1. “Don’t be afraid, just play the music.”
— Charlie Parker
2. “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.”
3. “Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.”
4. “Man, there’s no boundary line to art!”
5. “You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.”
6. “Don’t play the saxophone. Let it play you.”
7. “I look at melody as rhythm.”
8. “Learn the changes, then forget them.”
9. “I don’t care who likes it or buys it. Because if you use that criterion, Mozart would never have written Don Giovanni, Charlie Parker would have never played anything but swing music.”
10. “I kept thinking there’s bound to be something else? I could hear it sometimes, but I couldn’t play it.”
11. “Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom.”
12. “Once I could play what I heard inside me, that’s when I was born.”
13. “I realized by using the high notes of the chords as a melodic line, and by the right harmonic progression, I could play what I heard inside me. That’s when I was born.”
14. “When I first heard music, I thought it should be very clean, very precise. Something that people could understand, something that was beautiful.”
15. “It’s just music. It’s trying to play clean and looking for the pretty notes. The beat in a bop band is with the music, against it, behind it. It pushes it. It helps it. Help is the big thing. It has no continuity of beat, no steady chug-chug. Jazz has, and that’s why bop is more flexible.”
16. “I’m very glad to have met you. I like your playing very much.”
17. “I can play all I know in eight bars.”
18. “Bop is no love-child of jazz.”
19. “You’ve got to learn your instrument.”
20. “It’s just music. It’s playing clean and looking for the pretty notes.”
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