Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer considered “one of the giants of American music”. Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including “Epistrophy”, “‘Round Midnight”, “Blue Monk”, “Straight, No Chaser” and “Well, You Needn’t”. Monk is the second most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed over 1,000 songs while Monk wrote about 70. #

15 Quotes

  • I say, play your own way. Don’t play what the public wants. You play what you want and let the public pick up on what you’re doing? even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years.

  • Wrong is right.

  • I don’t conside myself a musician who has achieved perfection and can’t develop any further. But I compose my pieces with a formula that I created myself. Take a musician like John Coltrane. He is a perfect musician, who can give expression to all the possibilities of his instrument. But he seems to have difficulty expressing original ideas on it. That is why he keeps looking for ideas in exotic places. At least I don’t have that problem, because, like I say, I find my inspiration in myself.

  • I like to sleep. There is no set time of day for sleep. You sleep when you’re tired, that’s all there is to it.

  • Well, I enjoy doing it. That’s all I wanted to do anyway. I guess, you know, if I didn’t make it with the piano, I guess I would have been the biggest bum.

  • Those who want to know what sound goes into my music should come to NY and open their ears.

  • I say, play your own way. Don’t play what the public want ? you play what you want and let the public pick up on what you doing ? even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years.

  • I’m famous. Ain’t that a bitch?

  • Where’s jazz going? I don’t know? Maybe it’s going to hell. You can’t make anything go anywhere. It just happens.

  • Miles’d got killed if he hit me.

  • At this time the fashion is to bring something to jazz that I reject. They speak of freedom. But one has no right, under pretext of freeing yourself, to be illogical and incoherent by getting rid of structure and simply piling a lot of notes one on top of the other. There’s no beat anymore. You can’t keep time with your foot. I believe that what is happening to jazz with people like Ornette Coleman, for instance, is bad. There’s a new idea that consists in destroying everything and find what’s shocking and unexpected; whereas jazz must first of all tell a story that anyone can understand.

  • I don’t know where jazz is going. Maybe it’s going to hell. You can’t make anything go anywhere. It just happens.

  • A genius is the one most like himself.

  • Just because you’re not a drummer doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep time.

  • I didn’t know there were 2 ten o’clocks in a day…

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