Quotes from Duke Ellington

“I don’t need time, I need a deadline.”

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”

“There are 2 rules in life:
Number 1- Never quit
Number2- Never forget rule number 1.”

“I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.”

“It doesn’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing.”

“If it sounds good, it IS good.”

“Love is supreme and unconditional. Like is nice, but limited.”

“Music is the tonal reflection of beauty.”

“New York is a place where the rich walk, the poor drive Cadillac’s, and the beggars die of malnutrition with thousands of dollars hidden in their mattresses.”

“Music is my mistress, and she plays second fiddle to no one.”

“You can’t write music right unless you know how the man that’ll play it plays poker.”

“By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of man you wouldn’t want your daughter to associate with.”

“Jazz is the only unhampered, unhindered expression of complete freedom yet produced in this country.”


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