Music is meant to be a beautiful thing.
I write music people enjoy playing and listening to, and I have a group that loves playing the music.
I tend to not want to put labels or categories on the music, only because people come with preconceived ideas about what they're going to hear, or won't come for this reason.
In 1994, I started touring again and I recorded two albums for Chesky Jazz.
1972 was a year of many pleasant and rewarding experiences for me
I am glad that I wrote something that brought joy to millions of people.
I find it very difficult to compose when I'm not playing.
I have been recording for five decades now.
As for the symphonic activities... when I was a student at the Eastman School of Music, I became exposed to a lot more musical forms, elements, opportunities, and I fell in love with strings and their uses.
Brazilian music has many of the ingredients that I strive for in my own music: Strong melodies and a disciplined but intense rhythmic concept, and interesting harmonies.
I do not mind having written the song at all. I just wish that I had written it in a different key, as the high d is hard to play. I am glad that I wrote something that brought joy to millions of people.
I don't believe music can be free unless it has something to be free from.
My goal was never to sell many records.
I was blessed to work with The Jazz Messengers when the two piano players were Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea.
I can count on one hand the number of instrumental hits there have been over the last 10 years.
With four people you can create one very strong kind of energy, but if you can get 65 people working together, and swinging together, that's a whole other kind of energy.
A studio recording is perfection, but emotion and passion come only when you turn on the machine and go for the groove. If you do that with no mistakes, it sounds beautiful.
My music has always been strong in melodic content.
My brother had a big band in high school; after that we continued to play together, eventually forming a group called the Jazz Brothers, that recorded for Riverside Records.
There's not much in the way of written-down arrangements - just things that Gerry and I have worked out, from playing spontaneously together and hanging on to whatever seems to fall in right.
Not with the Rochester Philharmonic, but I formed my own orchestra, made up of musicians from the Eastman School, where I'm on the faculty now, direct the Jazz Ensemble and teach improvisation classes.
Not compromising the music, but there is a way, by just showing the people that you're sincere and honest with what you're doing, and by talking to them.
To do it always right, that is what music is to me.
Whether it's string writing or whatever, I try to write for what each instrumentalist can do best.
I made many studio albums and I think the danger of studio recording is that if you do not watch out, you come out with a perfectly sterile performance.
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