Monday, April 02, 2007

"You want to get your ego out of the way."

Jazz pianist Bill Charlap on what it's all about for an artist:

People still worry about innovation and modernity a lot, but the best you can do as an artist, what you ought to do, is be yourself, here and now. If that self is avant-garde, so be it. But maybe who you are is something else. The things I like to listen to have purity and are balanced, and I hope my playing is getting more like that. More honest. Maybe that sounds pretentious, but I think jazz is all about being honest. About being who you are, never playing anything you don’t mean. At the same time, you’re not there to impress people. You want to get your ego out of the way. The music doesn’t need it. It’s never just about me. That’s the best I can say it—I’m trying to get out of the way. The less I’m in the way, the better the music is going to be and the more fun I’m going to have.

(See the quote in context at About Last Night)

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