Practically everything I know about writing, . . . I learned from music. . . . My style is as deeply influenced by Charlie Parker’s repeated free-wheeling riffs, say, as by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s elegantly flowing prose.  And I still take the quality of continual self-renewal in Miles Davis’s music as a literary model.

One of my all-time favorite jazz pianists is Thelonious Monk.  Once, when someone asked him how he managed to get a certain special sound out of the piano, Monk pointed to the keyboard and said: “It can’t be any new note.  When you look at the keyboard, all the notes are there already.  But if you mean a note enough, it will sound different.  You got to pick the notes you really mean!”

Haruki Murakami, “Jazz Messenger”

New York Times Book Review, July 8, 2007