Bill Evans

“It’s better to do something simple, which is real.  It can still be satisfactory, but it’s something you can build on because you know what you’re doing.  Whereas if you try to approximate something, which is very advanced, and don’t know what you’re doing, you can’t advance that, or build on it.”

“The simple things, the essences, are the great things, but our way of expressing them can be incredibly complex.  It’s the same thing with technique in music.  You try to express a simple emotion ... love, excitement, sadness ... and often your technique gets in the way.  It becomes an end in itself when it should really be only the funnel through which your feelings and ideas are communicated.  The great artist gets right to the heart of the matter.”

“Style’s the hardest thing to get, and it’s not something you really strive for.  I’m sure that Miles never really strived to be a stylist.  He just strived to be himself, to learn, to develop, and to express a strong, independent personality.  And at the end of it, it had an identity and that’s why he’s a stylist.  But somebody might say, “Wow, I could be a stylist by just reaching out and being strange,” or reaching out and being different, or novel, and of course that’s a mistake.”