Duke Ellington Quotes
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There are 2 rules in life: Number 1- Never quit Number2- Never forget rule number 1.
Music, of course, is what I hear and something that I more or less live by. It's not an occupation or profession, it's a compulsion.
A problem is a chance for you to do your best.
There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.
If you have a great band with a mediocre drummer, you have a mediocre band. If you have a mediocre band with a great drummer, you have a great band!
The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen.
Everyone prays in their own language, and there is no language that God does not understand.
You have to stop listening in categories. The music is either good or it's bad.
I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.
Love is supreme and unconditional; like is nice but limited.
You've got to find a way of saying it without saying it.
There are two kinds of worries - those you can do something about and those you can't. Don't spend any time on the latter.
Simplicity is a most complex form
There is nothing to keeping a band together. You simply have to have a gimmick, and the gimmick I use is to pay them money!
Music is the tonal reflection of beauty.
A goal is a dream with a finish line.
Playing 'bop' is like playing Scrabble with all the vowels missing.
I never had much interest in the piano until I realized that every time I played, a girl would appear on the piano bench to my left and another to my right.
Love is indescribable and unconditional. I could tell you a thousand things that it is not, but not one that it is. Either you have it or you haven't; there's no proof of it.
Be a number one yourself. And not a number two somebody else.
There is hardly any money interest in art, and music will be there when money is gone.
By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with.
Roaming through the jungle of "Ohs" and "Ahs", searching for a more agreeable noise, I live a life of primitivity with the mind of a child and an unquenchable thirst for sharps and flats.
Jazz today, as always in the past, is a matter of thoughtful creation, not mere unaided instinct.
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
Fate is being kind to me. Fate doesn't want me to be too famous too young.
Sing sweet, but put a little dirt in it.
Self-discipline, as a virtue or an acquired asset, can be invaluable to anyone.
Music is my mistress and she plays second fiddle to no one.
New music? Hell, there's been no new music since Stravinsky.
Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous, you don't want it.
The wise musicians are those who play what they can master.
What does music mean to you? What would you do without music?
There is no art without intention.
People do not retire. They are retired by others.
The Europeans who went to Africa came back with “modern' art. What is more African than a Picasso?
If it sounds good and feels good, then it IS good!
Create, and be true to yourself, and depend only on your own good taste.
My attitude is never to be satisfied, never enough, never.
I don’t believe in categories of any kind, and when you speak of problems between blacks and whites in the U.S.A. you are referring to categories again.
The artist must say it without saying it.
A musical profit outweighs a financial loss.
A Satin Doll is a woman who is as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside.
Problems are chances for us to do our best.
Every man prays in his own language.
Jazz is a good barometer of freedom.
Selfishness can be a virtue. Selfishness is essential to survival, and without survival we cannot protect those whom we love more than ourselves.
Tomorrow is in the wings waiting for you to sound her entrance fanfare.
I don't need time. What I need is a deadline!
My biggest kick in music -playing or writing- is when I have a problem. Without a problem to solve, how much interest do you take in anything?