Branford Marsalis quotes

  • If you listen to a lot of the songs that are popular now, there's very little melody in there. People love the beat. But to musicians, it's melody, because we understand how elusive it is and how hard it is to hold.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Song #People #Musician

  • The whole point is, give me a break with the standards. You go to the average jazz label and suggest a record and they want to know which standards you're going to play. I'm saying let's break the formula.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Play #Average #Giving

  • That's kind of like how jazz is sometimes. You're out there predicting the future, and no one believes you.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Believe #Jazz #Kind

  • I don't care who likes it or buys it. Because if you use that criterion, Mozart would have never written Don Giovanni, Charlie Parker never would have played anything but swing music. There comes a point at which you have to stand up and say, this is what I have to do.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Swings #Use #Care

  • Humans are imperfect. That's one of the reasons that classical and jazz are in trouble. We're on the quest for the perfect performance and every note has to be right. Man, every note is not right in life.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Men #Perfect #Quests

  • Pop doesn't really look back. It can't. What makes pop work is simplicity.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Music #Simplicity #Looks

  • You don't know what you like, you like what you know. In order to know what you like, you have to know everything.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Music #Order #Like You

  • My job is to write songs that have emotional meaning to me.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Music #Song #Jobs

  • So much of Jazz doesn't have an audience other than music students or musicians.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Music #Jazz #Students

  • Jazz is so incestuous that it's starting to kill itself.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Music #Jazz #Starting

  • A lot of musicians have a tough time hearing what we're doing in a trio format.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Tough Times #Musician #Hearing

  • If youre going to use standards as criteria for signing musicians, you can sign thousands. If youre going to use some sort of conceptual interpretation thats based on the tradition of those standards, but is trying to move away from it, youre down to about 10 people or so.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Moving #People #Trying

  • I'm not going to play funk licks on a jazz album. That makes no sense.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Play #Albums #Jazz

  • The piano is the X factor. People have a tough time following the structures when there's no piano there, spelling it out. It makes it more easily understood, particularly to people who don't know as much about music.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Piano #People #Tough Times

  • We all played bad before we played good.
    -- Branford Marsalis

  • Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Voice #Homework #Findings

  • My dad was a musician, it was just what he did, like another guy's dad drives a meat truck. Our house was normal. We weren't taken with the fact our dad was a musician.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Dad #Taken #House

  • We played it as long as we could play it on that CD and I think it might be 50 minutes, maybe. What you have to do is play a couple of songs and then get off the stage because everything that trails it sounds stupid.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Song #Couple #Stupid

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

    #Player #Jazz #Unfortunate

  • The lion's share of what I hear right now are people who, intentional or accidental, have avoided all jazz prior to 1960. And all the musicians who were successful in the '60s spent their entire lives, prior to 1960, listening to all the musicians these people avoid.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Successful #People #Listening

  • There's not one Tin Pan Alley song on my record.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Song #Tin #Records

  • One of the things that's clear to me from interviews that I've read is that the more popular successful jazz musicians had audiences above and beyond the music community.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Successful #Community #Musician

  • I gave up my base in popular culture when I left the Tonight Show.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Culture #Tonight #Gave Up

  • I like to make records sound good. I'm more like a reducer than a producer. If an artist cannot produce themselves, what's the point?
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Artist #Sound #Records

  • I think that if you keep banging at the door all you need is a little foothold, a little tiny foothold, and then the rest will take care of itself.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Thinking #Doors #Needs

  • If I were like a lot of other people, then it wouldn't be fun; but since I'm like me, it's okay.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Fun #People #Okay

  • If it's not going to sound like Terrapin Station, what's the point of playing Terrapin Station?
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Sound

  • We have something that is unique. We have our craft. We have our art. We have our desire.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Art #Unique #Desire

  • Walter Beasley is an anomaly: a successful performing musician who possesses the rare skill of understanding the musical process beyond the intuitive. This special ability enables Walter to communicate with aspiring musicians in a way that removes the sense of mystery that sometimes enshrouds our profession.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Successful #Skills #Understanding

  • Coltrane came to New Orleans one day and he was talking about the jazz scene. And Coltrane mentions that the problem with jazz was that there were too few groups.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #New Orleans #Talking #New Day

  • What is jazz? It, It's almost like asking, What is French? Jazz is a musical language. It's a musical dialect that actually embodies the spirit of America.
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #America #Musical #Asking

  • When you're dealing with music without words, titles are more a means of identification than anything else. What's the point of getting lofty?
    -- Branford Marsalis

    #Mean #Titles #Identification