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The arts make people smarter!
Just being in New York and playing music is successful.
That was the night Woody started calling me Too Tall John. Someone said if he makes up a nickname for you . . . it means you’re on the band!
Someone asked David Baker in an improv class if he thought any of us would make it in New York. David answered . . . make it in New York? Just find a way to stay in New York.
We started playing brass instruments very young. I think it was mostly from our curiosity of the shiny metal objects in the forbidden room.
Invest in who you are. Invest in what you want to be.
Musically, playing with Frank Sinatra might still be the highlight of my life.
It would not surprise me if in the next hundred years a future John Coltrane is a trombone player.
Woody Shaw was an intense person and that’s why his music had that intensity. He believed in what he believed in and wasn’t scared to say it. He was 100% focused!
I saw the Tijuana Brass TV specials and thought the trombone player was really cool. He was in the background and then he would jump out and play a solo. I thought that would fit my personality.
If you want to play small group you better start playing in a big band.
I’m known for my records and PBS specials, but I don’t have those without having Sting on board first.
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