Some have claimed that this was written in Thelonious Monk's hand, but I did some digging about and found this:
from DO THE MATH:
In the past couple of days, an extraordinary number of thoughtful people have forwarded the following document to me, often with the suggestion that Thelonious Monk penned it himself...
I have confirmed with expert jazz historians; this is Steve Lacy's work, who played with Monk in 1960. Lacy's introduction to Thelonious Monk: His Life and Music uses the above material explicitly.
You can click the image to embiggen or read it here:
- Just because you’re not a drummer, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to keep time.
- Pat your foot and sing the melody in your head when you play.
- Stop playing all that bullshit, those weird notes, play the melody!
- Make the drummer sound good.
- Discrimination is important.
- You’ve got to dig it to dig it, you dig?
- All reet!
- Always know… (Monk)↩
- It must be always night, otherwise they wouldn’t need the lights.
- Let’s lift the band stand!!
- I want to avoid the hecklers.
- Don’t play the piano part, I am playing that. Don’t listen to me, I am supposed to be accompaning (sic) you!
- The inside of the tune (the bridge) is the part that makes the outside sound good.
- Don’t play everything (or everytime); let some things go by. Some music just imagined.
- What you don’t play can be more important than what you do play.
- A note can be small as a pin or as big as the world, it depends on your imagination.
- Stay in shape! Sometimes a musician waits for a gig & when it comes, he’s out of shape & can’t make it.
- When you are swinging, swing some more!
- (What should we wear tonight?) Sharp as possible!
↩ - Always leave them wanting more.
- Don’t sound anybody for a gig, just be on the scene.
- Those pieces were written so as to have something to play & to get cats interested enough to come to rehearsal!
- You've got it! If you don’t want to play, tell a joke or dance, but in any case, you got it! (to a drummer who didn’t want to solo).
- Whatever you think can’t be done, somebody will come along & do it. A genius is the one most like himself.
- They tried to get me to hate white people, but someone would always come along & spoil it.
found via Robot Wisdom X2