When I got started in New York, it wasn't like it is now. If you were different from Miles and Dizzy, it was very difficult to make gigs and make money with your own style.
I had heard Ornette a couple of times, but I didn't really know where he was coming from until we started the record and it was beautiful, Fred. It opened up my mind.
I'm going to Yoshi's. I'm taking a few gigs. I'm playing. I'm not going to play all the time. I'm going to take it easy and take it slow and warm up so I can come back.
That was the biggest thrill, going over to these guy's houses and having them want me to practice with them and they would show me a lot of stuff, which was really advanced stuff to me at my age.
Well, my sister played trumpet. Can you imagine having a sister blowing the trumpet around the house, Fred? And my brother, he played piano. Everybody was playing some kind of music, so it was natural for me to get into it.
We all kind of grew up together with Art Blakey because we all were young and he gave us a chance to write. We had to write something that was good and to sit up with a great guy like Art Blakey and watch him.