New York, George Butler, New Orleans discussed on Chatter that Matters


In your eyes onto that as you're leaving a base of people that you're already been discovered right rate new. You could build a trailer there for you. That's a big big chains was was. It was something i wanted to do. You know since. I was about thirteen or fourteen. Because my teacher ellis marsalis had two sons that had moved to new york and become very successful. Wynton marsalis branford marsalis and there were like big brothers to me so i wanted to do what they were doing. I figured they can go to new york and make a career plan jazz music. That's what i wanted you to when i was fourteen. I wanna competition of the national association of jazz educators. Now it's the international association but there was a guy named george butler. Who's the anr guy for the jazz department at columbia records. Well i knew about him. Because he signed wouldn't in branford to their record deals. So when i was fourteen i met george and he says when you move to new york. Call me for years later. When i was eighteen. I call mccollum every day for about six months in hounded him. Because i wanted that record contract so bad in the finally got it i was you know. Eighteen nineteen years old in signed signed with columbia. So that's kinda why. I went score years due to prepare for that moment when he's finally going to pick up the phone and talk yet is practice practice practice like you hear gymnasts or athletes in the training. That they have to do. That's all i did. I mean twenty four hours a day. Because i knew that when i had the chance to perform i had i had to be ready in in. When you have guys like wynton marsalis branford marsalis. Talk you up. Oh my gosh. I mean they're the best in the world so you you have to be ready to play so great and a country like america has feeder system. That if you if you're passionate about something that you have an opportunity divan and be mentored discovered. I must be something that is incredibly important nearly stage in your career. Oh it was huge. It was it was all about a sense of ownership. Like the fact that i could actually do this. I never doubted that. Which is why it's so important. People like me wash like me. That i do everything i can to make sure that young people get opportunities like i have because it's all about. I never doubted that. This was what i was going to be doing. I mean never crossed my mind that there was a plan. B or what happens if this doesn't work out him and it was chosen little talent. This has to do with my belief that the opportunity was there. If i were taught enough in was in. That's the that's an incredible luxury to have. I'm well aware that later on. We're going to talk about you know this incredible album long buffet rediscovery who you are. But how important was at this point in your life. You're young you're going to new york. Got this blinding ambition. i fail. Was there a higher purpose league or was it. Just all you know the determination of a young man. It says. When i get that shot i'm most it was. It was probably mostly that. I mean my faith was was pretty strong then but i. I don't think i understood it. I know i didn't understand faith. The way i understand it or think understanding now but no it was a part of it. I mean i remember praying. I remember Counting on my faith to help get me through those times. That didn't look so good. I remember the first opportunity. I had to audition for columbia. Was by a another guy. I leave his name out of it. But with george butler wasn't returning my calls another person said i wanna come here you play and practice so weeks and i told him i was going to meet him at this place. I was gonna play for him in. I had musudan and i showed up at five pm. Ready at the piano in six pm rose by seven eight nine. The guy just never came and that was tough. Because i was so ready. Just give me a chance to play for you. Any just blew you off. How does somebody this spent so much train preparing that one moment you get there five o'clock it every minute. Minute must seem like an hour at six o'clock at seven o'clock. How do you go home and go. I'm gonna make the next day apple versus just going to dark all despair. A lot of people would fall back in their backseat there. But you kept march. I think it must be a personality thing. Maybe it's a genetic thing. I just can't quit. I don't understand the meaning of of quit. And i don't understand no like i'll find another way. It's says it's kind of it's animosity that a developable skill a maybe it's an ego thing. I don't know arrogance at that time. I just maybe we'll today. I don't think it's arrogance. I think it's it's a belief in the idea of manifestation. How can you not make this app. You know just talk to you later. Like you are such extrordinary. Things really focused on this desired outcome. They might not always get they. My name really high comeback. Step if they go so much further than most because they just really lead posssibility. So i mean maybe it is. I'd love to know if the bottle monday. Because i think especially now. Our country needs an absolute dose of this sort of positive energy. And we're gonna get through this. But i wanna you're in new york you've got your album deal. Rob reiner discovers you. Tell me how that came in. Because he's producing this movie which we had no idea is going to be as big as it is. I remain silent. He gives you the game ball. Says i want you to do the soundtrack. That was wild. So i remember. I didn't know this man at the time of this guiding bobby columbia and. He used to be the drummer for blood sweat and tears. Whatever the reason. Bobby columbia's radar was on me. Rob reiner had just on the film and was looking for somebody to play kind of background music through some of the scenes. So bobby said i know the guy. He's kid he's twenty years old ilise from new orleans. Get him to doing. Rob reiner comment my house. I was at my dad's house in new orleans. And i didn't believe it was him. He said you know whatever and he's enosis really mean do. Would you like to play this music on my holy cops so i went to los angeles There was a giant screen in the giants studio in vienna in rob said. There's going to be a green line. That growth goes across the screen when that greenland. It's the end. You play whatever you think is appropriate to the same. And then there's gonna be a red line that goes across and then you stop had my dream again where making lohman olympic judges watching. I've now the compulsory. So this is the finals. Got a nine eight from the canadian. Perfect ten from the americans. My mother disguised as an east german judge. Gave me a five. Six must have been a dismount. I sleep at no problems though the united played. I'm like i said. Is that what you want. And said he goes. There's a song want you to sing on the soundtracks call. It had to be you. We're gonna have a big orchestras great so signed on that was my only contribution. Other than a couple of instrumental tracks to that soundtrack. They had intended to use versions of these classic songs by ray charles ella fitzgerald frank sinatra will as the the legal process to acquire the rights. Li songs went on these particular artist's representations didn't want them to be on it for whatever reason maybe money was right. I'm not sure. So when frank sinatra's camp backed out. I got his song. When ella fitzgerald camp backed out. I got her songs before you knew. I had literally the whole album. So i sang their songs in my way and i had the whole album and that album came out and i went from selling ten or twenty thousand albums millions of albums just a matter of months i mean it completely turned my life upside down if they asked me And when that came out what was happening music that time because you were unique can answer two words. Millie vanilla new artist at the grammys that year. And i was like man. I wanted to win that the usuals were great. I.

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