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Famous Quotes
Duke Ellington
(1899-1974)
American jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, and one of the originators of big-band jazz



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"Roaming through the jungle of 'oohs' and 'ahs', searching for a more agreeable noise, I live a life of primitivity with the mind of a child and an unquenchable thirst for sharps and flats."
-- Duke Ellington

"It's like an act of murder; you play with intent to commit something."
-- Duke Ellington

"By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with."
-- Duke Ellington

"Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous, you don't want it."
-- Duke Ellington

"It's like an act of murder; you play with intent to commit something."
-- Duke Ellington, on swing

"I fluffed off the guy who kept requesting tunes all night, then found out he was the King's son."
-- Duke Ellington, referring to the British royal, George, duke of Kent""

"Count Basie was college but Duke Ellington was graduate school."
-- Clark Terry

"I don't need time. What I need is a deadline!"
-- Duke Ellington


"The word [jazz] never lost its association with those New Orleans bordellos. In the 1920s I used to try to convince Fletcher Henderson that we ought to call what we were doing 'Negro music'. But it's too late for that now."
-- Duke Ellington





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Author: David Paul Wagner
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