I’d been in love before – I was always in love.
A great song can make a terrible singer sound good, but a good singer – you put a great song on top of that, you’re really in great shape!
You Make Your Mistakes To Learn How To Get To The Good Stuff.
I don’t remember feeling love.
Count Basie practically adopted me at 13. We became closer and closer and I ended up conducting for him and Sinatra.
I’m a great believer in letting lyrics just flow out, wherever they come from.
I started imagining this whole different world. It was a society of musicians, a family I hoped I could belong to one day.
I never felt like I had a mother.
Did you know you would become as successful as you have? Hell, no. But you know what? You were prepared, baby.
China’s got a billion people and a hit record over there is a million records. You know that ain’t right.
A song should have all the color and beauty of every rose.
My dream is to put together a performance of the evolution of black music with Cirque du Soleil . I would also like to do street opera and children’s books. But even as I work toward these things, I want to simplify my life.
My earliest memories are being pinned to a fence with a switchblade.
I found this out over the years, that racism is a thinly veiled disguise over economics and money. It really is.
The process is the most beautiful part.
It’s the attitude about life, man. Looking at the light instead of the dark. Looking at love instead of fear.
Young people should travel, and they don’t. You can’t know if you don’t go.
All guys get into music because they love music and they also want to get the girls.
My grandmother had this high-tech security system – a rusty nail she used to lock the door.
The only music I don’t like is bad music.
I’m just a musician and a record producer.
A lot of the guys were like that – Oscar Pettiford – they just took me under their wing, and that’s why I automatically help young people. I just love it, because they did that for me.
Let’s not get too full of ourselves. Let’s leave space for God to come into the room.
The act of multitrack recording is the act of arranging.
Every day, my daddy told me the same thing. ‘Once a task is just begun, never leave it till it’s done. Be the labour great or small, do it well or not at all.’
I was raised in Chicago and I guess that was one of the special breeding grounds for gangsters of all colors. That was the Detroit of the gangster world. The car industry was thugs.
Playing the game, and unfortunately, playing the gangster game is very profitable.