solution to that particular problem that I presented myself.
- It's performing without any really set basis for the lines and the content as such emotionally or, specifically, musically. And if you sit down and contemplate what you're going to do, and take five hours to write five minutes of music, then it's composed music. Therefore, I would put it in the classical or serious, whatever you want to call it, written-music category. So there's composed music and there's jazz. And to me anybody that makes music using the process that we are using in Jazz, is playing Jazz.
- When you begin to teach jazz, the most dangerous thing is that you tend to teach style. I had eleven piano students, and I would say eight of them didn't even want to know about chords or anything - they didn't even want to do anything that anybody had ever done, because they didn't want to be imitators. Well, of course, this is pretty naive, but nevertheless it does bring to light the fact that if you're going to try to teach jazz, you must abstract the principles of music which have nothing to do with style, and this is exceedingly difficult. So there, the teaching of jazz is a very touchy point. It ends up where the jazz player, ultimately, if he's going to be a serious jazz player, teaches himself.
- Technique is the ability to translate your ideas into sound through your instrument. This is a comprehensive technique, a feeling for the keyboard that will allow you to transfer any emotional utterance into it. What has to happen is that you develop a comprehensive technique and then say, Forget that. I'm just going to be expressive through the piano.
- A guy is influenced by hundreds of people and things, and all show up in his work. To fasten on any one or two is ridiculous. I will say one thing, though. Lennie Tristano's early records impressed me tremendously. Tunes like 'Tautology,' 'Marshmallow,' and 'Fishin' Around.' I heard the fellows in his group building their lines with a design and general structure that was different from anything I'd ever heard in jazz.
- My creed for art in general is that it should enrich the soul; it should teach spirituality by showing a person a portion of himself that he would not discover otherwise, a part of yourself you never knew existed.
- First of all, I never strive for identity. That's something that just has happened automatically as a result, I think, of just putting things together, tearing things apart and putting it together my own way, and somehow I guess the individual comes through eventually.
- Perhaps it is a peculiarity of mine that despite the fact that I am a professional performer, it is true that I have always preferred playing without an audience.
- To the person who uses music as a medium for the expression of ideas, feelings, images, or what have you; anything which facilitates this expression is properly his instrument.
- Words are the children of reason and, therefore, can't explain it. They really can't translate feeling because they're not part of it. That's why it bugs me when people try to analyze jazz as an intellectual theorem. It's not. It's feeling.
- We use the people who are in the bullpen producing.
- I dance because it makes me want to explode.