39 Total Quotes

Ornette Coleman Quotes

Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician #Jazz

It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician #Mistakes

I decided, if I'm going to be poor and black and all, the least thing I'm going to do is to try and find out who I am. I created everything about me.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

Actually, I have another record I made with them in 1976, but I've had such a bad experience with record companies, because I keep my head so much in music and not in business.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

Actually, when I was in elementary school, I saw a saxophone. A band came to my school, and I saw this guy get up and play this solo. And I said, 'Oh man, what is that! That must be fantastic!'
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

After I left Texas and went to California, I had a hard time getting anyone to play anything that I was writing, so I had to end up playing them myself. And that's how I ended up just being a saxophone player.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

All the things that human beings suffer from are how their environment treats them, and how the elements of their planet affects their mind and body - like radiation, cancer, and all.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

Even when you write it, someone's got to play it. So if you can play it and bypass all the rest of the things, you're still doing as great as someone that has spent forty years trying to find out how to do that. I'm really pro-human beings, pro-expression of everything.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I asked my mother could I have an instrument. She said, 'Well if you go out and save your money.' So I went and got - I made me a shine box. I went out and started shining shoes, and I'd bring whatever I made.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I don't know what they're thinking about. Just because someone says, 'I like what you do' or something: They might like it today and tomorrow they might not. I've had that experience with record companies.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I don't really live like a musician myself. I think music is just something that I do, but I'd like to be doing lots of other things. I like to cure all kinds of illness.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I had a really good time in New Orleans, although I had some very tragic times in Baton Rouge. Some guys beat me up and threw my horn away. 'Cause I had a beard, then, and long hair like the Beatles.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I mean, if you decided to go out today and get you an instrument and do whatever it is that you do, no one can tell you how you're going to do it but when you do it.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I remember once I read a book on mental illness and there was a nurse that had gotten sick. Do you know what she died from? From worrying about the mental patients not being able to get their food. She became a mental patient.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I remember once, we got an interview, and he said, 'Dad, these people are writing about me like I'm an adult. Don't they know I'm a kid?' I have never tried to encourage him to get a music image like other musicians have.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I think that there are lots of people that play music, but, basically, they have other things that are motivating them to play music.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I think that those elements - light and sound - are beyond democratic. They're into the creative part of life.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I think those things that are in food are all chemically disastrous when they are placed in the wrong contents where human beings are exposed to it.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I'm having this conversation with you now. I'm talking, but I'm thinking, feeling, smelling, and moving. Yet I'm concentrating on what you're saying. So that means there's more things going on in the body than just the present thing that the person's got you doing.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I've been playing with Blackwell over 20 years. We used to play when I first went to Los Angeles. Blackwell plays the drums as if he's playing a wind instrument. Actually, he sounds more like a talking drum.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I've had those people very interested in my writing. Since I think of myself as a composer, I feel really good. I've had lots of guys call me up. I've gotten two or three commissions to write things. I've written lots of movie scores.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

I've never had a relationship with a record executive. I always went to the record company by someone that liked my playing. Then they would get fired, and I'd be left with the record company. And then - because they got fired - the record company wouldn't do anything for me.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

If you decide you want to be treated good, and you treat someone else good, or you want to learn something, it's information. It's getting the right, good information.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

It just makes that person feel that what his work is is going to be more valid. But who wants to see a guy standing in front, looking like a bum, doing something that a bums don't do? This don't make sense.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

It seems to me that in the western world, culture has something to do with appearance. A person that's out creating good stuff has got to appreciate someone when they take the time to have an appearance that goes with what they're doing.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

It's just someone has labelled us as having a different label to do what you do. I find that labels are the worst thing in the world for artistic expression.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

Most of my relationships have been like that - with record companies. I've never had a legitimate business relationship with a company. I've always had a personal relationship with someone in the company.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician

Music is the say way. If you desire to play it or write it, then you have to get more information. But the end result is that you play music.
Ornette Coleman
#American Musician