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Benny Green Quotes

Please enjoy these encouraging quotes by Benny Green.

A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges.
- Benny Green

Prior to that, I had associated this music with older people,
like my father.
- Benny Green

The first time we performed as a duo,
we had already been playing together in various situations.
- Benny Green

Just to be around that, to feel a part of it and be
able to integrate the experience while I was with the Messengers,
of going and playing gigs with other drummers,
gave me the chance to realize that it was not just
me that was making it happen.
- Benny Green

 

The first jazz pianist I heard was Thelonious Monk.
My father was listening to an album of his called 'Monk's
Dream' almost every day from the time I was born.
- Benny Green

Like Russell, I enjoy the fact that when I'm playing solo,
if I want to do something completely spontaneous,
I don't have to worry about how I'm going to cue the other musicians,
or if it's something that's rehearsed.
- Benny Green

You know, there're no rules between Russell and I. We don't want to have to have to talk too much,
because it's really precious, really special to play music.
- Benny Green

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Actually, I've had very little classical training,
although I love listening to classical music very much.
- Benny Green

Ray had so much love of life and the music.
He had so much integrity.
He treated the music with so much dignity and respect.
I spent four and a half years as a sideman with Ray Brown's trio.
Music was his life, more so than anyone I could mention.
- Benny Green

I don't really have a lot of hobbies.
I listen to a lot of spoken word.
I get books on tape.
- Benny Green

The magic can happen in a studio.
Special things can happen in a recording studio,
even though it may seem like a clinical environment
from the outside looking in.
- Benny Green

I think there's a natural chemistry between us as friends;
and there's really no separation between the rapport
that we feel when we're in conversation and when we're playing music,
it's one in the same.
- Benny Green

Art was carrying me a lot of the time.
When you're accustomed to playing with Art,
and you play with other drummers, it's as if the bottom dropped out.
- Benny Green

I have similar feelings, actually.
The intimacy of a club: you can see the people,
you can almost feel them; you can't beat that.
People will say things, and shout out,
it's almost like they're up on the bandstand with you.
- Benny Green

I'm naturally going to react to that and he'll bring
out elements in my musical character that were lying dormant,
because I'm relating what he's playing.
- Benny Green

I'm glad you asked that question, because of any musical situation I've been in,
the communication feels great here with Russell.
He really pays close attention to what I'm doing because he cares.
- Benny Green

He would catapult you forward, and that was his intention
with the Jazz Messengers.
He would take young people with a potential and help
them develop a voice as a player and as a writer.
- Benny Green

We have different personalities, but in a harmonious way,
I'd say.
Anyway, we were booked to play at the festival as a duo;
and we decided we wouldn't have any rehearsal.
- Benny Green

No, that's not it.
The first time we met was at Fat Tuesday's.
Benny was playing, this was, I think in 1989?
- Benny Green

I didn't know when I was growing up that this was a very special program,
that this wasn't going on in other parts of the country.
Now I realize that I was lucky.
- Benny Green

Just to have that sense of family, it gives you something
that you know you need to take care of for the rest of your life.
People gave it to him, and he passed it on to us.
- Benny Green

We have fun, we listen to one another,
we challenge one another, we trust one another.
We're doing what we enjoy, and we're not just playing for each other,
we're playing for the people.
- Benny Green

Any time I need to get a serious attitude adjustment,
I put on one of their records, and there are examples
there for all time to keep us honest and keep us reaching;
they'll never be eclipsed.
- Benny Green

I learned from my uncle that jazz, like symphony music,
was built to last.
- David Amram

Well, being a jazz musician is not a rose garden!
- Toots Thielemans

I listen to jazz about three hours a day.
I love Louis Armstrong.
- Philip Levine

I've always loved jazz.
- Rita Coolidge

I recorded my first jazz record in the '70s.
- Rita Coolidge

I've been saying for almost 20 years that I need to
do a jazz project and it ought to be either big band
or I should do some jazz songs with a trio or quartet.
- Al Jarreau

One thing I like about jazz is that it emphasized doing
things differently from what other people were doing.
- Herbie Hancock

Jazz will endure just as long people hear it through
their feet instead of their brains.
- John Philip Sousa

The first thing is, jazz is one of the few things to
let you know that there is a God and there is a creation.
- Billy Higgins

I progressed through so many different styles of music through my teen years,
both as a player and a vocalist, particularly the jazz
and pop of the early 20th Century.
- Jeff Healey

Sometimes you need to stand with your nose to the window
and have a good look at jazz.
And I've done that on many occasions.
- J. J. Johnson

My music isn't anything but me.
It has jazz in it, and rock'n'roll, and it has an urgency to it.
- Neil Young

Some people try to get very philosophical and cerebral
about what they're trying to say with jazz.
You don't need any prologues, you just play.
- Oscar Peterson

It seems to me monstrous that anyone should believe
that the jazz rhythm expresses America.
Jazz rhythm expresses the primitive savage.
- Isadora Duncan

I'm not a big jazz fan.
- Warren Zevon

I listen to a mixture of old jazz, contemporary,
pop, some world beat stuff and various odds and ends.
- Walter Becker

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

My first guitar, a Fender Jazz Master,
I traded it in for a Les Paul Deluxe.
- Lenny Kravitz

The people in Japan know more about the history of
jazz and the musicians than the people in the United States do.
- Billy Higgins

Well I went to New Orleans to cover the jazz festival for Trio,
it's this new arts channel, it's really great.
- Amy Sedaris

Jazz is like wine.
When it is new, it is only for the experts,
but when it gets older, everybody wants it.
- Steve Lacy

Jazz is rhythm and meaning.
- Henri Matisse

As long as there are people trying to play music in a sincere way,
there will be some jazz.
- Lee Konitz

Growing up, I was very much interested in jazz music.
- Jan Hammer

Jazz is the music of the body.
- Anais Nin

There are editing procedures for talks just as there
are editing procedures in jazz improvisation.
- David Antin

My mother was a jazz fanatic and she wanted me to play
the piano so I could play jazz tunes.
I wish I had learned but I was too busy getting into trouble!
- Etta James

Diana Krall knocks me out.
I like jazz and I like her simple approach.
- Merle Haggard

There are singers that I have enjoyed,
from Nina Simone and Ray Charles onward.
But the music that made music the number one thing
for me as a youth was jazz.
- Robert Wyatt

In my view a jazz musician is a great musician.
- Michael Parkinson

Boxing is like jazz.
The better it is, the less people appreciate it.
- George Foreman

I think you have to have a jazz pedigree to be on jazz radio.
- Rita Coolidge

All the classic jazz players all sang and a lot of 'em sang blues.
- Mose Allison

I started in New Orleans music and played all through the history of jazz.
- Steve Lacy

Most jazz players work out their solos,
at least to the extent that they have a very specific vocabulary.
- Lee Konitz

Jazz of the sort we play is a happy,
extroverted music.
You don't have to think about it too much.
- Chris Barber

The blues is the foundation, and it's got to carry the top.
The other part of the scene, the rock 'n' roll and the jazz,
are the walls of the blues.
- Luther Allison

The history of all big jazz bands shows was,
first they played for dancing, and then they played for singing.
- Norman Granz

I don't like freedom jazz - I think it's void of roots and void of foundation.
- George Shearing

Jazz radio is not very friendly to pop singers who
decide to make a jazz record.
But a lot of people have been.
A lot of the people I've talked to like the record.
- Rita Coolidge

I wanted to play some more grown-up music -
jazz.
- Rick Derringer

Jazz was more of a tool for me to use to enhance my musicality.
- John Otto

Jazz is a music of great achievements but speed and
chops serve a different function in jazz.
- Marc Ribot

I was considered as a jazz man rather than as a blues player.
There were no blues players-you played one sort of
jazz of another sort of jazz.
- Alexis Korner

By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of
a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with.
- Duke Ellington

I don't think that jazz, as any kind of an art form,
has any permanence attached to it, apart from the practitioners of it.
- Norman Granz

I still love the whole history of jazz.
The old things sound better than ever.
- Steve Lacy

I am famous because I am an African American jazz artist.
- Nat King Cole


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

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