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If you're going to use standards as criteria for signing musicians,
by Branford Marsalis

If you're going to use standards as criteria for signing musicians,
you can sign thousands.
If you're going to use some sort of conceptual interpretation
that's based on the tradition of those standards,
but is trying to move away from it, you're down to about 10 people or so.
- Branford Marsalis

One of the things that's clear to me from interviews
that I've read is that the more popular successful
jazz musicians had audiences above and beyond the music community.
- Branford Marsalis

My dad was a musician, it was just what he did,
like another guy's dad drives a meat truck.
Our house was normal.
We weren't taken with the fact our dad was a musician.
- Branford Marsalis

If I were like a lot of other people,
then it wouldn't be fun; but since I'm like me,
it's okay.
- Branford Marsalis

 

Coltrane came to New Orleans one day and he was talking about the jazz scene.
And Coltrane mentions that the problem with jazz was
that there were too few groups.
- Branford Marsalis

It's something that jazz has gotten away from,
and it's unfortunate.
Players aren't physical anymore.
- Branford Marsalis

If it's not going to sound like Terrapin Station,
what's the point of playing Terrapin Station?
- Branford Marsalis

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That's kind of like how jazz is sometimes.
You're out there predicting the future,
and no one believes you.
- Branford Marsalis

There's not one Tin Pan Alley song on my record.
- Branford Marsalis

I gave up my base in popular culture when I left the Tonight Show.
- Branford Marsalis

When you're dealing with music without words,
titles are more a means of identification than anything else.
What's the point of getting lofty?
- Branford Marsalis

Pop doesn't really look back.
It can't.
What makes pop work is simplicity.
- Branford Marsalis

A lot of musicians have a tough time hearing what we're doing in a trio format.
- Branford Marsalis

I like to make records sound good.
I'm more like a reducer than a producer.
If an artist cannot produce themselves,
what's the point?
- Branford Marsalis

I'm not going to play funk licks on a jazz album.
That makes no sense.
- Branford Marsalis

I think that if you keep banging at the door all you
need is a little foothold,
a little tiny foothold, and then the rest will take care of itself.
- Branford Marsalis

Jazz fans love Miles and I love him for a myriad of reasons,
but the overviews are always too simplistic.
- Branford Marsalis

What is jazz? It, It's almost like asking,
What is French? Jazz is a musical language.
It's a musical dialect that actually embodies the spirit of America.
- Branford Marsalis

It's hard to get into Newsweek because,
as more of our former intellectual magazines take on a pop focus,
if there's no buzz, there's no interest.
- Branford Marsalis

You hear it in your brain.
Whatever makes sense.
Some songs work well as quartet songs,
sometimes they don't.
- Branford Marsalis

I think that one of the problems that jazz has is that
it's so incestuous that it's starting to kill itself.
- Branford Marsalis

We played it as long as we could play it on that CD
and I think it might be 50 minutes,
maybe.
What you have to do is play a couple of songs and then
get off the stage because everything that trails it sounds stupid.
- Branford Marsalis

There's a certain kind of motion and pacing that our music has,
and this just doesn't have that.
We just kind of rushed to the conclusion of most of the songs.
I just would've preferred to done them over.
- Branford Marsalis

The piano is the X factor.
People have a tough time following the structures when there's no piano there,
spelling it out.
It makes it more easily understood, particularly to
people who don't know as much about music.
- Branford Marsalis

The biggest problem with American music right now,
is that kids don't listen.
They come by it honestly, Americans don't listen anyway.
When people go to concerts, they say I'm going to see...
not, I'm going to hear.
- Branford Marsalis

Humans are imperfect.
That's one of the reasons that classical and jazz are in trouble.
We're on the quest for the perfect performance and
every note has to be right.
Man, every note is not right in life.
- Branford Marsalis

I suspect that we might actually start selling some
records with these artists in about 10 years.
Some the people who invested, they're a little tight-because
it's a lot of money to start up a company.
- Branford Marsalis

The lion's share of what I hear right now are people who,
intentional or accidental, have avoided all jazz prior to 1960.
And all the musicians who were successful in the '60s
spent their entire lives,
prior to 1960, listening to all the musicians these people avoid.
- Branford Marsalis

If you listen to a lot of the songs that are popular now,
there's very little melody in there.
People love the beat.
But to musicians, it's melody, because we understand
how elusive it is and how hard it is to hold.
- Branford Marsalis

The whole point is, give me a break with the standards.
You go to the average jazz label and suggest a record
and they want to know which standards you're going to play.
I'm saying let's break the formula.
- Branford Marsalis

One of the things that I loved about listening to Miles
Davis is that Miles always had an instinct for which
musicians were great for what situations.
He could always pick a band, and that was the thing
that separated him from everybody else.
- Branford Marsalis

Life is without meaning.
You bring the meaning to it.
The meaning of life is
whatever you ascribe it to be.
Being alive is the meaning.
- Joseph Campbell

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.
- Joseph Campbell

Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The greatest mistake you can make in life
is to be continually fearing you will make one.
- Elbert Hubbard

Simply do your best, and you will avoid
self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
- don Miguel Ruiz

If you don't know where you're going,
any road will take you there.
- Lewis Carroll
(Alice in Wonderland)

To go against the dominant thinking of your friends,
of most of the people you see every day,
is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.
- Theodore H. White

You don't have the power to make life "fair,"
but you do have the power to make life joyful.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

If you aren't in the moment,
you are either looking forward to uncertainty,
or back to pain and regret.
- Jim Carrey

Powerful Dreams Inspire Powerful Action.
When you can taste, smell, and touch your dreams,
you can enroll the world.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal
with the intent of throwing it at someone else;
you are the one who gets burned.
- The Buddha

A well-developed sense of humor
is the pole that adds balance to your steps,
as you walk the tightrope of life.
- William Arthur Ward

Change what you see,
by changing how you see.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Whatever you do, do with kindness.
Whatever you say, say with kindness.
Wherever you go, radiate kindness.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

May the world be kind to you,
and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Choose the World You See,
and See the World You Choose.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Footprints in the sands of time...
Where have you been?
Where are you going?
Why are you going there?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

How do you want to be remembered?
Live life full out - Begin today.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Don't Take Anything Personally.
Nothing others do is because of you.
- Miguel Angel Ruiz (don Miguel Ruiz)

You are never too old to set another goal
or to dream a new dream.
- C. S. Lewis

You're only here for a short visit.
Don't hurry. Don't worry.
And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.
- Walter Hagen

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow,
you gotta put up with the rain.
- Dolly Parton

Laugh when you can,
apologize when you should,
and let go of what you can't change.
Life's too short to be anything... but happy.
- Anonymous

You will not be punished for your anger,
you will be punished by your anger.
- The Buddha

People will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget
how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou

The true meaning of life is to plant trees,
under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
- Nelson Henderson

Faith is taking the first step,
even when you don't see the whole staircase.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it,
or who said it, no matter if I have said it,
unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense.
- The Buddha

Life is as easy or as hard as you think it is.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

A friend is someone who knows all about you,
and loves you just the same.
- Elbert Hubbard

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was,
Thank you, that would suffice.
- Meister Eckhart

Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Laugh.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

A true friend is someone who
thinks that you are a good egg
even though he knows that
you are slightly cracked.
- Bernard Meltzer

Take time to play!
Ask for what you want.
Laugh.
Live loudly.
Be avid.
Learn a new thing.
Be Yourself!
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
- widely misattributed to Mark Twain

Whatever you do, you need courage.
Whatever course you decide upon,
there is always someone to tell you
that you are wrong.
There are always difficulties arising
that tempt you to believe your critics are right.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is the friends you can call up at 4 A.M. that matter.
- Marlene Dietrich

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children,
to leave the world a better place,
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived,
this is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.
- Irish Blessing

May your life always be Counterpoint to the Clamor of the World.
May you delight in Dancing Lightly With Life.
May you soar on eagle wings, high above the madness of the world.
May you always sing Melody in the Symphony of Your Life.
May you taste, smell, and touch your dreams of a beautiful tomorrow.
May your sun always shine, and your sky be forever blue.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie


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May the world be kind to you,
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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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