I learned from my uncle that jazz, like symphony music, was built to last.
I wish to share and pass down some of my generation’s traits, and encourage young people to create their own art, music, and literature.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti had a tremendous education as an artist and also an enormous knowledge of literarture.
The atmosphere was wide open in those circles that we traveled in.
There are a lot of wonderful things created in our culture that have been ignored that can speak to them.
Franz Kline, who became known for his black and white paintings, did a whole series of gorgeous landscapes and wonderful portraits that may still hang in Greenwich Village.
In a jazz atmosphere, the audience members were so quiet and respectful of the musicians that you felt you were almost part of a meeting at a church or a temple, where everyone was completely in tune with the sermon and what the whole event was about.
In symphonic music, when you are conducting, you do the same thing. You are feeling the whole orchestra, thinking ahead so you can prepare for a change.
That by listening to some music, by reading some books, by looking at paintings, and most important by hanging out with one another – by collaborating with one another and creating your own network – you can achieve something that is much better than what is out there.
That is what I did with Jack, and that’s why he liked to do the readings with me because he knew I was there for him, and for our ability to blend the poetry and the music.
Even before he had one book published, Jack was one of those people you could feel was very special.
When you are accompanying someone, you are listening to them the way you listen to a Bach Chorale, where four parts are going on at the same time, all of which are gorgeous melodies, all being played simultaneously.
A few years later, my Uncle David took me to the Earle Theatre to hear Duke Ellington.
Esquire, in a July, 1957 issue, has a photograph of me playing the French horn at the Five Spot.
In jazz, you listen to what the bass player is doing and what the drummer is doing, what the pianist and the guitarist is doing, and then you play something that compliments that, so you are thinking simultaneously and thinking ahead.