80% of my performances now are my compositions, 20% from the American songbook. But you know John Coltrane, the reason why you know John, it’s a little trivial thing, My Favorite Things. All of us, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, me, even Horace, who was a master at doing his own compositions, and rightly so, because you have to discover the Mozart in you. But all of us have worked on the American songbook, just like you got 6,000 kids that’s trying to learn Mozart right now.1 There’s no such thing as old music, it’s good or bad. So, the interesting thing about what we do, whether it’s Poinciana or My Favorite Things. We interpret these works beyond the wildest dreams or imagination of their composers, be it George Gershwin or whomever.

 

And that’s the wonderful thing about American classical music, what we’ve done with it is phenomenal. It’s a miracle. And like I say, you don’t know John Coltrane by anything as strong as My Favorite Things. You know his other works because of My Favorite Things, okay? So, I’m not the only one that has explored the American songbook, we all do.

  1. Shostakovichaphile []
Return to Index