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I have no idea what I’m doin’. I’ve never seen me.
– Mose Allison
I can’t judge my own stuff. That’s for others. But those are the three things that I admire.
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.
And Lennie Tristano I like a lot, I still like him.
I finally decided if I was going to make a living, I was gonna have to come to New York.
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 haven’t stopped and I don’t plan on stoppin’ any time soon.
I been getting good crowds. It only took 50 years.
I’m playin’ the music I like.
I just have a lot off different influences.
I never sit down and write. I just sorta let things form in my brain.
But I got an audience that knows what I do. They usually show up, so I usually do pretty good.
At this point, I don’t listen to other people too much. I’m not really that affected by anyone.
All the classic jazz players all sang and a lot of ’em sang blues.
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.
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.
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.
So I’m in my 51st year of playin’ mostly nightclubs. I do some concerts.
I sang and wrote songs when I was 12 years old.
I’m always storing away phrases and ideas and things that I think might turn into songs.
It’s as much fun as it ever was, you know, once I get there. Gettin’ there is a little harder.
As far as I’m concerned, the essentials of jazz are: melodic improvisation, melodic invention, swing, and instrumental personality.
My main influences have always been the classic jazz players who sang, like Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole and Jack Teagarden.
I do some concerts. At the moment, I’m being helped a lot by a gig I play in London, which is Pizza Express.
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.
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.