Best 709 quotes in «jazz quotes» category

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    Every bloody mark had assassinated my writing along the way.

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    Everywhere was the atmosphere of a long debauch that had to end; the orchestras played too fast, the stakes were too high at the gambling tables, the players were so empty, so tired, secretly hoping to vanish together into sleep and ... maybe wake on a very distant morning and hear nothing, whatever, no shouting or crooning, find all things changed.

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    Harlem had been hit by a hurricane: It was raining cats and jazz.

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    (...)"Flapper"— the notorious character type who bobbed her hair, smoked cigarettes, drank gin, sported short skirts, and passed her evenings in steamy jazz clubs, where she danced in a shockingly immodest fashion with a revolving cast of male suitors.

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    Food is merely a platform for condiments.

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    Hardened cement chunks languished on the ground. Gray dust particles spewed into every crevice. The homeless desired this place as a sheltered haven.

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    He fell for an eighteen-year old girl with one of those deepdown spooky loves that made him so sad and happy he shot her just to keep the feeling going.

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    He’d been toting it, and checking it, and packing and unpacking, all the way since fate was on the river - that’s how long - the Big River” - Fate Marable and his riverboat caliope (Cleo seemed to recall), who hadastonished the landings between New Orleans and St. Louis with the wild, harsh, skirling Gypsy music, and left there, echoing in the young and restless even as it dies off round the bed; to linger with them thereafter, in the pelting roar of November midnights and the clickety-clack of lonesome valley freights, until they up one night and go after it in a battered bus, following the telephone wires that make a zigzag music staff against the evening sky - some variation of that basic beginning could be told for everyone who jazz has touched and altered.

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    …he didn’t needs words or even want them because he knew how they could lie, could heat your blood and disappear.

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    He begun to tease air through the brass. At first we all just stood there with our axes at the ready, staring at him. Nothing happened. I glanced at Chip, shook my head. But then I begun to hear, like a pinprick on the air--it was that subtle--the voice of a hummingbird singing at a pitch and speed almost beyond hearing. Wasn't like nothing I ever heard before. The kid come in at a strange angle, made the notes glitter like crystal. Pausing, he took a huge breath, started playing a ear-spitting scale that drawn out the invisible phrase he'd just played.

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    He has only heard what I felt.

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    His eyes, if anything, gleamed even more bright, having found the treasure he sought.

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    Here, in this quiet place we own, worlds are born. ~Run the Voodoo Down~

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    His eyes never blinked or wavered from mine, encompassing me in a field of control.

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    History doesn’t start with a tall building and a card with your name written on it, but jokes do. I think someone is taking us for suckers and is playing a mean game.

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    How to heal Read Books Listen to Jazz Ride Motorbikes Get Tattooed

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    In mid-stroke of word and paper fusion

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    I assumed this yoke would encase me as well as any another hobble. Only this one bound the mind.

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    I can’t help but ask, “Do you know where you are?” She turns to me with a foreboding glare. “Do you?

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    I knew all too well the damage of scarlet ink smeared across page-after-page ...

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    I'm a person who is unpractical and idealistic. A rebellious dreamer plagued by night terrors. An affinity for the story of Superman, drinking, sex, jazz, writing, drugs, activism, golf, family, cooking, eating good food, reading books and savoring their hypnotic bouquet, for me, is like stumbling over a rock and recovering my equilibrium. This is the story of me.

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    In all jazz, and especially the blues, there is something tart and ironic, authoritative and double-edged. White Americans seem to feel that happy songs are happy and sad songs are sad, and that, God help us, is exactly the way most white Americans sing them—sounding, in both cases, so helplessly, defenselessly fatuous that one dare not speculate on the temperature of the deep freeze from which issue their brave and sexless little voices. Only people who have been “down the line,” as the song puts it, know what this music is about…. White Americans do not understand the depths out of which such an ironic tenacity comes, but they suspect that the force is sensual, and they are terrified of sensuality, and do not any longer understand it. The word “sensual” is not intended to bring to mind quivering dusky maidens or priapic black studs. I am referring to something much simpler and much less fanciful. To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread. It will be a great day for America, incidentally, when we begin to eat bread again, instead of the blasphemous and tasteless foam rubber that we have substituted for it. And I am not being frivolous here, either.

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    In every sphere of social interaction, that hermeneutic leap—that ability to put yourself in the mind frame of the other—is a virtue and a blessing.

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    In his book Real Presences, George Steiner asks us to "imagine a society in which all talk about the arts, music and literature is prohibited." In such a society there would be no more essays on whether Hamlet was mad or only pretending to be, no reviews of the latest exhibitions or novels, no profiles of writers or artists. There would be no secondary, or parasitic, discussion - let alone tertiary: commentary on commentary. We would have, instead, a "republic for writers and readers" with no cushion of professional opinion-makers to come between creators and audience. While the Sunday papers presently serve as a substitute for the experiencing of the actual exhibition or book, in Steiner's imagined republic the review pages would be turned into listings:catalogues and guides to what is about to open, be published, or be released. What would this republic be like? Would the arts suffer from the obliteration of this ozone of comment? Certainly not, says Steiner, for each performance of a Mahler symphony is also a critique of that symphony. Unlike the reviewer, however, the performer "invests his own being in the process of interpretation." Such interpretation is automatically responsible because the performer is answerable to the work in a way that even the most scrupulous reviewer is not. Although, most obviously, it is not only the case for drama and music; all art is also criticism. This is most clearly so when a writer or composer quotes or reworks material from another writer or composer. All literature, music, and art "embody an expository reflection which they pertain". In other words it is not only in their letters, essays, or conversation that writers like Henry James reveal themselves also to be the best critics; rather, The Portrait of a Lady is itself, among other things, a commentary on and a critique of Middlemarch. "The best readings of art are art." No sooner has Steiner summoned this imaginary republic into existence than he sighs, "The fantasy I have sketched is only that." Well, it is not. It is a real place and for much of the century it has provided a global home for millions of people. It is a republic with a simple name: jazz.

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    In Jazz, like in America, the group works together toward a common cause with lots of room left for each individual to shine.

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    I don’t want to be a free nigger; I want to be a free man.” “Don’t we all. Look. Be what you want--- white or black. Choose. But if you choose black, you got to act black, meaning draw your manhood up—quicklike, and don’t bring me no whiteboy sass.” Hunter’s Hunter and Godlen Gray

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    If it sounds good, it is good.

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    I have sometimes thought that the mere hearing of those songs would do more to impress some minds with the horrible character of slavery, than the reading of whole volumes of philosophy on the subject could do. I did not, when a slave, understand the deep meaning of those rude and apparently incoherent songs. I was myself within the circle; so that I neither saw nor heard as those without might see and hear. They told a tale of woe which was then altogether beyond my feeble comprehension; they were tones loud, long, and deep; they breathed the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with bitterest anguish. Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirit, and filled me with ineffable sadness. I have frequently found myself in tears while hearing them. The mere recurrence to those songs, even now, afflicts me; and while I am writing these lines, an expression of feeling has already found its way down my cheek. To those songs I trace my first glimmering conception of the dehumanizing character of slavery. I can never get rid of that conception. Those songs still follow me, to deepen my hatred of slavery, and quicken my sympathies for my brethren in bonds. If any one wishes to be impressed with the soul-killing effects of slavery, let him go to Colonel Lloyd's plantation, and, on allowance-day, place himself in the deep pine woods, and there let him, in silence, analyze the sounds that shall pass through the chambers of his soul, - and if he is not thus impressed, it will only be because "there is no flesh in his obdurate heart." I have often been utterly astonished, since I came to the north, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness. It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears. At least, such is my experience. I have often sung to drown my sorrow, but seldom to express my happiness. Crying for joy, and singing for joy, were alike uncommon to me while in the jaws of slavery. The singing of a man cast away upon a desolate island might be as appropriately considered as evidence of contentment and happiness, as the singing of a slave; the songs of the one and of the other are prompted by the same emotion.

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    I'm eclectic,' she said to the HDs once and I could see them trying to work out where she plugged in.

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    In America, music was the first sphere of social interaction in which racial barriers were challenged and overturned. And the challenge went both ways: by the mid-1920s, white bands were playing for all-black audiences at Lincoln Theater and elsewhere. These intermediate steps between segregation and integration represented, for all their problems, progress of sorts.

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    I noticed that religion gave some people a way to escape dealing with the world: “Things will be better when you die,” the people of my grandma’s generation said as they worked themselves to death. “God wants you to forgive and love those who do you wrong,” some people said to shake off the shame of being unable to respond to the abuse they endured. The holier-than-thou faction found comfort in believing, “The rest of y’all are lost because you don’t have a personal relationship with God—our God.” But art engages you in the world, not just the world around you but the big world, and not just the big world of Tokyo and Sydney and Johannesburg, but the bigger world of ideas and concepts and feelings of history and humanity.

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    Inside McClintic Sphere was swinging his ass off. His skin was hard, as if it were part of the skull: every vein and whisker on that head stood out sharp and clear under the green baby spot: you could see the twin lines running down from either side of his lower lip, etched in by the force of his embouchure, looking like extensions of his mustache. He blew a hand-carved ivory alto saxophone with a 4 ½ reed and the sound was like nothing any of them had heard before. The usual divisions prevailed: collegians did not dig, and left after an average of 1 ½ sets. Personnel from other groups, either with a night off or taking a long break from somewhere crosstown or uptown, listened hard, trying to dig. 'I am still thinking,’ they would say if you asked. People at the bar all looked as if they did dig in the sense of understand, approve of, empathize with: but this was probably only because people who prefer to stand at the bar have, universally, an inscrutable look… …The group on the stand had no piano: it was bass, drums, McClintic and a boy he had found in the Ozarks who blew a natural horn in F. The drummer was a group man who avoided pyrotechnics, which may have irritated the college crowd. The bass was small and evil-looking and his eyes were yellow with pinpoints in the center. He talked to his instrument. It was taller than he was and didn’t seem to be listening. Horn and alto together favored sixths and minor fourths and when this happened it was like a knife fight or tug of war: the sound was consonant but as if cross-purposes were in the air. The solos of McClintic Sphere were something else. There were people around, mostly those who wrote for Downbeat magazine or the liners of LP records, who seemed to feel he played disregarding chord changes completely. They talked a great deal about soul and the anti-intellectual and the rising rhythms of African nationalism. It was a new conception, they said, and some of them said: Bird Lives. Since the soul of Charlie Parker had dissolved away into a hostile March wind nearly a year before, a great deal of nonsense had been spoken and written about him. Much more was to come, some is still being written today. He was the greatest alto on the postwar scene and when he left it some curious negative will–a reluctance and refusal to believe in the final, cold fact–possessed the lunatic fringe to scrawl in every subway station, on sidewalks, in pissoirs, the denial: Bird Lives. So that among the people in the V-Note that night were, at a conservative estimate, a dreamy 10 per cent who had not got the word, and saw in McClintic Sphere a kind of reincarnation.

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    I remember once I asked Wayne for the time," Miller told Mercer. "He started talking to me about the cosmos and how time is relative." Miller and [Wayne] Shorter were waiting somewhere -- an airport, a train station, a hotel. The band's keyboardist, Joe Zawinul, who took charge of such matters as what the road crew was supposed to do and when, set Miller straight. "You don't ask Wayne shit like that," he snapped. "It's 7:06 p.m." [p.1]

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    I rouse Emily to our guests, as she finishes off our fifteenth snowman by setting the head atop its torso. She stands limp at my direction, pointing out the coming shadows and I cannot help but hear a muffled sigh as she decapitates her latest creation with a single push of her hand.

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    I set the timer. The silent countdown, with the not-so-silent alarm blast at the end of the twenty-minutes commenced. The ticking and tocking started its merciless countdown.

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    I took my solo and beat hell out of the skins. Then Spoof swiped at his mouth and let go with a blast and moved it up into that squeal and stopped and started playing. It was all headwork. All new to us. New to anybody. I saw Sonny get a look on his face, and we sat still and listened while Spoof made love to that horn. Now like a scream, now like a laugh - now we're swinging in the trees, now the white men are coming, now we're in the boat and chains are hanging from our ankles and we're rowing, rowing - Spoof, what is it? - now we're sawing wood and picking cotton and serving up those cool cool drinks to the Colonel in his chair - Well, blow, man! - now we're free, and we're struttin' down Lenox Avenue and State & Madison and Pirate's Alley, laughing, crying - Who said free? - and we want to go back and we don't want to go back - Play it, Spoof! God, God, tell us all about it! Talk to us! - and we're sitting in a cellar with a comb wrapped up in paper, with a skin-barrel and a tinklebox - Don't stop, Spoof! Oh Lord, please don't stop! - and we're making something, something, what is it? Is it jazz? Why, yes, Lord, it's jazz. Thank you, sir, and thank you, sir, we finally got it, something that is ours, something great that belongs to us and to us alone, that we made, and that's why it's important and that's what it's all about and - Spoof! Spoof, you can;t stop now -- But it was over, middle of the trip. And there was Spoof standing there facing us and tears streaming out of those eyes and down over that coaldust face, and his body shaking and shaking. It's the first we ever saw that. It's the first we ever heard him cough, too - like a shotgun going off every two seconds, big raking sounds that tore up from the bottom of his belly and spilled out wet and loud. ("Black Country")

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    …more than a half million books, all of them smelling like dust and ink, two terrible smells that blend mystically to make something beautiful. Powells is another church to me, a paperback sort of heaven.

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    No dictatorship can tolerate jazz. It is the first sign of a return to freedom.

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    Now listen for your song. Everybody’s got a song. When I used to chase the Trane— John Coltrane that is— he used to tell me, ‘If I know a man’s sound, I know the man.’ Do you hear the melody playing in your mind? Does it move you, nudge you off your seat?

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    O jazz moderno e a música clássica moderna, por vezes, fazem questão em usar cinco, sete, onze, etc. pulsações por compasso (muitas vezes apenas para terem um ar inteligente e invulgar) mas são poucos os êxitos realmente populares.

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    Parece inevitable, tan fuerte es la necesidad de esta música; nada puede interrumpirla, nada que venga del tiempo donde está varado el mundo; cesará sola, por orden. Esta hermosa voz me gusta sobre todo, no por su amplitud ni su tristeza, sino porque es el acontecimiento que tantas notas han preparado desde lejos, muriendo para que ella nazca. Y sin embargo, estoy inquieto; bastaría tan poco para que el disco se detuviera.

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    She leaves my side and heads deeper into the apartment singing, “—if the spirit tries to hide, its temple far away… a copper for those they ask, a diamond for those who stay.

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    I steal one glance over my shoulder as soon as we are far from the foreboding luminance of the neon glow, and it is there that my stomach leaps into my throat. Squatting just shy of the light and partially concealed by the shade of an alley is a sinister silhouette beneath a crimson cowl, beaming a demonic smile which spans from cheek to swollen cheek.

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    Miranda Writes: Anything you say or do may be used for or against you within a story by a writer

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    Not long after we started working for him I asked Bernard if he thought Thatcher was evil,'I said. 'He said it was like asking what jazz is.

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    One two, one two, Type a word or two. Arrow left, arrow right, Keep those fingers nice and tight. Keys up, Keys down, Move those digits all around. One two, one two, Type a word or two.

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    She clicked open the door and glided into the back seat like a summer breeze through an open window on the highway. "Where are you heading?", His Southern twang reminded her of home, but her eyes showed him no familiarity. She stared at him, void of expression, her thoughts racing. "Miss?", he persisted. "Anywhere. Please. Just drive.", she replied tersely, not sure if she even wanted her mind to join her in the back seat. The driver stared into her eyes and somehow understood, he started the engine and on they went. Two strangers, a blur of yellow, in pursuit of nowhere.

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    Teachers' favorite color ink, splashed and dripped down his face a grisly reminder of mistakes bruising his life.

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    That’s the thing about jazz: it’s free flowing, it comes from your soul.

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    The annihilating strokes slashed across my penned heartfelt words.