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THE GOLD STANDARD ~ DM on Art Farmer 



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.

MY MAN ~ DM on Miles Davis 



I credit my father [a naturalist and school teacher] and his hip record collection for kindling my childhood interest in music. There was great music on our turntable all the time, from Rachmaninoff to Ray Charles.

According to Dad, one time when I was about five, he was spinning
Kind of Blue. I asked, "Daddy what's that sound?" When he answered, "That's Miles Davis, a jazz musician." I responded, "Well, that's what I want to be when I grow up!"

The story may be apocryphal, but Miles is still my man.

OCCAM'S AESTHETIC RAZOR 



"I'd rather hear Thad Jones miss a note
than hear Freddie Hubbard make twelve."
~Miles Davis

“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?
He thinks I don't know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right.
But there are older and simpler and better words,
and those are the ones I use.”
~Ernest Hemingway

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
~Leonardo da Vinci