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Yogi Berra Explains Jazz
Interviewer: What do expect is in store for the future of jazz guitar?
Yogi: I'm thinkin' there'll be a group of guys who've never met talkin'
about it all the time.
Interviewer: Can you explain jazz?
Yogi: I can't, but I will. 90% of all jazz is half improvisation. The
other half is the part people play while others are playing something
they never played with anyone who played that part. So if you play the
wrong part, its right. If you play the right part, it might be right
if you play it wrong enough. But if you play it too right, it's wrong.
Interviewer: I don't understand.
Yogi: Anyone who understands jazz knows that you can't understand it.
It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it.
Interviewer: Do you understand it?
Yogi: No. That's why I can explain it. If I understood it, I wouldn't
know anything about it.
Interviewer: Are there any great jazz player alive today?
Yogi: No. All the great jazz player alive today are dead. Except for
the ones that are still alive. But so many of them are dead, that the ones
that are still alive are dying to be like the ones that are dead. Some
would kill for it.
Interviewer: What is syncopation?
Yogi: That's when the note that you should hear now happens either before
or after you hear it. In jazz, you don't hear notes when they happen
because that would be some other type of music. Other types of music
can be jazz, but only if they're the same as something different from
those other kinds.
Interviewer: Now I really don't understand.
Yogi: I haven't taught you enough for you to not understand jazz that
— contributed by Bob Turner