When you have an acoustic bass in the ensemble it really changes the dynamic of the record because it kind of forces everybody to play with a greater degree of sensitivity and nuance because it just has a different kind of tone and spectrum than the electric bass.
Its all about finding the right note at the right place and knowing when to leave well enough alone. And that's a lifelong quest.
Music is just kind of an expression of who I am. It's what I do.
You never get it figured out. You just keep playing.
I tend to play in a way that feels natural to me. To me that's authentic for myself. I play by where I'm led by some sense of where I feel I'm supposed to be.
When I make records, I never listen to stuff after it's done. Ever.
Ninety-nine percent of the music that was of any interest to me when I was growing up came out of the black community.
Instrumental music is increasingly marginalized and there's just no outlet, there's no venue for it, in terms of media.
I'll just sit at the piano a lot an play like through different chord exercises and kind of just throwing my hands down on the piano from one chord to the next to see what happens.
To me, the object of practicing is to allow you to play what you hear. But you're always hearing new things, so you never get to the end of it.
Jazz music should be inclusive. Smooth jazz to me rules out a certain kind of drama and a certain tension that I think all music needs. Especially jazz music, since improvising is one of the cornerstones of what jazz is. And when you smooth it out, you take all the drama out of it.
As a melody instrument player, it's all about getting from one note to the next, and those intervals and how you navigate your way through these vertical structures of chords. You realize that everything's moving forward, and it's all linear.
I have pretty ecumenical tastes. I'm interested in a lot of different kinds of music, so I don't listen with a jaundiced ear to music because it's in a certain category, whether it's country or opera or hip-hop or bebop or whatever it is.
My name is on the thing, but the reality of it is, when I get up there on stage, I'm part of a band. I'm part of a unit. It's like a basketball team.
You're only as good as your last record.
I think that that's the way the music grows and changes and becomes new and creative and vital. It's by synthesizing elements from all around it and not to maintain this kind of rigid myopic kind of tunnel vision, in a sense, trying to maintain a certain kind of purity, or whatever.
I just kinda like playing. I don't necessarily go on tour to promote my albums. I'm on the road all the time. The fact that I have a new record is out is a coincidence.
In regard to music, I just think that it's always best to have an attitude of being a perpetual student and always look to learn something new about music, because there's always something new to learn.
In most of the stuff that I've done over the years as a sideman, I wasn't really a session musician, because to me, a session musician is a guy who makes his living in the studio, and I never really did that.
I think 'Horace Silver' was actually the first live jazz group I ever heard back when I was a kid in St. Louis. So along with most players of my generation, I have a real affection for the music of 'Horace Silver.
Jazz music by its very nature is just a conglomerate of a lot of different kinds of music.
I look at the artistic process as like experiencing the world, channeling it through your personality and sending it back out there. That's the process.
Instrumental music is increasingly marginalized.
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