W. o’ W.: Gene Lees

From “Meet Me at Jim & Andy’s: Jazz Musicians and Their World:”

“Aldous Huxley said that art is created in a state of relaxed tension. You must be relaxed enough to let the dreams flow, alert enough to know what to do with them, grab them out of the incorporeal air as they rush by and turn them into something that others can perceive and be moved by… Making jazz is a very naked thing to do.

“That anyone can do anything at all but stand there in paralyzed amazement when the chord changes are going by, that musicians can function with minimal premeditation and great creativity within the materials of a song’s structure, is more remakable than even the most expert practitioners themselves seem to appreciate. It requires both tremendous knowledge, whether intuitive or acquired, and the physical reflexes of an athlete. Jazz is not only one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of music, it is one of the most striking achievements in the history of human thought.”


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