I came to jazz very late, in my second year of graduate school at Rutgers University. I thought pursuing it would make me a better classical trumpet player. When I first started I heard Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis; it was Miles who really taught me the vocabulary. But after grad school I started working in Philadelphia, where I was saturated with Lee Morgan.
I was working with the great organist Shirley Scott, who would talk about Lee Morgan and his playing and tell me stories. Then I met Jimmy Heath, who would do the same. When saxophonist Tim Warfield and I played together-he was the one who actually taught me a lot about jazz when we were learning to play-we played a lot of Lee’s tunes.