18 February 2010

Gem from the Bargain Bin

I bought one of my favorite jazz books for $4 at the bargain table at a Barnes & Noble in the late-90s. The Jazz Musician, a collection of interviews with jazz musicians from the 1980s, was compiled from the pages of Musician Magazine (not this one). I would have never found out about had I not seen it on that table; it is one reason why I continue to shop at used book stores. A few excerpts are below after the jump.

Wayne Shorter, from "24 Shorter Solos," by David Breskin:
By the late sixties, we knew we were on the verge of something. Herbie said, "I don't know what to play no more." So Miles says, "Don't play nothin', Only play when you feel like it." So we'd be playing a piece of music, and Herbie's sitting there with his hands in his lap... then all of a sudden he'd play one sound, and Miles said, "That one sound you made was a bitch." So everybody saw something happening... and we began playing songs without chords.
Dizzy Gillespie, from "Dizzy Gillespie: The Lion In Winter," by Chip Stern:
"I was back in Cheraw [South Carolina] for a Dizzy Gillespie Day, and the mayor invited me to a cocktail party in his house," he recalls. "So I thought I'd get a haircut. I went into a barber shop in town, and the guy told me, 'We don't cut colored hair.' Ain't that a bitch? And I'm definitely the most well-known person ever to come out of Cheraw. I told the mayor that, and he was shocked: 'He can't do that.' Mmmmm."
Charlie Haden, from "Charlie Haden," by Rafi Zabor:
I went to Ornette's house and told him I'd heard him play the other night and that it was beautiful, and he said thanks, because he wasn't used to hearing someone say that to him, and the first time we played, I found myself able to play what I'd been hearing, though I did do some struggling. It was like jumping into a pool or a creek you've never been in before--there were growing pains, trying to find which notes sounded good against what he was playing. Experiencing a fear of something different than any other experience I'd ever had, and he had that clear, natural beautiful sound. It was like no other music in the world. That was in 1957.

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