"Action speaks louder than words."
"JAZZ comes from "The Blues"
( not from paper, music scores, music charts, or "The Real Book")
２． ジャズは音楽の「ブルース」に由来している（単なる紙や楽譜、音楽チャート、「The Real Book」からではない）。
●How long have you been living here in Tokyo?
I've been living in Tokyo, Japan for 10 years. But, It was 1983 when I first came to Japan.
It was a tour with Sonny Rollins. Before living here, I lived in NYC and Paris, France.
Now, I've gotten used to eating Japanese food like "Tofu", "Miso Soup" and "Okanomiyaki".
I can even eat white rice without butter on it.
Before moving to Japan, I couldn't imagine myself eating rice without butter, because of my "African-American upbringing.
●The first time you met Dizzy, you were a student of Berklee, weren't you?
Yes, I was. I was a sophomore at The "Berklee College Of Music". Mickey Roker (Dizzy's Drummer) called me on the phone and told me to come to Dizzy's gig that night.
So, I went to a club in Boston(I forgot the name of the club) then I was invited by Dizzy to the stage for the second set. Also, Several months later, Dizzy came to see a gig of my Funk/Fusion band (that was Co-led by guitarist and my best friend Kevin Eubanks) and Dizzy enjoyed it very much. He even stayed and listened to both sets.
●Does that mean Dizzy was "open" to other styles of music?
Oh Yes, Dizzy loved that kind of music too. Everyone thinks that Dizzy is the king of Bebop but that wasn't enough to identify all of his taste in music. Dizzy and his band loved all kinds of music and Jazz was just one half of them. Now I feel that Dizzy must have taken me because he wanted to add more varieties of music styles into his band, such as "funk" music.
I don't like Funk music, I LOVE FUNK MUSIC!!!(ha,ha) I was surrounded by Funk and R&B when I was a kid. My dad was a vocalist and organist who played mostly "event gigs" and hotel gigs and parties. And my uncle: Jimmy Smith, is the world known "Hammond B3" Jazz Organist.
Shortly after arriving at Berklee, I found-out that my Uncle Jimmy was the "one and only" Jimmy Smith. The way that I found-out that my uncle was "world famous" was: One of my first classes at Berklee was a class called "Listening and Analysis" and the first class was about "Jimmy Smith" . About my Uncle Jimmy? I was really surprised. The whole class listened to uncle Jimmy playing "Old Man River"(arranged by Oliver Nelson), After we finished analyzing the recording, I couldn't stop myself from crying. Directly after that class, I ran to a pay phone in the hall of the college building, and called uncle Jimmy and I said "Uncle Jimmy, I'm so sorry, I didn't know that you where "world famous!".You are Jimmy Smith!"
好きどころか、愛してるよ（笑）。まさにファンクやR&Bを聴いて育ったからね。私の父はボーカリストでありオルガンプレーヤーでもあったんだ。主にイベントライブとか、ホテルやパーティーで演奏していた。そして私の叔父は、多分名前を聞けば、みんな知ってるんじゃないかな？ハモンドB3を演奏した有名なジャズオルガニスト、ジミー・スミスなんだ。私が大好きなジミー叔父さんは、あの偉大なジミー・スミスだってわかったのは、私がバークリーに入ってすぐだったんだ。バークリーの「Listening and Analyzing」のクラスで、最初の授業は「ジミー・スミスについて」だった。ジミー叔父さんについて？？もう、ビックリさ(笑)。でもクラス全員が叔父さんの「オールマン・リバー」（オリバー・ネルソンのアレンジ）をかたずをのんで聴いていた。教室の中で私は涙があふれて止まらなかったよ。クラスが終って、すぐに廊下の電話をかけに走った。「ジミー叔父さん、ゴメンね。今まで叔父さんのこと、全然知らなくって、ゴメンね。叔父さんは、あの有名なジミー・スミスだったんだ！」って泣きながら言ったよ（笑）。
●That's an interesting story! Then soon after you "sat-in" with Dizzy and his band, did you join the band?
After that first time playing with Dizzy, he took me into the dressing-room and we had a nice talk.
He asked me questions like: "Where are you from?" and "What are you doing in Boston?".
I answered "I'm a student of Berklee, sophomore". Then he replied "So then, you have 2 more years at Berklee".Then, after 2 years, he suddenly called me "Tommy, would you like to go to South America with me!". My answer was YES! So he took me to the US Embassy in New York to apply for my passport, and the passport agency completed making my passport in only one hour!!(that's because all the staff at the Embassy knew Dizzy very well, and he always got VERY special treatment whenever he came for any type of travel documents)
Then we flew to South America. It was Dizzy who changed my life and gave me a big opportunity and bigger influence. On the following tours and concerts with Dizzy, I learned his great songs like "A Night In Tunisia" "Manteca" ", "Bebop", "Con Alma", "Birk's Works" and many many more!
●What are some of the many things that you learned from Dizzy?
Well, he was always helping people, making people happy, and generally a "giving" person.
I soon realized that he loved everyone, and he was also loved by everyone. He showed me that "Everyone is an individual". I really think so too.
そうだね〜。彼はいつも誰かを助け、励まし、元気づけていた。今思うに、彼は他人に与えるタイプの人だったんだよね。全ての人を愛していたし、愛されていた。ディジーは「Everybody is an individual（全ての人に個性がある）」ってことを教えてくれた。私もまさにその通りだと思うよ。
●You were a teacher at Berklee later, right?
Yes. When the chairman of the percussion department asked me to teach at Berklee,
I told him that I would accept his offer under 2 conditions: The first condition was to have my own office with my own drum sets(two drum sets) and that I could practice whenever I wanted. The other condition was that I could take a "leave of absence" from teaching at Berklee for tours and or recordings with any artist whenever I wanted to. At that time I was also the main drummer for Sonny Rollins. So, the College accepted my conditions, because Berklee and the students wanted another private instructor that was "Internationally known" (meaning: I was on the "current" music scene, and currently on world tours and in all of the major music magazines).
And I was one of the original members of Berklee's Special Touring Band "Gary Burton & the Berklee All Stars". They first came to Kobe & Tokyo in 1985. That band visited 5 countries, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Malaysia and Japan. During each tour or each country they did both concerts and workshops. At that time Kohyo Ongaku Gakuin in Kobe AND The "Pan School Of Music"
were the first two Japanese music schools to join the "Berklee Network".
At the same time those 2 schools became an "affiliate" of Berklee
and also awarded scholarships to "Berklee" in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
●Wasn't it very tough for you doing both teaching and touring at the same time?
I have a funny story about that. I told this story to Mr.Lee Berk( who was then, the president/founder of Berklee) when I was awarded Berklee's "Distinguished Alumni Award" in the "mid-90's in New York City: During my second year of teaching at Berklee, I went on yet another one of my many routine 3 week tours with Sonny Rollins. During our concert performance in Paris, I suddenly started feeling really bad, and I assumed it was the "Flu". So during the concert, I decided to play above my normal level of high energy drumming, hoping to sweat heavily and "sweat-out" what I assumed was the "Flu". I sweated heavily, but I didn't get the expected "release" that would stop me from feeling bad. And, we had to travel to Barcelona, Spain on the next day. Soon after arriving at the airport Barcelona , we all went directly to our hotel.
I had the same feeling at first. But in my hotel room, I had a strange feeling on my face like an insect walking on it. So, I went to the minor in the bathroom and realized that I had red bumps all over my face and body. The band was scheduled to go to the venue for the "sound-check" 3 hours later, but I couldn't move at all. Sonny called a doctor to come to the hotel for me. The doctor examined me and said "Humm, it's seems like you have the "Chicken Pox", but Senor Campbell, you are 33 years old, right?" The chicken pox is primarily a kids disease.
Anyway, he gave me some medicine but I didn't get better. Finally Sonny told me that "Tommy, you must go to the Barcelona General Hospital with our interpreter". So, Sonny and the band did the gig without me that night. And also performed the 2 remaining concerts of the tour without me.
Yes. I could bleary see (my vision was blurred), and I had a high fever and the "chills" so really had to go to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital, it was in VERY bad condition. I could belive it! That place was so dirty, and 3 doctors examined me while smoking cigarettes! (which made me very dizzy) They required and ordered me to stay at the hospital for a week, but I literally ESCAPED from that dirty hospital by tricking the doctors into thinking that I needed to use the phone to call my family in America. Instead, I went to the airport immediately to fly back to Boston.
Yes, I was on my way, but during the flight, we suddenly heard an announcement that the plane would have to make a emergency-landing in Greenland! All of the passengers (including myself) had to stay at a hotel in Greenland for one night. I still had a high fever, blurred vision, and red bumps all over my body and I felt really cold. So I had to buy a long over coat at the hotel to keep me warm. It was an $850. luxurious leather coat, which I still own and wear to this day).
And I wore it that night to bed. The next morning, I took another plane to Boston, and arrived Boston in the morning at 10 o'clock. We finally arrived in Boston! I called my boss at Berklee from the airport then he told me to come straight into the Berklee to start teaching private students from 11 o'clock.
Yes. Even though I had the Chicken Pox! My boss told me that "If you don't come by 11'clock, you'll be fired" So I came in directly from the airport to teach. Drummer Steven Wolf, was a student of mine, and he never had the the Chicken Pox, so he send a messenger to me that he would be absent from my classes. But ,he still got my Chicken Pox. At least 2 students of mine got the Chicken Pox, from being in contact with my students who did attend my lessons upon my return.
●I heard that your private lessons are more different then average drum lessons.
Yes. Now, I'm primarily teaching drums, bass and vocal students. I am NOT a "typical" teacher with a "completely typical" method. But, of course from my years of being a student at Berklee, and later a instructor there too, I use many conventional methods as well.. I am a musician, artist and performer who shares his knowledge with his students, and I'm passing on the years of knowledge that received from many people such as: Uncle Jimmy, Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins, Kevin Eubanks, John McLaughlin, Berklee College Of Music, and so many great musicians that you can find listed on my website/homepage at: .
●If you had to choose one type of music for the rest of your life, which music would you choose?
OUCH!, that's a tough question. Jazz, Pop, Soul, Funk, R&B, Enka, "Hip Hop",
(the many "Ethnic" musics of the world), Classical Music, etc., love it all,
and it would be too difficult to choose just one of them.
But if I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO, I'd have to choose "Muzac"("Easy Listening) because then,
I could still hear MORE of my favorite songs in a wider variety of music, than just one style of music. And, If I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO choose one artist, I'd choose Stevie Wonder!!