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Charles Davis: Sweet Storyteller

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As for the future of jazz from his spot as a veteran musician, Davis isn’t dissuaded. The music has been through tough times and will continue to persevere.

“It was supposed to have been squashed years ago, with the onset of bebop. But as long as you have records of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis and Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, the young kids make new discoveries. The younger kids are into it, so I think it will be around for a long time.”

His advice to those who are coming up that will keep the flame?

“It’s a language, a dialect, a dialog. You have to learn that. Once you learn the scales, that’s one thing. But it’s the way the scales are put together in the form of a solo, for improvisation. It’s a dialect you have to learn. Some people say you just play, but you don’t just play. You have to learn what to say. Lester Young would put it: You have to learn how to tell a story.”


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