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Then, of course, I played alto and tenor, wherever there were jobs.
– Gerry Mulligan
If you’ve only got one horn playing, I still want the sense of ensemble.
I like what I hear other guys doing, but the thing that really attracts me is melodic playing.
New York is still where I live most of the time.
Eliminating the piano means that I’ve always worked closer with the bass than most players.
When we’ve finished the current tour I’m going to go back to Italy and see if I can do some more writing.
In fact, I heard Bird first, and had got well into listening to him. You know, it’s the kind of accidental thing that awareness of a player is: what’s available, what somebody happens to play for you.
People are approaching electronic levels in music; although not all of it happens to tickle my fancy.
You can make a saxophone into an electric organ; you can do everything with it.
I’m fascinated with the electronic devices that we can mess around with.
Only the French, I guess, really use tenor and alto to any great extent in the orchestra.
The first reason for starting to do the symphony concerts was to play this new piece of mine.
In a way, I started out to be a baritone player.
Because if you’ve got the wit, you can make anything into a melody, ultimately.
It’s true I’ve always been attracted to the jazz band in an orchestral way, rather than a band way.
Miles Davis is one who writes songs when he plays.
The other saxophones, except as solo instruments, really don’t have much point in the orchestra.
When I began listening to saxophones, I was first attracted to Coleman Hawkins.
So I played alto for quite a while until I saved up the money for the baritone.
People talk about innovations and evolutions and that kind of thing; I don’t understand about that nonsense. It’s like, all instruments are there to use all the time.
Actually, it is a fact that I’ve been doing more writing than playing in recent years.
You start way down on a low B flat on the tuba and you have a chromatic scale; you can match the colours all the way up, till you get to the top of the trumpet.
The baritone can serve functions that the alto and tenor cannot, in orchestral voicing.
I’ve always wanted a C trumpet on top, to have that same kind of facility without shouting.
Now, the instrumentation in the jazz band and the jazz dance band has gone through many evolutions. For instance, in the ‘twenties the tradition was two or three saxophones.
This life of being a transient human being has gotten to a point when it’s very hard to bear.