I AM NOT A Jazz Musician; I AM A Musician, Who Loves Playing Jazz!

I grew up with The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones. I did not grow up with Charlie Parker, John Coltrane or Miles Davis. I am however, infused with The Beatles, The Who, and the Rolling Stones while I revere Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Miles Davis.

This Is Why I Became A Musician!

This Is Why I Stayed In Music!
Photo: A Great Day In Harlem -Art Kane

1Hilton Jefferson 2Benny Golson 3Art Farmer 4Wilbur Ware 5Art Blakey 6Chubby Jackson  7Johnny Griffin 8Dickie Wells 9Buck Clayton 10Taft Jordan 11Zutty Singleton 12Red Allen  13Tyree Glenn 14Miff Molo 15Sonny Greer 16Jay C. Higginbotham 17Jimmy Jones 18Charles Mingus  19Jo Jones 20Gene Krupa 21Max Kaminsky 22George Wettling 23 Bud Freeman 24Pee Wee Russell  25Ernie Wilkins 26Buster Bailey  27Osie Johnson 28Gigi Gryce 29Hank Jones 30Eddie Locke  31Horace Silver 32Luckey Roberts 33Maxine Sullivan 34Jimmy Rushing 35Joe Thomas 36Scoville Browne  37Stuff Smith 38Bill Crump 39Coleman Hawkins 40Rudy Powell 41Oscar Pettiford 42Sahib Shihab  43Marian McPartland 44Sonny Rollins 45Lawrence Brown 46Mary Lou Williams 47Emmett Berry  48Thelonius Monk  49Vic Dickenson   50Milt Hinton   51Lester Young   52Rex Stewart  53J.C. Heard  54Gerry Mulligan  55Roy Eldgridge 56Dizzy Gillespie 57Count Basie

When the Beatles hit, I was mesmerized by their on stage appeal but even more so, I was most interested in the drumming. As time went on, I started to wonder how they came to the end result and what was involved in recording that result.

I then started to get interested in all styles of music strictly based on my aural curiosity; Sure, some spoke to me more than others but, I developed this ability to recognize great music even if it didn’t actually connect with my soul. I take great pride in this ability to this day.

Recognizing the trail blazers above, appreciating their musical contributions and what they went through blazing that trail, has given me my personal depth; that is a depth I will continue to develop until I can’t.

I believe that whatever one music generation leaves behind, becomes the springboard for the next generation to launch from and carry on the prowess, philosophies and evolvement of the music (regardless of genre).

Emulation is futile and aggravates me to no-end; snobbery, at any level of competence is intolerable; egotistic hoarding of knowledge is unforgivable.

When I create or perform, I am interested in the here and now as well as what’s coming. Because I have a very healthy respect for the past, I take great pride in saluting and teaching it (after all that’s where we come from). But, I don’t care to go back there (other than occasional visits).

For example, I love Be-bop. I will never be able to play it the way I hear it; I love Classical; I will never be able to play it the way I hear it. I wasn’t there and I didn’t live in those times.

So… I simply move on and hope for the best.

A man’s got to know his limitations” – Dirty Harry

Personnel: Arnold Faber vibraphone; Ali Berkok piano.

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