"Identity is fluid because it changes according to the social context of the individual. Just as identity defines relationships, the nature of the set of social interactions in a person's life is what makes up that person's identity. Personal identity is composed essentially of social routines and protocols rather than personal characteristics. The question "who am I?" is answered ultimately not by looking within, but by taking into account the facts of relationships and actions."
"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself."
"It's not who I am underneath, but what I *do* that defines me."
"For the perfect idler, for the passionate observer, it becomes an immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling in the throng, in the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel at home anywhere; to see the world, to be at the very center of the world, and yet to be unseen of the world, such are some of the minor pleasures of those independent, intense and impartial spirits, who do not lend themselves easily to linguistic definitions. The observer is a prince enjoying his incognito wherever he goes."
Art Farmer was my mentor and was one of the wisest and kindest men I've ever met. My years under his tutelage were an invaluable part of my education. Art was my finishing school, and I'm profoundly grateful to him for how generous he was with his time, sharing his wisdom about music and life.
Art taught me what to value in this craft of jazz: the importance of taking risks and challenging yourself, yet never losing the fundamental primacy of playing in tune with a mature tone above all.
He would say, "Fill that horn with air! It doesn't matter how hip you can play if you don't maintain a good sound." And he really walked the talk, developing a tone so rich, round and warm, it has become the gold standard for anyone who is serious about the big horn.
"You've got to know your limitations.
I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve.
I found out that there weren't too many limitations,
if I did it my way."