which you first recorded on the 1990 Parallel Realities album, with Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny. What’s it like to revisit a composition you wrote over twenty years ago?
JD: It’s a beautiful song, you know? And, I enjoy playing it. I revisit quite a bit of my compositions in my group: “Jack In,” “One for Eric,” “Third World Anthem.” We revisit those pieces, but they sound different with the personnel I have now.
EBONY: In a Down Beat interview from the eighties you said, “The younger jazz musician now really has to have a broader view of what he has to do.” Is that still true today?
JD: The young musicians today have to be multi-taskers. They not only have to be good musicians, but they also have to be entrepreneurs. They have to figure out a way to get stuff out there, and network, ‘cause CD’s are not selling like they used to …it’s a challenge.
EBONY: In other words, they have to be like you?
JD: [Laughs] everybody’s trying to find new, creative and constructive ways to continue to get the music out there.
EBONY: You describe yourself as a multidirectional musician. Is that the secret to your ubiquitous, five decades as a sideman, leader, and composer in so many musical setting and genres?
JD: Playing in diverse musical situations has been my passion, you know? So I’ve been blessed and I made a conscious choice to put myself in those situations that are stimulating, challenging and also fun … I’m still having fun!