I always told the people at Cal Arts that if they wanted me to do Jazz studies, first of all, there couldn't be a big band within 500 miles and that I could do what I wanted to do. And they said I could.
I just try to play music from my heart and bring as much beauty as I can to as many people as I can. Just give them other alternatives, especially people who aren't exposed to creative music.
There's like a special group of people that come from different parts of the planet to study with me. It's nice. I just gave a workshop in Boston at the New England Conservatory, which was really nice.
I just see myself as a human being that's concerned about life.
As long as there are musicians who have a passion for spontaneity, for creating something that's never been before, the art form of jazz will flourish.
We're here to bring beauty to the world and make a difference in this planet. That's what art forms are about.
James Cotton is a real blues guy, and he played with Muddy Waters, and it surprised me that they would want me to make a record with them, that he called me to do this record. I'd never done anything like that before. But I love blues, so I was very happy.
I have music inside me and I'm very lucky to be able to play music and that's the way that I try to do it.
I want them to come away with discovering the music inside them. And not thinking about themselves as jazz musicians, but thinking about themselves as good human beings, striving to be a great person and maybe they'll become a great musician.
It used to be that creative music was most of the music that you heard back in the '30s and '40s, and now it's like 3 percent. So, its kind of a struggle getttin' it out there.
The bass, no matter what kind of music you're playing, it just enhances the sound and makes everything sound more beautiful and full. When the bass stops, the bottom kind of drops out of everything.