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Selected quotations sourced from AllAboutJazz.com

Bold indicates Daily FYI Editor’s Choice

“I was unfashionable before anyone knew who I was.”

“I think I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to sound like a dry martini.”

On the secret of his tone: “I honestly don’t know! It has something to do with the fact that I play illegally.”

He was an English major in college. His reason for not pursuing a literary career, “I could only write at the beach, and I kept getting sand in my typewriter.”

Of writer Jack Kerouac he said, “I hate the way he writes. I kind of love the way he lives, though.”

Of Vogue fashion models, he said, “Sometimes they go around with guys who are scuffling — for a while. But usually they end up marrying some cat with a factory. This is the way the world ends, not with a whim but a banker.”

“Sometimes I get the feeling that there are orgies going on all over new York City, and somebody says, `Let’s call Desmond,’ and somebody else says, ‘Why bother? He’s probably home reading the Encyclopedia Britannica.'” 

Shortly before the Dave Brubeck Quartet disbanded, “We’re working as if it were going out of style — which of course it is.”

Of contact lenses: “Not for me. If I want to tune everybody out, I just take off my glasses and enjoy the haze”

His response to the annoying banality of an interviewer, “You’re beginning to sound like a cross between David Frost and David Susskind, and that is a cross I cannot bear.”

Desmond’s fondness for scotch was well known. So in early 1976 when a physical examination showed lung cancer, he was ironically pleased that his liver was fine. “Pristine, perfect. One of the great livers of our time. Awash in Dewars and full of health.”

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