I get interested in the various ways that music is being done in the culture, and some of it I like thoroughly enough to want to learn about it. The way I have been successful at doing that is to become part of it.
The sound of the orchestra is one of the most magnificent musical sounds that has ever existed.
Miles Davis was a part of my life from 1947 on. I was born in 1941 and I first heard him in 1947 on a 78 rpm. And then I followed his career, starting with his first solo album in 1951. He was an icon and inspiration and a mentor to me.
Every time I see a musician – it doesn’t matter what age – that inspires me, there’s always a secret little wish that maybe we’ll play together, because that’s how I learn and grow and so forth, you know. But hopefully there’s a lot more.
I call myself a teacher because they want me to call myself a teacher, but actually, what I’m doing is I’m studying.
Without a doubt, my richest relationships are my long-term friendships with musical partners, because we make music together. That’s what we love to do with our lives.
My one thing is I continue to be interested and want to be a student. I don’t want to be a master. When I’m learning something, I’m in my element.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
The fact that an artist is experiencing the joy of creation makes me feel like we’re in it together.
It’s difficult for me to dislike an artist, no matter what he’s creating.
I got a chance to listen to and watch Thelonious Monk and his quartet play two shows a night, for six weeks. It was a great education. There was my university, man.
Art is a subject that is inundated with opinions. In fact, that’s all it is about is opinions.
I’ve noticed that the more adventurous and in that mode that I am, it seems that the more the audience really likes it.
You don’t have to be Picasso or Rembrandt to create something. The fun of it, the joy of creating, is way high above anything else to do with the art form.
Only a spiritual being has awareness.
It’s very difficult for me to dislike an artist. No matter what he’s creating, the fact that he’s experiencing the joy of creation makes me feel like we’re in a brotherhood of some kind… we’re in it together.
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