"Actually, when I was in elementary school, I saw a saxophone. A band came to my school, and I saw this guy get up and play this solo. And I said; Oh man, what is that! That must be fantastic!"
  1. Ramblin' (1960)
  2. "Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time. It's the hidden things, the subconscious that lies in your body and let's you know: you feel this, you play this."
    - Coleman, in "Music in a New Found Land," 1964
  3. The Jungle is a Skyscraper (1971)
  4. "Very seldom in rhythm instruments do you hear rhythm sounding like language. I think that's a very old tradition, because the drums, in the beginning, used to be like the telephone - to carry the message."
    - Coleman praising drummer Ed Blackwell
  5. "I never thought of myself as being a person that just dealt with music and everything else was irrelevant. I like the involvement of bringing things into existence that better the life of people. I love that concept. And whatever it's called, to me that's art."
    - Coleman in an interview with Robert Palmer in The Atlantic, 1972
  6. "I'll tell you, man, I'm so tired of feeling that being black in America has something to do with not being white in America that I find I can no longer be involved in social functions that have to do with intellectualism or art or racial questions."
    - Coleman in the same 1972 interview. The whole thing is worth a read: http://theatln.tc/1GBpewG
  7. Lonely Woman (1959)
  8. "One day, during my lunch break, I came across a gallery where someone had painted a very rich white woman who had absolutely everything you could desire in life, and she had the most solitary expression in the world. I had never been confronted with such solitude, and when I got back home, I wrote a piece that I called 'Lonely Woman'."
    -Coleman in conversation with Jacques Derrida (!!!)
  9. Desert Players (1988)
  10. "I decided, if I'm going to be poor and black and all, the least thing I'm going to do is to try and find out who I am. I created everything about me."
    - Coleman in an interview in The New York Times, 1991
  11. "How can I turn emotion into knowledge? That's what I try to do with my horn."
    - Coleman in Esquire, 2009
  12. Beauty is a Rare Thing (1961)