— Charles Mingus American jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader 1922 - 1979
An Open Letter To Miles Davis (1955)
Kontext: I think my own way. I don't think like you and my music isn't meant just for the patting of feet and going down backs. When and if I feel gay and carefree, I write or play that way. When I feel angry I write or play that way — or when I'm happy, or depressed, even.
Just because I'm playing jazz I don't forget about me. I play or write me, the way I feel, through jazz, or whatever. Music is, or was, a language of the emotions. If someone has been escaping reality, I don't expect him to dig my music, and I would begin to worry about my writing if such a person began to really like it. My music is alive and it's about the living and the dead, about good and evil. It's angry, yet it's real because it knows it's angry.