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Quotes of the Day for 21 August 2003 – Jazz

William Basie was born at Red Bank, New Jersey on this day in 1904. He wanted to play the drums in high school, but lost that seat to Sonny Greer (who went on to play for Duke Ellington for 31 years) so he took up the piano. Playing as Bill Basie in a Kansas City club, the announcer thought the name was too ordinary for a performer of his talent. Since there were already well-known band leaders named Earl Hines and Duke Ellington, it fit to give the pianist a title: Count Basie. Here are some quotes on Jazz.

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The quotes:

Jazz is the big brother of the blues. If a guys playing blues like we play, he's in high school. When he starts playing jazz it's like going on to college, to a school of higher learning.
     - B. B. King

It seems to me monstrous that anyone should believe that the jazz rhythm expresses America. Jazz rhythm expresses the primitive savage.
     - Isadora Duncan, 1878 - 1927

It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theaters, etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands.
     - George Santayana, 1863 - 1952

Blues is like the roux in a gumbo. People ask me if jazz always has the blues in it. I say, if it sounds good it does.
     - Wynton Marsalis

If you play a tune and a person don't tap their feet, don't play the tune.
     - Count Basie, 1904 - 1984

By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with.
     - Duke Ellington, 1899 - 1974

Life is a lot like jazz ... it�s best when you improvise.
     - George Gershwin, 1898 - 1937


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