Don Menza on working with orchestras.
Don Menza on leaving Buffalo.
Don Menza discusses his ideal musical situation.
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Q: “If you had an optimum situation, what would it be – writing, playing? Having a big band, having a small group? Writing for movies?”
A: Don Menza: “You can't write and play.”
Don Menza: “No, you can't do a steady habit of writing and playing. For the fastest of writers, it is a full-time job, writing, and playing without a doubt is a full-time job. I don't care if you have the genius of Charlie Parker or Clifford Brown or whoever you are or John Coltrane. God knows John Coltrane, how much time he put in it, and you have to. I mean, you can't do both and expect to … again, you're talking about optimum. You make them, you know, the best that you can. I mean, or the best possible way that you can do it is to either write or play.”