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Book’s Quotable Jazz

Jazz has always been filled with characters, the sorts of people who will speak their minds through their instruments as well as their mouths. Marshall Bowden’s new book, Quotable Jazz (Sound and Vision), collects some of the more memorable utterances from musicians’ pie-holes.

Organized by topics such as “Drinking: Straight, No Chaser,” “Insults & Feuds” and “What Is Jazz?” the books offers quick hits of wit and wisdom from throughout jazz history. Here are some nuggets to whet your whistles:

-Charlie Parker to Jean-Paul Sartre: “I’m very glad to have met you. I like your playing very much.”

-Chet Baker (pictured) on drugs: “If my habit hadn’t been illegal and expensive I might have been fine.”

-Gerry Mulligan on life on the road: “Life on the road is murder. It’s as though life begins and ends when you have your horn in your mouth.”

For more information, check out the publisher’s Web site at

Originally Published