Before I get out of bed, I am saying thank you. I know how important it is to be thankful.
The Metropole Orchestra is like Count Basie or Duke Ellington with strings... it's strings that swing. Strings that swing like Dizzy Gillespie... keep swinging, baby. And when you have all of that special excellence of the Metropole Orchestra, then your music just flies - it soars in a way that's really magical.
My eyes went blank, and I stared off, and the music started. It was raining, and the sun was shining at the same time, and there were these big bay windows, and there was the blue in the sky, and the sun on the trees, and it was drizzling.
Music is such a balm. Always has been. It's such a heartbeat, like blood thrumming through the womb. That's why music appeals to people.
Once you discover that you can, then you must. And it's not easy. You have to take direct steps. You really have to count your blessings and you have to make a decided effort to not get seduced by the blues.
These songs are old friends I have entertained myself with when I'm washing the dishes, driving to the store and walking down the aisles. The ones that you sing when you're driving in the car and as a singer you always go back to them.
The work must be its own reward. I got that early on. And I'm blessed by meeting my own standards of excellence.
It's a wonderful thing to have life and to look at all this creation and say thank you. I even say it on stage.
I grew up the son of a Seventh Day Adventist minister, so I was really close to the church and sang church music between sips at my bottle, you know? I sat on the piano bench next to my mother. She was the church organist, so that music is deeply inside of me.
I am a distance runner, a marathoner... literally and figuratively.
I have serious hearing loss. I'm challenged if I don't have my hearing aids in.
I'm touched by rock n' roll. I'm touched by the Beatles. I want some of the music I do to reflect that.
I want to give the audience the whole package, and for me, the whole package is to give them something fresh as well. It's not as much fun resting on your laurels.
I'm not sure it's a better music world of appreciation and performance. I think the listener is a different guy, and listening is something he does in passing, with other stuff going on. There's less care and understanding of the relationship between the song and the listener.
I'm really looking forward to it because it will give me the opportunity to do the whole other kind of approach to the music live that I haven't had a chance to do. and I think is important for me to do.
I've been saying for almost 20 years that I need to do a jazz project and it ought to be either big band or I should do some jazz songs with a trio or quartet.
Jazz should be recognized as music of the people, based in a lot of accents and melodies. What is jazz but music that people danced to? Jazz has the dynamic thing. I don't think you have to be playing only Charlie Parker licks on your horn or whatever the new version of that is.
Learn it well in your head, know it well, pick things you know and bring the old you and all the experience you have from singing these various kinds of feelings that are still related to what I have done in the rest of my career.
Obviously given good health, and a continuing audience and a record company that allows me to do music. So given those things yes, I'm introducing some new music that people haven't really heard me do in quite this fashion.
That's Tommy, this great producer who comes in contact with people and must have a mental library of personnel who are great for this and great for that, and he brought this whole group of musicians to the project that I'd never worked with before.