Don’t know if this is apocryphal, but I have heard parts of it quoted to me enough times that I’m willing to assume that most of it is 90% true.
Yogi Berra Explains Jazz
Interviewer: Can you explain jazz?
Yogi: I can’t, but I will. 90% of all jazz is half improvisation. The
other half is the part people play while others are playing something
they never played with anyone who played that part. So if you play the
wrong part, its right. If you play the right part, it might be right if
you play it wrong enough. But if you play it too right, it’s wrong.
Interviewer: I don’t understand.
Yogi: Anyone who understands jazz knows that you can’t understand it.
It’s too complicated. That’s what’s so simple about it.
Interviewer: Do you understand it?
Yogi: No. That’s why I can explain it. If I understood it, I wouldn’t
know anything about it.
Interviewer: Are there any great jazz players alive today?
Yogi: No. All the great jazz players alive today are dead. Except for
the ones that are still alive. But so many of them are dead, that the
ones that are still alive are dying to be like the ones that are dead.
Some would kill for it.
Interviewer: What is syncopation?
Yogi: That’s when the note that you should hear now happens either
before or after you hear it. In jazz, you don’t hear notes when they
happen because that would be some other type of music. Other types of
music can be jazz, but only if they’re the same as something different
from those other kinds.
Interviewer: Now I really don’t understand.
Yogi: I haven’t taught you enough for you to not understand jazz that