One thing that sticks in my mind is that jazz means freedom and openness. It's a music that, although it developed out of the African American experience, speaks more about the human experience than the experience of a particular people.
I'm always looking to create new avenues or new visions of music.
Globalization means we have to re-examine some of our ideas, and look at ideas from other countries, from other cultures, and open ourselves to them. And that's not comfortable for the average person.
Jazz has borrowed from other genres of music and also has lent itself to other genres of music.
I'm always interested in looking forward toward the future. Carving out new ways of looking at things.
At a certain point, I became a kind of musician that has tunnel vision about jazz. I only listened to jazz and classical music.
I started off with classical music, and I got into jazz when I was about 14 years old. And I've been playing jazz ever since.
I've always been interested in science. I used to take watches apart and clocks apart, and there's little screws, and a little this and that, and I found out if I dropped one of them, that thing ain't gonna work.
In World War II, jazz absolutely was the music of freedom, and then in the Cold War, behind the Iron Curtain, same thing. It was all underground, but they needed the food of freedom that jazz offered.
You make different colors by combining those colors that already exist.
You can practice to learn a technique, but I'm more interested in conceiving of something in the moment.
Since time is a continuum, the moment is always different, so the music is always different.
The cool thing is that jazz is really a wonderful example of the great characteristics of Buddhism and great characteristics of the human spirit. Because in jazz we share, we listen to each other, we respect each other, we are creating in the moment. At our best, we're non-judgmental.
I like to be on the edge, on the cutting edge, or be into the unknown, into the territory where I have to depend on being in the moment and depending on my instincts.
Back in the day for me was a great time in my life - I was in my 20s. Most people refer to their experiences in their twenties as being a highlight in their life. It's a period of time where you often develop your own way, your own sound, your own identity, and that happened with me, when I was with a great teacher - Miles Davis.
I got a chance to work with Miles Davis, and that changed everything for me, 'cause Miles really encouraged all his musicians to reach beyond what they know, go into unknown territory and explore. It's made a difference to me and the decisions that I've made over the years about how to approach a project in this music.
So much of what I create has been due to the influence of Miles Davis and Donald Byrd, and so many of those that have passed on. Their music, their legacy lives on with the rest of us because we are so highly influenced by their experience and what they have given us.
The value of music is not dazzling yourself and others with technique.
I try stuff. I synthesize what's of value with some of the other things I have at my disposal.
I like the idea of an eclectic approach, incorporating jazz with other forms and other genres of music.