At this point, I don't listen to other people too much. I'm not really that affected by anyone.
I do very few standards. Hardly any. Other people's tunes that I do are usually obscure tunes, for the most part, although I do a couple of Duke Ellington tunes that are well known.
I went through the whole number, you know. The swing era, the boogie woogie era, the bebop era. Thelonious Monk is still one of my favorites. So a lot of these people had their effect on me.
Pizza Express has been a real godsend for me. I've been working there for several years, six weeks a year. You can go to work every night and play. It's a nice little club. It's just about the right size for me, about 150 people.
There's a lot of terrible things goin' on all the time, but you gotta try and have some fun in the end.
I haven't stopped and I don't plan on stoppin' any time soon.
The jazz boom was goin' on then so there was a lot happenin' in New York at that time.
It's as much fun as it ever was, you know, once I get there. Gettin' there is a little harder.
I've been able to do pretty well. I don't work as many consecutive nights as I used to, but I'm still working over 100 nights a year, so that's good for me.
Then I started listenin' a lot to classical composers. Piano works. Just to see what they were doin'. That sort of put me in a different groove to try to blend all that in.
I just try to do as good job with the material as I can and play some jazz as well, some improvised music, and do that every night. Just see where it goes.
I'm playin' music for a certain type of person. Fortunately, there are more and more of us. At least there are more comin' to see me than there were 30 years ago or so.
I'm playin' the music I like.
I've heard some tunes in recent years that were pretty close to that same idea. The idea was you turn on the radio and you want to hear some music and up comes a commercial.
As far as I'm concerned, the essentials of jazz are: melodic improvisation, melodic invention, swing, and instrumental personality.