I expect that if anything I’ve written about this music lasts, it will be the interviews I’ve done with the musicians for more than 50 years. My books on jazz consist mainly of interviews, as do the liner notes I’ve written. My hope is that some of them become part of jazz histories. And I learn a great deal from interviews done by others-particularly by the actual makers of this music.
For example, the late Art Taylor, an extraordinary drummer, wrote a book: Notes and Tones: Musician-to-Musician Interviews (Da Capo). The late tenor saxophonist Don Byas (much underestimated these days) told Taylor of advice from his friend Art Tatum. Tatum said to Byas: “Just remember there is no such thing as a wrong note; what makes it wrong is when you don’t know where to go after that one.”