I went with Lionel Hampton for three years. Out of that came a trip to Europe.
It's amazing how much trouble you can get in when you don't have anything else to do.
I've always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, Ain't that the truth.
We spent most of our life almost like street rats just running around the street until we were ten years old.
Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing.
I got a scholarship to Seattle University and I was writing arrangements for singers and everybody. But the music course was too dry and I really wanted to get away from home.
We stole a box of honey jars one time and went out in the woods and took care of the whole box. I don't think I touched honey again for 20 years. I never wanted to see honey again.
When I was about five or seven years old my mother was placed in a mental institution and so we were with our father who worked very hard, and we had to figure a lot of things out.
If you started in New York you were dealing with the biggest guys in the world. You're dealing with Charlie Parker and all the big bands and everything. We got more experience working in Seattle.
It slaps your dignity just right. I loved the idea of these proud, dignified black men, and I saw the older ones wounded, and it wounded me ten times as much because I couldn't stand seeing them hurt like this.