If Not Now
I consider myself somebody with a very strong personality, in the music, and I’m kind of very headstrong, and know kind of exactly where I want to go, what I want to do, and what I want out of it. So, parallel to being a sideman — and the reasons for being a sideman are many-faceted. A, economic things, that you know, it’s work, and you’re getting paid. B, it’s a learning process, and you’re getting to be involved with other people’s concept, and learn something about music. And C, there’s also publicity that you’re getting your name out there playing with people that have more of a profile than you, and you know all three of those things. And then four, you’re actually really engaged in the projects, and the music, and the personalities you’re playing with.
So, all those things are all going at the same time now. Being somebody with a strong personality and headstrong at a certain point, you can only take direction from somebody else so much. And everybody was cool, gave me latitude and freedom. It’s not that I was dealing with that, but it’s just — 16 years in somebody’s group is a long time. And there are hardly any jazz groups that stay together for that amount of time, it’s such a rare thing. And I was just starting to feel that with the concept of what the group is and what I had to bring to the table, that it kind of had played itself out. And it was just time to kind of move on. So, that does ducktail into you deciding that it’s time to make this move, or get more serious about your music.
And Roscoe actually, even though what I just mainly said, is in reference to the Ware band, I just remember being on a tour with Roscoe.1 We were on a train, and we were just talking. And he said to me, “So, when are you going to make your move?” you know. Because I was — at the time he would have said that, I would have been in my early 40s. And he said like, “Don’t you think it’s like time now? If not now, when?”