What is Jazz?

“The spirit of jazz is the spirit of openness…  It’s not exclusive, but inclusive, which is the whole spirit of jazz… One thing I like about jazz is that it emphasized doing things differently from what other people were doing.” – Herbie Hancock

“Jazz is a mental attitude rather than a style. It uses a certain process of the mind expressed spontaneously through some musical instrument. I’m concerned with retaining that process.” – Bill Evans

“Life is a lot like jazz. It’s best when you improvise… Jazz is one of the best things you can find in your life, it can always be your friend.” – George Gershwin

“It’s like a language. You learn the alphabet, which are the scales. You learn sentences, which are the chords. And then you talk extemporaneously with the horn. It’s a wonderful thing to speak extemporaneously, which is something I’ve never gotten the hang of. But musically I love to talk just off the top of my head. And that’s what jazz music is all about.” – Stan Getz

“Jazz to me is a living music. It’s a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes, of the people.” – Dexter Gordon

“Actually, I’m not interested in Zen that much, as a philosophy, nor in joining any movements. I don’t pretend to understand it. I just find it comforting. And very similar to jazz. Like jazz, you can’t explain it to anyone without losing the experience. It’s got to be experienced, because it’s feeling, not words.” – Bill Evans

“Jazz isn’t like pop… jazz is like classical music. If people like you, they’ll remember you and you’ll last forever.” – Freddie Hubbard

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