“Each jazz musician is supposed to be a composer. Whether he is or not, I don’t know. I don’t listen to that many people. If I did, I probably wouldn’t play half as much to satisfy myself. As a youth I read a book by Debussy and he said that as soon as he finished a composition he had to forget it because it got in the way of his doing anything else new and different. And I believed him. I used to work with Tatum, and Tatum knew every tune written, including the classics, and I think it got in the way of his composition, because he wasn’t a Bud Powell. He wasn’t as melodically inventive as Bud. He was technically flashy and he knew so much music and so much theory that he couldn’t come up with anything wrong; it was just exercising his theory”.
– Charles Mingus –

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