I wanted the music this new group would play to be freer, more modal, more African or Eastern, and less Western. I wanted them to go beyond themselves. See, if you put a musician in a place where he has to do something different from what he does all the time, then he can do that - but he's got to think differently in order to do it. He has to use his imagination, be more creative, more innovative; he's got to take more risks. He's got to play above what he knows - far above it - and what that might lead to might take him above the place where he's been playing all along, to the new place where he finds himself right now - and to the next place he's going and even above that! So then he'll be freer, will expect things differently, will anticipate and know something different is coming down. I've always told the musicians in my band to play what they know and then play above that. Because then anything can happen, and that's where great art and music happens.
Miles Davis / Quincy Troupe
Miles: The Autobiography (Picador, 1990)