A lot of times, we look at jazz in eras. How can we not keep those eras separate and think of the language as one complete continuum? It's all interrelated, and it's all evolutionary.
It's much like playing jazz, flying. It's multitasking in real time. You have a number of instruments that alone won't tell you exactly what the airplane is doing but together give you a picture of everything that's going on.
My grandfather, Arthur Baskerville, he played and still plays a little bit piano and trombone, and so when I was a kid, I always heard jazz around the house, but I also went to his gigs, whether it be a Saturday brunch in my hometown Columbus, Ohio. We'd go and hear him play with some of the local musicians.
I consider myself very fortunate. I mean, I think there's that old saying, 'Where there's a will, there's a way,' and I just have such a passion for jazz music and playing the piano that I just find a way to make it work, so to speak. Fortunately, I have so far.
I'm not saying that in order to be a great jazz musician you have to be a great classical pianist first. But I am saying that it makes things easier when you can get around the instrument, and you have some idea of how to approach the various hurdles.
I really want to bring ensemble playing back to the forefront - not just for me, but for everyone in jazz. When you have a group, a true co-op group, you can really heighten the possibilities of all the treasures of jazz.
It's one of the greatest festivals in the world. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest is the best all-around... It's an honor to be closing it.
I've done all different kinds of genres - doo-wop, pop, funk, gospel, country, jazz, you name it.
The tapes we were making would jump around with different styles, just quick parts of different songs. Hip-hop to jazz to funk to whatever else. And in a way, 'Check Your Head' ended up being like one of those pause-tapes.
You know you're a hopeless record nerd when your time travel fantasies always come around to how cool it would be to go back to 1973 and buy all the great funk and jazz and salsa records that came out that year on tiny obscure labels and are now really rare and expensive.