People with talent are not interested in showing off behind another person. They're more interested in the music. [Charlie Parker] was playing with me. That's the difference between the kind of musician I like to work with and singing with a musician who thinks he has to accompany me. That is so annoying I cannot tell you.
Talent doesn't appear over night. It takes a lot of work and honing your craft, but also don't give up because people may say you're not good enough. I had so many teachers in high school and college saying "You're not going to make it. You're not. You can't. " Luckily I had enough people around me who said I could.
I have my own set of survival techniques. I am patient. I know how to pack light. But my one might travel talent is that I can make friends with anybody. I can make friends with the dead. If there isn’t anyone else around to talk to, I could probably make friends with a four-foot-tall pile of sheetrock. That is why I’m not afraid to travel to the most remote places in the world, not if there are human beings there to meet. People asked me before I left, “do you have friends [there]?’ and I would just shake my head no, thinking to myself, But I will.