I've known the glory of the stage and the glory of the spotlight. I still crave it. I want to be on 'American Bandstand' and 'Soul Train' as a solo artist. As a producer, songwriter and arranger, I help other artists say what they want to say. But on my records, I say what I want to say.
But, I don't think any arranger should ever write a drum part for a drummer because if a drummer can't create his own Interpretation of the chart and he plays everything that's written, he becomes mechanical; he has no freedom.
I didn't graduate high school, so I never got a teacher's education, I'm mostly self-read, self-taught. I always loved music, so I would probably either be in a band with another group of people, or an arranger, a producer, a musicologist, a music history guy, something to do with music. Either that, or I would probably be in jail. Or dead.
Louie Bellson represents the epitome of musical talent. His ability to cover the whole musical spectrum from an elite percussionist to a very gifted composer and arranger never ceases to amaze me. I consider him one of the musical giants of our age.
Habit! that skillful but slow arranger, which starts out by letting our spirit suffer for weeks in a temporary state, but that thespirit is after all happy to discover, for without habit and reduced to its own resources, the spirit would be unable to make any lodgings seem habitable.
The thing that I always notice that dates a record is the rhythm section. With a good arranger the music can be timeless. But, rhythm can change, because heaven knows, we didn't know rock was going to come in, did we?