You had many jazz musicians who lived in the United States, who had a hard time being accepted over here and had to play in sort of these inferior type dives.
My mother came from St. Thomas. I heard that melody and all I did was actually adapt it. I made my adaptation of sort of an island traditional melody. It did become sort of my trademark tune.
Even the most jingoistic person would have to admit that even American cultural music comes from Europe. That's what classical music is, real European music.
It's all about creation and surprise. It just needs to be appreciated and watered like flowers. You have to water flowers. These peaks will come again.
I don't want to appear hostile, like I'm hostile to L.A. or that I feel that the people don't appreciate jazz. I don't think it's that. I think it's something more. It's something a little bit more complicated than that.
I think the problem starts with the general appreciation of the music in the larger society.
I enjoy playing clubs. I still enjoy the closeness of the nightclub venue. However, after a certain period of time and after playing around some of the clubs in New YorkI felt that jazz should be presented in a more prestigious atmosphere.