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You Can't Steal a Gift:  Dizzy, Clark, Milt, and Nat by Gene Lees
Lincoln, NE:  Univ of NE Press, 2001
ISBN 0-8032-8034-3

(96)  Phil Woods:  "I was in Birdland, stoned, as I often was in those days.  Dizzy and Art Blakey kidnapped me.  Took me home to Dizzy's and sat me down and said, 'What are you moaning about?  Why don't you get your own band?'

"I tearfully asked them if they thought I was good enough, and one of them said, 'Yeah! If you stop behaving like an asshole!'

"I asked them if a white guy could make it, considering the music was a black invention.  I was getting a lot of flak about stealing not only Bird's music but his wife and family as well [Woods was married to Chan, Charlie Parker's widow, at the time], especially from Mingus.  Miles was always nice to me, very supportive, as was and remains Max Roach.  And Dizzy said, 'You can't steal a gift.  Bird gave the world his music, and if you can hear it you can have it.'"

(xvi)  from the preface by Nat Hentoff:  [James] Loewen writes:  I have found useful a distinction societies make in east and central Africa.  According to John Mbiti, Kisawahili speakers divide the deceased into two categories:  sasha and zamani.  The recently departed whose time on earth overlapped with people still here are the sasha, the living dead.  They are not wholly dead, for they live on in the memories of the living, who can call them to mind, create their likeness in art, and bring them to life in anecdote.  When the last person to know an ancestor dies, that ancestor leaves the sasha for the zamani, the dead...

(38)  Puritanism, as HL Mencken defined it, is "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."  

(101)  Nat Hentoff:  "Like they used to say of Fats Waller, whenever Dizzy came into a room he filled it.  He made people feel good, and he was the sound of surprise, even when his horn was in its case."

(105)  Dizzy Gillespie:  "Jazz musicians are just naturally peaceful people, because there's so much on there minds trying to figure this music out that they don't have time to be evil."

(106)  Sonny Rollins:  "Jazz has always been a music of integration.  In other words, there were definitely lines where blacks would be and where whites would begin to mix a little.  I mean, jazz was not just a music;  it was a social force in this country, and it was talking about freedom and people enjoying things for what they are and not having to worry about whether they were supposed to white, black, and all this stuff.  Jazz has always been the music that had this kind of spirit.  Now I believe for that reason, the people that could push jazz have not pushed jazz because that's what jazz means.  A lot of times, jazz means no barriers.  Long before sports broke down its racial walls, jazz was bringing people together on both sides of the bandstand.  Fifty-second Street, for all its shortcomings, was a place in which black and white musicians could interact in a way that led to natural bonds of friendship.  Teh audience, or at least part of it, took a cue from this, leading to an unpretentious flow of social intercourse."

Clark Terry
(147)  "Taking advantage of space and time, which is the lesson that Basie taught everybody:  the utilization of space and time...

"And there's something Ellington taught all of us:  Simplicity is the most complex form."

(148)  "We've got tens of thousands of professors in colleges who can teach the kids the square root of a B-flat chord...

"Everybody has to be taught, somewhere along the way.  In the beginning they all say, 'Where do we start?'  And you say, 'Listen.'  That was the only disciplinary word Ellington ever used.  He'd say, 'Listen!'  All he wanted us to do was pay attention.   He later explained that this is complex.  If you're playing in a section, you have to listen to what your lead player is playing, listen to the dynamics that he's using, listen to what the other sections are playing that contribute to the overall performance, all these things.  Teach 'em how to listen.  If they can listen, they can learn.

(94)  On May 15, 1953, Dizzy took part in a performance at Toronto's Massey Hall with Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach....  available as "The Quintet" (OJC-044) on Debut, a label of the Fantasy group

(95)  Dizzy in South America, Volumes I and II from Consolidated Artists Productions.  [This was a State Department Cultural Exchange tour.  Do we do that any more?]

(214)  September 1956 album called "After Midnight" with Nat King Cole, Stuff Smith, Wilie Smith, Sweets Edison, Juan Tizol, and Lee Young, Lester's brother.

(237)  July 18, 1952 session with Nat King Cole, John Collins, Charlie Harris, Jack Costanzo, and Bunny Shawker released as "Penthouse Serenade"

Originally posted to gmoke on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 07:33 PM PDT.


Aimez-vous Jazz?

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