I don't really have a career as a jazz musician. I don't really have a career as a classical musician. I don't really have a career as a college professor, and yet I did all those things and I did them well. I put out some records in the 1980's and 1990's that changed the way some trumpet players played.— Paul Smoker
The most undeniable Paul Smoker quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
I don't know if the music moves forward anymore.
I haven't heard anything for years - except refinement - coming out of the jazz world.
There was a time, in my early 20s, when I picked up the trumpet and said, 'I've got to change what I'm doing.' I wasn't putting enough air through the horn. The tone I wanted was bigger than what I had. I was out of control.
I use a lot of double-tonguing [using the tongue to control airflow];
that allows me to play as fast as if I was slurring, but with clean articulation on every note.
When I was in high school I made the discovery that if I was playing in a jazz club, and there were black people in the club, if I could get the black people to like what I was doing, I was on the right track. So I began to play to those people because they knew what the authentic music was. I've always had that in the back of my head.
Once I leave the studio I'm ready to do the next thing.
There are records I made that I haven't heard.
I go down to New York, do the project, and leave.
I have no interest in participating in the rat race down there. Hip jazz fans know who I am. There's a generation of musicians in New York who know my records better than I do.