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AN IMMORTALITY FORMULA 



“When we are young we are often puzzled by the fact that each person we admire seems to have a different version of what life ought to be, what a good man is, how to live, and so on. If we are especially sensitive it seems more than puzzling, it is disheartening. What most people usually do is to follow one person's ideas and then another's depending on who looms largest on one's horizon at the time. The one with the deepest voice, the strongest appearance, the most authority and success, is usually the one who gets our momentary allegiance; and we try to pattern our ideals after him. But as life goes on we get a perspective on this and all these different versions of truth become a little pathetic. Each person thinks that he has the formula for triumphing over life's limitations and knows with authority what it means to be a man, and he usually tries to win a following for his particular patent. Today we know that people try so hard to win converts for their point of view because it is more than merely an outlook on life: it is an immortality formula.”
—Ernest Becker

A PERSONAL VOICE — Art Farmer on the Jazz Life 


"Enjoyment is not such a constant in music as some people think. It's not that I actually enjoy what I do every night, or every set, or every song. I enjoy the quest — but the attainment is a very fleeting thing, and it happens rarely."

"There's no reason for people to stop listening to jazz or to stop playing jazz. Or to stop playing jazz the way they want to play it. I think we should play exactly what we want to play, and do it the best way we can. That's all that we are obliged to do."

"It's not just about the flugelhorn. The players that I love the most are the ones who transcend the instrument. The instrument is just an instrument. It's what the person is playing that counts the most. Of course, that calls for a very deep personal commitment. To be thought of, not just as a horn player, but primarily as a musician — that's the greatest thing to me.  A personal voice is what it's all about. It takes some people more time than others to find this voice. And once you find it, you still have to work at it."

"Sometimes it seems so easy, like the music is just flowing through you. It's not coming from you but through you. It's just there. And you can't make these times happen, so you just have to enjoy them when they do. You can't wait for them to happen, either, you know. You have to go ahead and play your horn. You have to put yourself in a position for these miracles to happen. And when they don't, there's no need to cry about it. Because you never know...it just might happen the next day."

—Art Farmer
(Photos by Lee Tanner)

THREE FROM BRUCE LEE 


"Do not be tense, just be ready, not thinking but not dreaming,
not being set but being flexible. It is being wholly and quietly alive,
aware and alert, ready for whatever may come."

"Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless,
and add what is specifically your own."

"It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost
with the minimum."