An excerpt from an interview I did with Dr. Barry Harris (Jazz Master) for The Live Music Report. (2007)
Dr. Harris, if one of the children asked you, what is this thing called jazz, what would you tell them?
“Oh no man, thankfully nobody laid that on me. If they did though, I’d just give them my favourite answer: I don’t know.”
When Dr. Harris says, “I don’t know,” it sounds jazzy, add sustain to the ends of the two last words and change notes, ascending a tone. He went on to tell me,
“One time this young cat says to me, you aren’t playing jazz. Oh my lord, if I’m not playing jazz what am I playing? If it doesn’t sound like what he’s used to hearing, then it’s not jazz, that’s sad. Another time this young cat asks me what I do, I tell him I’m a jazz musician.
Oh, I don’t like that kind of music he says. I said to him, you‘ve never heard me play; if you heard me play I can understand you saying I don’t like your music.
See man this is why we have to get on television. These cats don’t even know what jazz is, if it’s not on television.
When was the last time you saw a jazz musician on prime time TV? Probably years.”
To read the full interview and concert review visit; The Live Music Report Archives.