Sonny Rollins quotes

  • I want to be connecting with the subconscious, if I can call it that, because there are not to many words to describe the real deep inner part of a human beingI want to be at that place where everything is blotted out and where creativity happens, and to get there I practice, you know I'm a prolific practicer, I still practice every dayYou have to have the skills, then you want to not think when you're playing, that's when you let whatever deep level of creativity, spirituality, I mean, you know these words are so inadequate these days but you want to get to this place where they exist.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Real #Creativity #Mean

  • Music represents nature. Nature represents life. Jazz represents nature. Jazz is life.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music #Jazz

  • I miss playing with Miles. I did play with him a little while before he left the planet, but even at that time I longed to maybe do some things together.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Play #Missing #Together

  • I feel that Jazz improvisation is the ultimate. You have to create on the spot, the essence of this music.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music #Essence #Jazz Improvisation

  • I hate music. I wasted my life.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Hate #I Hate

  • I have always been a person who is concerned with the dignity of jazz music and the way jazz musicians have been treated and are treated, and the fact that the music has not been given the kind of due that it deserves.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Way #Facts #Musician

  • My mother came from St. Thomas. I heard that melody and all I did was actually adapt it. I made my adaptation of sort of an island traditional melody. It did become sort of my trademark tune.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Mother #Islands #Tunes

  • Jazz is the type of music that can absorb so many things and still be jazz.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music #Jazz #Type

  • No one is original. Everyone is derivative.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music #Derivatives

  • It's all about creation and surprise. It just needs to be appreciated and watered like flowers. You have to water flowers. These peaks will come again.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Flower #Water #Needs

  • Even the most jingoistic person would have to admit that even American cultural music comes from Europe. That's what classical music is, real European music.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Real #Europe #Classical Music

  • The thing is this: When I play, what I try to do is to reach my subconscious level. I don't want to overtly think about anything, because you can't think and play at the same time - believe me, I've tried it (laughs).
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music #Believe #Thinking

  • One very important thing I learned from Monk was his complete dedication to music. That was his reason for being alive. Nothing else mattered except music, really.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music #Dedication #Important

  • What I am more concerned about is whether our whole civilization will be around in the next 25 years.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Civilization #Years #Next

  • I think music should be judged on what it is. It should be very high and above everything else. It is a beautiful way of bringing people together, a little bit of an oasis in this messed-up world.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Beautiful #Thinking #Oasis

  • I am interested in my music lasting only while I'm alive. I'm not writing for the future.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Writing #Alive #Lasting

  • How ironic that the Negro, who more than any other people can claim America's culture as his own, is being persecuted and repressed; that the Negro, who has exemplified the humanities in his very existence, is being rewarded with inhumanity.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #America #People #Humanity

  • America is deeply rooted in Negro culture: its colloquialisms; its humor; its music.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #America #Culture

  • There was a period which I refer to as the 'Golden Age of Jazz,' which sort of encompasses the middle Thirties through the Sixties, we had a lot of great innovators, all creating things which will last the world for a long, long time.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Creating #Long #Age

  • Jazz never ends... it just continues.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Jazz #Ends

  • I enjoy playing clubs. I still enjoy the closeness of the nightclub venue. However, after a certain period of time and after playing around some of the clubs in New YorkI felt that jazz should be presented in a more prestigious atmosphere.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Atmosphere #Clubs #Jazz

  • I am a person who thinks about the music first in trying to achieve something musically valid.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Thinking #Trying #Firsts

  • There have been many great musicians that, Clifford Brown is one great example, I mean he died very early, 25.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Mean #Musician #Example

  • I have seen great jazz musicians die obscure and drinking themselves to death and not really being able to get any work and working in small, funky jazz clubs.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Drinking #Clubs #Able

  • I've played with all of the heavyweights in the modern jazz, progressive jazz movement. I've been fortunate enough to play with them, a who's who. All of those guys, I've been fortunate enough to have performed with.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Play #Guy #Heavyweights

  • Charlie Parker stuck out in my mind.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Mind #Stuck #Charlie

  • I think what we need is a more welcoming mode from the people who put on a hundred million country-western shows on television. How about a monthly jazz show?
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Country #Thinking #People

  • Jazz has an audience all around the globe and has had for many decades, I think speaking of the United States, let's say that what we need is more of an official recognition.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Thinking #Sea #Needs

  • I'm now a legend, whether I want to be or not.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music #Legends #Want

  • Improvisation is the ability to create something very spiritual, something of one's own.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music #Spiritual #Ability

  • I simply want to reach a level where I will never cease to make progress...so that, even on the bad evenings, I may never be bad enough to despair.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music #Despair #Progress

  • We have to make ourselves as perfect as we can.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Perfect

  • I'm not supposed to be playing, the music is supposed to be playing me. I'm just supposed to be standing there with the horn, moving my fingers. The music is supposed to be coming through me; that's when it's really happening.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music #Moving #Jazz

  • Many jazz artists go to L.A. seeking a more comfortable life and then they really stop playing.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music #Artist #Jazz

  • I think the problem starts with the general appreciation of the music in the larger society.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Appreciation #Thinking #Problem

  • But if I didn't have to make money, I would still play my horn.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Play #Horny #Making Money

  • You had many jazz musicians who lived in the United States, who had a hard time being accepted over here and had to play in sort of these inferior type dives.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Hard Times #Play #United States

  • I feel that L.A. has not always been my strongest base for support. That can be for various reasons.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Support #Reason #Feels

  • I'll know when I find the ultimate sound.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Sound #Ultimate

  • I guess I'm fortunate that I'm still around and I emphasize 'I guess', because you never can tell what musicians would be playing had they been around as long as I have.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Long #Would Be #Musician

  • I think as long as people are around and can hear a record and hear people like Lester Young on a recording, there will always be a great inspiration for somebody to try to create jazz.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Inspiration #Thinking #Long

  • I think we are in the midst of this period where we are committing this suicide on the planet and everybody is just using up all of our natural resources like a bunch of insane people. That's what I worry about more than I worry about jazz.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Suicide #Thinking #Worry

  • I'm fortunate that I'm making a living at it now because I'm not equipped to do anything else.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Music

  • I don't want to appear hostile, like I'm hostile to L.A. or that I feel that the people don't appreciate jazz. I don't think it's that. I think it's something more. It's something a little bit more complicated than that.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Thinking #Appreciate #People

  • Europeans really provided many venues over there and hailed the jazz artists, and a lot of musicians went over there and stayed over there for a long time. A lot of them moved over there, lived over there, and died over there.
    -- Sonny Rollins

    #Artist #Long #Musician