Links & Tributes

Burton Greene website
[Hear Brian and Burton Greene on Groder & Greene]

"To be kind and generous and loving in your music means that the person behind the music is that way too – you have a bigger goal in your life, not just that you can play faster than everybody else."
Sam Rivers website
[Hear Brian and Sam Rivers on Torque]

"Jazz musicians want you to feel something, it's an intense kind of music, a different kind of effect on a person. A lot of times people dont like it, but that's okay, at least they felt something! I dont want to play down to the people, that's some other musician's thing ... throw them garbage, that shows utter contempt for people. I want to bring people up. I've studied hard to do this. We're trying to make a contribution, go to another level of consciousness if possible. We're in an emotional profession, that's what it's all about."
Jerry Bergonzi website

"The conscious mind is that voice inside you that tells you: 'I dont like the sound. I dont like my reed. The tempo is slowing down. I have to play hipper stuff.' That's the mind. But there's a place where the mind stops and where all the great artists, and great scientists too, get their information from. Its intuition and you are detached in that state, you just watch it happen."

Joanne Brackeen website
[Hear Brian and Joanne's composition, "Haiti-B", on Reflexology]

"My vision is always the same with anybody: learn the music and play it like its written, then after you learn it, do what you want with it."

Clifford Brown

"I doubt if we'll ever see the trumpet played that way again." Nicholas Payton

Don Cherry

"We can come from anywhere in the world and we can get to know each other through our melodies and our songs; we feel the musical link which unites us all. Music is a uniting force for all of us.

 Bill Dixon

"Whatever I do, I attempt to do it fully. I try, and don't always succeed, to be thorough. There are musicians who do not know their worth, and if they knew it at one time, it has eluded them. I know my worth. You try not to dwell in the past."

Dave Douglas

"Words, words, words they get used all over the place. To some people, you say 'contemporary jazz' and that means smooth jazz. To some people it means the forties or the fifties. I try to use the word 'contemporary' in the sense that it's happening now."

 Eric Dolphy

"At home I used to play, and the birds always used to whistle with me. I would stop what I was working on and play with the birds ... Birds have notes in-between our notes."

Don Ellis

"I expect the audience to come up to my level. I am not interested in compromising my music to make it palatable to an assumed sub-standard mass."

Liberty Ellman website

"Anything can be inspiration if you let it. You can break free of regimented material, especially in terms of form and arranging, turning things upside down, condensing them. It helps you shake things loose."
 Ornette Coleman website

"You don't have to change your language or change your style in order for someone to appreciate what you are doing artistically. The kids are going to be born and there are those that are as old as myself who will be able to enjoy the true human expression without any ethnical discrimination."

Art Farmer

"I couldn't say that for everybody but, at least, for myself it's not that I actually enjoy what I do every night, or every set, or every song. I enjoy the quest but the attainment in a very fleeting thing, and it just happens rarely. It might happen, maybe, one night out of five, and sometimes less often than that."

 Robert Fripp website

"The qualitative aspect of music is unconditioned. Music is a quality, organizing sound and time. In a sense, music is the cup that holds the wine of silence. Normally, we fill it with Coca Cola. So you always have this conjunction between the conditioned and the unconditioned, quality and quantity, the ineffable and the material. But one can train oneself to be in a position when the wind blows, you respond to it. Perhaps."

Kenny Garrett website

"If you play something that they like, they embrace it. If you play something that's a little bit different or a little more experimental, they might not embrace that. The main thing is that when I go to sleep or when I wake up and I look in the mirror, I am fine with myself. I do musically what it is that I feel at the time. I just do that. I don't justify it or explain it. It is just what it is."

 Tom Harrell website

"When you hear melodies, the melodies have contours, and harmonies have visual implications, too, because they have colors. And the rhythms have visual qualities because they happen in time, which gives them emotional implications."

Billy Hart website

"I'm chasing the newer things and Ill hear a record every now and then and Ill say, 'God, I was already playing that!' I thought I was just trying to learn this now. So I must have stumbled on it by osmosis or something."

Joe Henderson

"You dont have to tell your heart to beat, it just beats!

Andrew Hill website

"A lot of people now get into the music because of the history and stuff. I got into the music because it paid money. And the better I got, the more money I got."

Dave Holland website

"I think music is music. It is diverse, but it is just like people. We are all different shapes, sizes and colors, but basically we are all folks and we all need the same thing. Music is the same. I think it expresses the humanity of people."

Freddy Hubbard

"I used to try and play like Miles, and Miles caught me copying him one night at Birdland. He said, 'Hey man, why don't you play some of your own stuff.' So, I finally did, because I had copied all his solos. Go off and really search inside and try and get something of your own. Because if you don't have your own sound, you'll be forgotten. If people like you, they'll remember and you'll last forever."

Elvin Jones website

"One of the customers came up to me and said, `Hey, make some noise.' What he really meant was that he wanted me to play a drum solo. So that is a general perception, and that way of thinking still exists. People never understood that the drum is a musical instrument."


Thad Jones

"I used to play awfully fast. But as the years rolled along, I've sort of gotten out of it because playing fast really doesn't have the meaning for me now that it had then. Your musical views change and are not necessarily centered on what's happening today. That's what makes music so important."

Dave Liebman website

"I have great respect for the 'tradition,' the rules, and playing it within context and everything, I think it's great, and it has nothing to do with my life. Absolutely nothing. In fact if I was younger, I'd probably be more into it, as I was with Coltrane. But I don't feel it's really related to what I do as an artist or as an individual. I'm past the point where I enter a museum with my head bowed down."

Booker Little

 "I can't think in terms of wrong notes in fact, I don't hear any notes as being wrong. It's a matter of knowing how to integrate the notes and, if you must, how to resolve them. Because if you insist that this note or that note is wrong I think you're thinking conventionally, technically, and forgetting about emotion."

Charles Lloyd website

"When I was young I was a very good swimmer and diver. I won competitions. But I don't do that anymore. I'm trying to be a musician now. In music, I've never gotten good enough to quit."

Pat Martino website

"I strongly believe that for those of us who have the opportunity to develop a long relationship with a musical instrument as a tool, the instrument becomes secondary. It's like a 6-year-old and a bicycle. After it's mastered, it places no conscious demand on its user. The bicycle itself is no longer important. What matters then is the destination."

Bennie Maupin website

"I have a very visual sense that I work from and I definitely see images with my music, and I want to present my music with dance and movement, at some point. That's how I want people to experience it, so that it totally embraces them in every way possible."

John McLaughlin website

"I've been accused a million times of playing too fast or too many notes, and I'm sure justifiably sometimes. But, you know, I'm the way I am and as we grow old, we learn and I'm still learning about space. But I'll be learning about space until I die."

Charles Mingus website

"Good jazz is when the leader jumps on the piano, waves his arms, and yells. Fine jazz is when a tenorman lifts his foot in the air. Great jazz is when he heaves a piercing note for 32 bars and collapses on his hands and knees. A pure genius of jazz is manifested when he and the rest of the orchestra run around the room while the rhythm section grimaces and dances around their instruments."

Oliver Nelson

"Unlimit the limiters, cut off the cutoffs, and unequalize the equalizers. Raise that microphone, change that filter, tote that barge and lift that bale ... And now were going to make some music!"

Nguyn Le website

"Everything inspires me, from the song of a bird to the perfume of a flower, an event on TV news or a specific musical idea. But 'everything' is still pretty abstract & hazy, I cannot say 'this comes from that' except for the specific musical ideas, like a special rhythm from North Africa, or a precise scale."

Greg Osby website

"It really baffles me when I hear younger players tell me, 'I don't know to practice. I don't know what to study.' There is a great deal to be done with smaller fragments of information. You can change rhythms, you can add accidentals, and you can delete things but you have to have an imagination and just say to yourself 'What if?'"

Art Pepper

"To be labeled 'Art Pepper, musician', period, would just be awful what a boring life that would be. Now, I play music but I'm not a musician. What I have become as a person is what matters most."

Chris Potter website

"It is hard to know how to play in such a way that people are going to listen to what you play. But I think in order to really keep an audience involved and hopefully coming back for more, you really do have to be true to what you want to play. I think people can sense when they are being sort of, pandered to."

Sam Rivers website

"Jazz musicians want you to feel something, it's an intense kind of music, a different kind of effect on a person. A lot of times people dont like it, but that's okay, at least they felt something! I dont want to play down to the people, that's some other musician's thing ... throw them garbage, that shows utter contempt for people. I want to bring people up. I've studied hard to do this. We're trying to make a contribution, go to another level of consciousness if possible. We're in an emotional profession, that's what it's all about."

Dennis Sandole website

"Never lose sight of the ever receding horizon of individuality and creativity."

Students of Dennis Sandole: Art Farmer, Billy Newman, Bobby Zankel, Cannonball Adderley, Dennis McCorkle, George Benson, Harry Leahey, James Moody, Jim Hall, Joe Diorio, John Coltrane, Matthew Shipp, Michael Brecker, Pat Martino, Randy Brecker, Reggie Workman, Rob Brown, Ron Thomas, Rufus Harley, Stanley Clarke, Sumi Tonooka, Teo Macero, Tommy Flanagan and Brian Groder.

Woody Shaw website

"I think a lot of people forget where the force of this music comes from. Eric Dolphy knew what he was doing. Ornette Coleman knows what he's doing. John Coltrane wrote 'Giant Steps,' which is a harmonic masterpiece. It's like classical music. Can you imagine Arnold Schoenberg not knowing about Mozart and Bach? I ask a young musician, 'Okay, play the changes,' and bam, he can't play the changes. But on a free thing he can play his ass off. I can't accept that."

Wayne Shorter

"I'd say composing is improvisation slowed down."

Horace Silver

"Jazz is on a par with classical music. It's American Classical music. I didn't coin that phrase. But you have to sit and listen to it and absorb it and put yourself into it, and let it put itself into you. And once you do that you come away from it stimulated and uplifted, you know?"

Ira Sullivan website

"Every once in a while you play so strong and beautiful that suddenly you hush up an audience ... and it's a great feeling of accomplishment you feel. Like you've given them something special even if they don't really recognize what it is you've done for them. You've reached them where they didn't know they can be reached."

Francesca Tanksley website

"I learned that if you keep a firm hold on what you feel is truly important regardless of any difficulties then what you wanted will be there when the project is finished."

Cecil Taylor website

"Anybody's music is made up of a lot of things that are not musical. Music is an attitude, a group of symbols of a way of life, whether you're conscious of it or not And of course, it naturally reflects the social and economic and educational attitudes of the players. And thats why the fools dont think I play jazz."

McCoy Tyner

"I like to go on an adventure when I play. I like to have the freedom to do that not just for the sake of doing something out there or different. I like to experiment and take people along the way and bring them back. Its like a voyage."

 Kenny Wheeler website

"I think I'm doing the same as I was thirty years ago. I'm still trying to find soppy romantic melodies mixed with a bit of chaos."

Tony Williams

"If there's one single thing that my career's been about, it's my desire to learn more about music and how it's made."