I was improvising before I was reading music. I was just trying to play things on the clarinet by ear. I think my ear is one of my greatest assets.
You know, it's funny... when you're making money, people don't think you're playing jazz. Now when you're not making money, people think that you're a good jazz musician.
What we used to say was whoever had the bow tie got to lead the band. There was never any jealousy.
If I had grown up in any place but New Orleans, I don't think my career would have taken off. I wouldn't have heard the music that was around this town. There was so much going on when I was a kid.
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