Philosophies on music, jazz, education, and life
|ON JAZZ EDUCATION...
"Students must face up to the disciplines required and the fact that jazz improvisation is a lifetime study that never stops. The best jazz artists always want to improve and become still more creative. Several years ago, while doing a clinic in Hawaii, I went to hear Trummy Young perform. Later, while we were visiting, he said, 'Hey, Rich, could you send me your pattern book? I'm still learning!' I broke up, because I had come to learn from him - and I did. Learning about and through improvisation never stops. Lord willing, it never will."
|ON LEARNING IMPROVISATION...
"Some students can develop a negative attitude about patterns and transcribed solos; they may say they do not want to end up playing other musicians' ideas. Point out that they learned to speak by listening, and imitating their parents. Similarly, the personality of a competent young jazz musician will naturally begin to take over and his or her creativity will inevitably show up."
|ON HIGHER EDUCATION...
"In the training of young musicians, we need to bring about a better balance of 'higher' and 'hire' education. Learn jazz improvisation and to read jazz and commercial music and you will have a better chance of survival. Let's face it, you never know what kind of job you'll be asked to do when the phone rings... and you do want to keep it ringing."