Concerning Miles’ quest for continual change in his music, he wrote, “One of the reasons I like playing with a lot of young musicians today is because I find that a lot of old jazz musicians are lazy ‘mother-fletchers,’ resisting change and holding on to the old ways because they are too lazy to try something different. They listen to the critics, who tell them to stay where they are because that’s what they like.
The critics are lazy, too. They don’t want to try to understand music that’s different. The old musicians stay where they are and become like museum pieces under glass, safe, easy to understand, playing that tired old shit over and over again. Then they run around talking about electronic instruments and electronic musical voicing ‘screwing’ up the music and tradition. Well, I’m not like that and neither was Bird or Trane or Sonny Rollins or Duke or anybody who wanted to keep on creating. Bebop was about change, about evolution. It wasn’t about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change. Living is an adventure and a challenge.
When people come up to me and ask me to play something like ‘My Funny Valentine,’ some old thing that I might have done when they were ‘screwing’ this special girl and the music might have made them both feel good, I can understand that. But I tell them to go buy the record. I’m not there in that place any longer and I have to live for what is best for me and not what’s best for them.”
I Fall in Love Too Easily.