Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"Self-Reliance" and jazz

There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"
I was obsessed with the idea that this is what you had to do--something that was your own, that had nothing to do with anybody else. But I was influenced by him, not in terms of notes but in terms of the idea of doing what you are, who you are.
Artie Shaw, on listening to Louis Armstrong at the Savoy Ballroom (from Ken Burns' Jazz)
Related posts
The day Louis Armstrong made noise
Invisible man: Louis Armstrong and the New York Times
Louis Armstrong's advice

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