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'the adventurous label'
The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD


Quotes - 'great moments in jazz'


At two minutes to five, fearing Milleran might be the first to move, he put out his hand noiselessly, furtively, and turned the knob on the radio set. The dial lit up, but for a few seconds no sound came. In the next room, for there was no door between it and the Premier’s study, the secretary got to her feet and at the very moment when she came tiptoing in, music blared out, a jazz tune in which the trumpets seemed to be challenging the noise of the storm.

Georges Simenon The President 1958 trans Daphne Woodward p17



Louder and louder Sabbath played the tapes, but even Goodman couldn't cancel it out - even Goodman, Krupa, Wilson, and Hampton in their heyday, breaking loose with "Running Wild," even Krupa opening dramatically out with the bass drum on that last great chorus couldn't obliterate Roseanna's eight-bar solo flourish. A wife going off like a siren. The second crazy wife. Was there any other kind? Not for him.

Philip Roth Sabbath's Theater 1995 p240



Sabbath bowed. There should have been music, behind him the slyly carnal old swing music, ushering Sabbath onto the stage there should have been life's most reliable pleasure, the innocent amusement of the B. G. sextet's "Ain't Misbehavin'," Slam Stewart playing the bass and the bass playing Slam...Instead there was a disembodied voice politely requesting that he identify himself.

Philip Roth Sabbath's Theater 1995 pp447-8



Actually, I heard her play the piano only once, in a roadhouse, in the afternoon. She went up on the bandstand, and the instrument may have been out of whack from use by jazz musicians; anyway it began to crash from the energy she turned loose on the keys, chords overreached and elements spilled. She abruptly quit and came back silent to the table, drops of sweat on her nose. She said, "This seems to be an off day." Well, I didn't care whether she could play or not, but to her it seemed important.

Saul Bellow The Adventures of Augie March 1953 p329



Together they listened to "Honeysuckle Rose", Goodman's boys jamming with half a dozen members of the Basie band. "This is jumpin'," Sabbath told her. "This is what's called a foot mover. Keeps your feet movin'....Hear that guitar back there? Notice how that rhythm section is driving them on?...Basie. Very lean piano playing....Hear that guitar there? Carryin' this thing....That's black music. You're hearin' black music now....Now you're going to hear a riff. That's James....Underneath all this is that steady rhythm section carrying this whole thing....Freddie Green on guitar....James. Always have the feeling he's tearing that instrument apart - you can hear it tear....This figure they're just dreaming up - watch them build it now....They're workin' their way into the ride-out. Here it comes. They're all tuned into each other....They're off. They're off....Well, what do you make of that?" Sabbath asked her.

"It's like the music in cartoons. You know, the cartoons for kids on TV?"

"Yes?" said Sabbath. "And it was thought to be hot stuff at the time."

Philip Roth Sabbath's Theater 1995 pp54-55



The trio - Benny, Krupa, Teddy Wilson's piano. "Body and Soul." Very dreamy, very danceable, just lovely, right down to the Krupa three-thump finale. Though Morty thought that Krupa's pyrotechnics were always ruining the damn thing. "Just let it swing," Morty would say. "Krupa is the worst thing that ever happened to Goodman. Too obtrusive," and Micky would repeat this as his own opinion at school. Morty would say, "Benny's never shy about taking up half the piece," and Micky would repeat that. "A beautiful clarinet player, nobody near him," and that, too, he repeated...He wondered if it might not soften up this German girl, the late-night languor-inducing beat and that tactful, torchy something in Goodman's playing, and so for three minutes he said nothing to her and, to the seductive coherence of "Body and Soul," the two drove on through the dark of the wooded hills. Nobody else abroad. Also seductive. He could take her anywhere. He could turn at Shear Shop Corner and take her up to Battle Mountain and strangle her to death in her tuxedo. Painting by Otto Dix.

Philip Roth Sabbath's Theater 1995 p56



Wally Collins sauntered. He had all time. He began to whistle a number, more than whistle, mentally transcribe into terms of the saxophone. And that got him, that and all, there was nothing like the deep bass notes of the sax, or the higher, climbing, shining ones for burning up the guts. This nightly burning of the guts was the raison d'etre of Wally Collins, a brief, orgasmic almost death under the glare of chromium, more important this than sex, though appreciated too, the pursuit of skin through lingerie. But nightly the bowels rose in a sad surge of saxophones, the skin eroded by white light, the mouth grown round and moist on a persistent note. He could feel his whole body shaped by a chord in music. His whole body writhed to burst its casing of black tailor's cloth. It drained the sockets of his eyes. By 2 a.m. these were bone-dry.

Patrick White The Living and The Dead 1941 p234



The music shot out. It made a great funnel of sound. It reproduced the funnel of the saxophone.

Patrick White The Living and The Dead 1941 p257




Teaching the piano at Happy Valley put (Alys Browne) in a pretty good position. She could have gone about with Mrs Belper if she liked. And it was partly because she didn't that Mrs Belper said she was neurotic.

Patrick White Happy Valley 1939 p40



" here I am afloat in a vast salt ocean and have been for one month now, without having seen nothing but a (sic) circular horizon...I have tried drinking, staying up all night, painting in watercolour, climbing to dangerous heights in the rigging - in short everything but masturbation. Hasten to add that of the two ladies present only one is attractive to me and she is in love, rather spiritually, with our host. Oh, yes, I have also tried playing jazz records on the victor. Don't ever try that if you're cooped up in a small escapeless place. The tune begins the next morning in your head and continues with the rhythm of the engines for from thirteen to sixteen days running, at the end of which time you jump overboard (tomorrow)"

From Walker Evans' letter to Hanns Skolle 1932 in James R Mellow Walker Evans 1999 p160


I have learned as much about writing about my people by listening to blues and jazz and spirituals as I have from reading novels. The understatements in the tenor saxophone of Lester Young, the crystal, haunting, forever searching sounds of John Coltrane, and the softness and violence of Count Basie's big band--all have fired my imagination as much as anything in literature.

Ernest J Gaines 1991



The introduction of a new kind of music must be shunned as imperiling the whole state, for styles of music are never disturbed without affecting the most important political institutions ...The new style, gradually gaining a lodgement, quietly insinuates itself into manners and customs, and there it...goes on to attack laws and constitutions, displaying the utmost impudence, until it ends by overturning everything.

Plato Republic



"And yet - he could not tell why - their laughter irritated him, like a noisy child or a disc of jazz"

Graham Greene A Burnt-Out Case 1960 p9



"When you sleep, you snore like a jazz band"

Fathy Ghanem The Man Who Lost His Shadow 1966 p208


Orpheus, the divine musician who finds in jazz a non-Homeric way of getting past the Sirens.

EV Rieu Introduction to his translation of Apollonius of Rhodes The Voyage of Argo 1958 p18



Someone in the modern jazz cafe had summed him up by saying that if you took a running jump at him, you'd find that you'd gone straight through him and out the other side...

Yukio Mishima Raisin Bread 1963 p15 in Acts of Worship - Seven Stories