Jazz Quotes

 
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popthestack
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:21 am    Post subject: Jazz Quotes Reply with quote

A good collection of jazz musician's quotes.
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Only the skilled can judge the skillfulness, but that is not the same as judging the value of the result.
- C.S. Lewis, Preface to Paradise Lost
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T_Roach
not all roaches are bad


Joined: 17 Jun 2004
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Location: SLC

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Man, as long as people want to hear jazz, I’ll give it to them.” -- Lionel Hampton

“I, of course, wanted to play real jazz. When we played pop tunes, and naturally we had to, I wanted those pops to kick! Not loud and fast, understand, but smoothly and with a definite punch.” -- Count Basie

“Tap your foot (in response to a question from on 60 Minutes regarding what his music was all about.)” -- Count Basie
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T_Roach
not all roaches are bad


Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3547
Location: SLC

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I Get Paid for Dance Music,
The Art's Thrown in Extra"

by Gene Krupa (As told to Down Beat's Editors)

I think it is all a lot of bunk! This talk circulating about whether a jazz musician is a musical prostitute for compromising with his art and playing "down" to the public.

I think those sideline jivesters and Monday morning quarterbacks ought to get lost! It is pretty obvious to me and almost every other band leader in the business today exactly what the purpose and duty of a dance musician and leader is to his public. And there are no Pulitzer Prizes in dance music!

I don’t say to hell with the art. I’m all for good taste in playing swing or jazz, or whatever you want to call it. But I call it dance music. Why? You are damned right, because I get paid for playing dance music!

When a hotel manager buys my orchestra to play for his spot, my job is to entertain the people who come to entertain the people who come there. I know my musicians won’t have to stand on their heads to make the people like them. I also know my band can stand or fall on its music. But the public wants danceable music, so I’ll give them that. There’s no pretense from the beginning that every tune we play is worthy of comparison to the best. We’re not trying to outdo anyone. We don’t want to be King. We just want to entertain.

“We Shell Out Soft Lights”

And we try our best to entertain the people who like Sammy Kaye and Guy Lombardo, because we can shell out soft lights and stardust just as seductively as they. We’re not competing with memories of Bix, fading notes of Teschemacher, or any art in jazz. We just want to entertain the public.

A dance band can never be completely free from the bondage of commercial music. It is a simple fact, and must be recognized. I’m not agreeing, though, that a band must be hackneyed. When we play something like Blue Rhythm Fantasy, I know that it is artistic. Yet, it happens to also contain the flavor of commercialism. The public will accept it, but not for any art value. It happens to be entertaining, so it is requested. But the public also requests a lot of incidental popular stuff, and we play it because we are paid to play it. Try to meet a $2,500 a week payroll by not playing a goodly share of commercial stuff.

‘I’m no Bohemian’

I don’t want any artistic temperament in my outfit. I want capable musicians who can play the kind of music we are paid to play. And that kind of music is listenable and danceable music. The Bohemians in jazz can hi away to the confines of the swing clubs, I’m no Bohemian in jazz. I’m a band leader, and I try my damndest to play entertaining music.

Sure we put on a show! The best we know how to. You collect $8,000 or more a week at theater box-offices to make people come back again. You can’t be an artist and play in dance music. I’m no pretender for the honors in jazz art. But I do make my bid for public favor on the basis of what kind of a show my band’ll put on. My dance band is a working unit, for sale for a price. Meet the price, and the band is yours.

Let the sideline critics consider my music as such. Dance music is a matter of individual preference. And the best way to gauge the preference of the public is what the box-office says. I’m not playing “down” to the public, I’m playing “up” to it.

(Nov. 1, 1941)
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