Wynton Marsalis quotes


"Jazz in the Bittersweet Blues of Life"

(Carl Vigeland)
"This music heals people because music is vibration and the proper vibration heals. Like tuning up a flat note. That one note slides up into tune, damn. Everybody sounds better. Music comes into your body, you know. I can't begin to imagine all the people Louis Armstrong's music heals. All the people Bach's music has healed. Beethovan, Coltrane. Not made them feel good - healed.

It's your intent. How do you want to make someone feel when you play? What do you want to give them? What do you want to reveal, or want them to remember? When your sound is full of love and soul and progressive consciousness you bring people home. At home, everything is on the one. Home is what you know, not what you have been taught. You go home, you remember the first time of things. But home might not be where you grew up. It might be where you're going, because sometimes it takes a lifetime to figure out what you know."

"You don't necessarily learn about jazz in school. Many folks have this idea that jazz means you're up there on the bandstand playing whatever comes into your head, and hopefully when you're done the other cats will be about done, too. It isn't like that at all. Jazz improvisation is the creation of blues-based melodies in the context of harmonic, rhythmic, and timbral variation. There's a logic to its imposition of order on what would otherwise be chaos. And we all create the logic as we go along. The most important emotion in jazz is joy. But you don't create that joy just by feeling good. You create it by feeling terrible. Worse than that. About all the bullshit that has been put on people and continues to be heaped on. You have an empathy, a desire to improve things, to say stuff can be another way, not just about black people but the spiritual condition of all people. You've got to play. Together. You can't play jazz alone."

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