of time. Did you always have
that, or did you have to work
I listened to Charlie Christian
with the Benny Goodman
band. Benny Goodman rightfully had the name “King
of Swing.” There were other
cats who could swing, but he
consistently swung and he
had good cats in the band. I
listened to that and realized
that I should loosen up a little
bit, leave myself room where
I could pick up some extra
things. Leave a note out here
and pick it up later over here—
add it to the swing. I began to
do it until it became natural,
and it’s followed me down
through the years.
I [play staccato] because my favorite
players play like that. Hank Garland, he had
a very staccato-y sound. It made it sound
more forceful … It was like,“Wow, it’s like
the notes are dancing in front of me!”
What advice would you give
to players who want to develop a stronger sense of time?
For example, some people recommend using a metronome,
and others are completely
No, some people need that.
So it depends on the individual?
Yeah, well Montgomery used
it—I have the one that he used!
When I first saw him with that
metronome years ago, I said,
“Wow, Montgomery uses a
metronome! Is that why he’s so
good? Maybe I better get me a
metronome.” But I never used it.
I have a good sense of rhythm.
Your single-note playing is fairly staccato, as opposed to, say,
Pat Metheny’s, which is very
legato. Is that something you do
intentionally? And if so, why?