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LM: Well, I remember a story Sammy Nestico once told me. Billy Byers hired him to do some arranging with a team he needed for a production. Byers knocked off ten pages of arranging for every one that Barry could do. At first, Sammy felt devastatedhere's a guy ten times as good as him. But then he realized each person is unique. If you do your personal best, you're a success. That's what I think aspiring musicians should keep in mind. Like, I might never be a Coltrane, but whatever I do I try to do it well. And I've gotten to where I have a distinct style and people appreciate my music. I couldn't ask for more than that.
Selected Discography Frank Tiberi, 4 Brothers 7 (Jazzed, 2007) Craig Raymond and the Next Generation Big Jazz Band, Straight Ahead (Star Satellite, 2006) John Swana and the Philadelphians, Philly Gumbo, Vol. 2 (Criss Cross, 2005) Robert Henderson, RH Positive (Philly Breakdown, 2002) Larry McKenna, It Might as Well Be Spring (Dreambox Media, 2001) City Rhythm Orchestra, Goin' to Town (Limehouse, 2000) Larry McKenna, My Shining Hour: Larry McKenna Plays Harold Arlen (EPE, 1996) Woody Herman and His Thundering Herd, Crown Royal (Laserlight, 1992) Buddy DeFranco, Born to Swing (Hindsight, 1988)
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.