Your dream band: My dream band is my current band. I love Spike Wilner's piano. He loves to go for it on every song he does. Juini Booth on bass is solid and open at the same time. He brings his beautiful personality and great spirit to the band stand and many pearls of wisdom. Norbert Stachel, on tenor and bass clarinet, is the perfect compliment of woodwind ensemble-ness and I love being on the road with him.
Favorite venue: The old Yoshi's in Oakland, California (before it became corporate). A great musician hang. Very open to up-starting musicians.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why? "Nature Boy on my Christmas CD And of the Son. It is the first take. I tried at least twenty more times after that first take just because I was sure the first couldn't be the one but nothing compared to the true feel that came out.
CDs you are listening to now: Milt Jackson, Mostly Duke.
Desert Island picks: Milt Jackson, Mostly Duke; Shirley Horn, Here's to Life; John Coltrane, Lush Life; Hubert Laws, Rite of Spring.
How would you describe the state of jazz today? Depending on where you live, it is either full of life or dying. In NYC it is full of life (Thank you God).
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Performance spaces of all shapes and sizes, for the most experienced and the beginners. Starbucks next step should be just that, cafes with live music!
What is in the near future? A new CD with the current band with some originals and some standards, mostly mainstream jazz.