"Back then you didn't have to be paid to play, and you didn't have to pay to get in to hear other people play. That was a golden age. Music was accessible and all the giants were on the scene, and there was a truth—the menu was much smaller than now. Everybody—all the different schools of players were active and in their peak. I worked with people from New Orleans, from Chicago, from Kansas City. These people were in their 50s and 60s, and then there were the young radicals, the experimentalists, and the traditionalists. You couldn't get away with any funny business. If there was a new bass player in town all the other bass players would come check him out. Everybody knew who could play and who couldn't. Now it's just a sort of flim-flam going on—most of the giants are gone really. But back then, it was a very beautiful time."
As quoted in Stephanie Stein Crease, Gil Evans Out of the Cool: His Life and Music [p. 219].