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Few rappers realize the genre sprang from West African griots through Delta slave songs to jazz poetry and the comedic trash talk of 'the dozens.'
Before I became a writer, I was running a jazz bar in the center of Tokyo, which means that I worked in filthy air all the time late into the night. I was very excited when I started making a living out of my writing, and I decided, 'I will live in nothing but an absolutely healthy way.'
From the food to the Mardi Gras Indians to the brass bands and the second liners parading through the street, Jazz Fest presents New Orleans in one place.
I have met some very strange people and some very strange cats - and I'm not talking about jazz greats. I'm talking about animals that people claim have come from outer space, and boy, they're weird!
Musically, I try not to box things in. I try to just play around this spectrum of influences: soul, jazz, and hip-hop.
I was in punk rock bands, heavy metal bands, world music bands, jazz groups, any type of music that would take me. I just love music.
I'm comfortable singing jazz. The only thing I was concerned about is that everybody, even in jazz, has their own style. To me, the queen of doodling was Ella Fitzgerald, and scatting is something I never thought I could do.
The beauty of jazz is that it's malleable. People are addressing it to suit their own personalities.
I always hated jazz guitar. I loved jazz saxophone but I hated jazz guitar. If I would buy an organ trio record I would make sure I'd buy one that did not have a guitar player on it. The sound was awful!
To most white people, jazz means black and jazz means dirt, and that's not what I play. I play black classical music.
Well I went to New Orleans to cover the jazz festival for Trio, it's this new arts channel, it's really great.
In the Bay Area, there was a resurgence of Dixieland jazz in the '40s - there was the Frisco Jazz Band, and Lu Watters and the Yerba Buena Jazz Band.
I read every book there was on jazz, about the original players - King Oliver, Buddy Bolden and all those groups. At one time I was fairly well schooled in that... I could tell you who played where and when, historically, way before my time.
It never gets boring for me because there's so many different things to explore in the studio. The studio's become the sanctuary that people have come in and found new things out about themselves, as weird as that sounds. But it's true, I'm no different. I've made some crazy hard records, and I've made a jazz album.
To my ears, jazz sounds better in warm weather and after the sun has gone down. While I will listen to some of my favorite jazz records in cooler weather, it's the warmer nights that really make them come alive. Something about those sounds and the heat of the night really makes it happen for me.
My audience went, 'Wait, why is she singing jazz? What's going on?' And then they went, 'Oh, because she can. Because she loves it.' And jazz, a music invented by the African-American community, is the greatest art form, I believe, to have ever come out of this country.
My thing was, I loved music. I played music: I played the saxophone. So the little bit of music knowhow I had, I tried to implement that in every thing I did, from my style, my cadence, the way I tried to pause and stagnate it; that all came from John Coltrane and listening to jazz albums. Trying to rhyme like a jazz player.
I, of course, wanted to play real jazz. When we played pop tunes, and naturally we had to, I wanted those pops to kick! Not loud and fast, understand, but smoothly and with a definite punch.
Boxing is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it.
Jazz will endure just as long people hear it through their feet instead of their brains.
John Philip Sousa
That's why I loved Dinah Washington. She sung jazz, but they called her the Queen of the Blues. She had the control and sophistication of jazz in her note selection and how to attack a song or certain lines, but then attacked it with a painful force of blues behind it. That's why I admired her so much, because of that versatility.
I'm not really a country singer, although I did make a couple albums and love its simple, straight-from-the-heart approach, but I have always sung a lot of jazz, show tunes, pop tunes, gospel and blues.
If there was no black man there would be no Rock'n'Roll. The beat, the rhythms of Africa are what created Rock'n'Roll and Jazz.
Jazz is there and gone. It happens. You have to be present for it. That simple.
'Salt' is like this snapshot in midair, an action shot. It's about my relationship with the church, the classical and choral music that I dealt with in school, and my new introduction to jazz. It's very hard for me to listen to from beginning to end, because I hear how lost I was.
Diplomacy is like jazz: endless variations on a theme.
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