FB: This may seem like a dumb question, did you ever study scatting? Did you ever practice it or work with anybody about the syllabification? [CF: No.] Or translating the notes on the horn to the notes out of your voice? CF: Not at all. Never. In fact, when I give master classes, vocal clinics and things like this, people -- that's the number one question: "What syllables do I?" I say, "Here, listen to Art Farmer. Go. Use these syllables right here." These are the syllables that I am using. FB: Art Farmer. Wow. CF: These are the cats. When you scat -- you don't want to sound like a singer when you're scatting. That's horrible. Ella, she sounds like a cat, man. And that's why those cats respected her, 'cause her ears were amazing and her style, her time. "What syllables are you using, Ella?" "These ones: wee-do-doola-do-dah." You're not going to be reading that from a book. See, but that's my perspective. People do teach it. But for me, man, you just try to sound like a horn player. FB: Good, good. Let's see. Classmates, who were some of the folks that you were playing with, hanging out with for your undergraduate years here? CF: You know, the piano player who I always had in my band, my quartet -- whatever I was doing: recitals, gigs around town -- Daniela Schachter. Great. FB: Really good. CF: Yeah, man. I remember she had me over to her apartment in Allston, cooked the best lasagna I've ever had in my life. Italian, soaked in olive oil. Ah, God that was so good! FB: Is she Italian? CF: Yeah, she's Italian. Yeah, she's here now. She teaches over in the voice department. FB: So I'm told. CF: She wasn't really--I didn't know her as a singer, but we played a lot. Who else? Rebecca Cline I knew but we weren't really in the same circles at that time. Since we've graduated we have been, but ... FB: And now you're both on the faculty. CF: And so we're like hip to each other. FB: You mentioned something about the Bruno Mars brass ensemble. CF: Oh yeah, so dig this: the other day I'm watching this TV special, Bruno Mars is on there. There's a horn section, I know all three guys! I went to school with all of them. They played in Phil's band with me: Kevin, the ‘bone player, Leon, the alto player, and Shaun the trumpet player. So I texted them, I called them up, "Hey, guys, you sound great. It's so nice to see you." You know, that's Kevin, the trombone player, he's from I think the South Shore, here. He had it in his mind--he had his mind set up before he got to Berklee, he was going to move out to L.A. and play with hip-hop producers -- you know, be in that scene. He did it. It's like, I know, if you wanna do something, you can do it. Like, if you have the right attitude and you're cool enough, you know. You gotta be cool. And he's cool. It was so nice to see that, they're making it, you know? FB: That's great. Anybody else come up off the top of your head? CF: Some of the people that I've worked with have since moved to L.A. to be working studios. I know a couple of guys I went to school with who were film scoring, who are now assistants in the film scoring area in L.A. Man, you know what? Since then, I've met a lot of guys that went to Berklee--Anat Cohen, we played in Diva for years, but we weren't at school at the same time, she was here before I was. FB: She did a thing with her brothers, a clinic at 939 a couple of weeks ago. CF: Yeah, it's great that they've got a family thing going. That's huge. Rashawn Ross was here. He's the trumpet player who plays with Dave Matthews. He just came and did a lecture in one of my classes a couple of weeks ago. Awesome! He's playing with Dave Matthews. He was here. He was the guy everyone was afraid of. He was the cat, you know. FB: Dave Matthews. Wow. CF: Oh, man. It's a good gig that he's got. FB: Very good. CF: It's great to see these guys are out there doing it. FB: So, you graduated after your third year, 'cause you did a couple of summers, and then it was hit-the-road. CF: Yeah, man. I was ready to get out. I wasn't making much money. I remember living with--I had a nice apartment in South Boston, right on the water in Carson Beach, fifteenth floor. Beautiful view. So that was a nice place to live, had a couple roommates, Berklee students and one who wasn't. I remember I thought, "Well--I was going to move to New York or L.A., or somewhere, but I started making some money doing gigs. I always was while I was a student, so I just didn't, there was no reason to go yet. Plus, I started playing with Diva. So that was good, travelling all over the world, Europe quite a bit with them, and just playing a lot of great gigs with them. I just thought, "Well, I don't need to move to New York when they can just fly me wherever the gigs are, I'll stay in Boston, keep the gigs." And the teaching opportunity came up, so I thought, "Oh, I might as well do it." FB: So Diva was on your books from 2004-2007 or thereabouts? CF: Yeah, and I still play with them. FB: They still go out. CF: Well, they do. I quit the band as a full-time member because it was conflicting with other things that I was doing. But just a couple of weeks ago I was in DC playing Blues Alley with them. FB: Wow. They still got their core members? CF: Yeah, Sherrie Maricle, she's the leader, Jami Dauber is the trumpet player who is the manager in the band, basically, she runs the band. And then always there's people going in and out. FB: Who are some of the professional women that you met when you were in Diva? What were some of your great with that ensemble? CF: You know what? That, honestly, women, that's funny, like I said, Anat, she's great. I met Ingrid Jensen when I was a student here. She had played in the band but she had left the band before I joined, so we weren't in the same ... so, I looked up to her, obviously, as a female trumpet player. Jami Dauber, really, to me, she's one of the best female trumpet players in jazz, she's great. FB: Does she play lead in that band? CF: No, although she can, the lead player is Lisa Whitaker, she plays in the Army Blues Band, hot stuff, and Tanya Derby also plays lead in that band. Barbara Luranga is another one who lives in LA now, hot stuff. These cats can blow. Now, the funny thing is with women, and you have to be careful going here because you have to use it when you can, but a lot of times, even in jazz, you'll see a woman who's out there being the star, who maybe can't play as good as the next chick who might be uglier than she is. I mean, that's just the way that it is, you know. To me, it's like even the superstars that might be out there I didn't respect as much as these cats that nobody knows, because they're blowing there in the trenches, they're reading their asses off, and they're playing great jazz, and they're not out there putting their face everywhere. You know, I respected those cats. The cats who were blowing. But Diva, that band, I'm not going to lie, at first when I thought, "Okay, play with this all chick band." I knew who they were because of DownBeat, I saw, I heard the records and stuff. I wanna play in that band. I got there and I was like, "Wow, this band is better than I thought." You can't play in the band unless you can read your ass off. Period. Plain and simple. It's one of the hardest books I've seen. Charts by John McNeil, Mike Abene. Tommy Newsom writes all this great stuff. We just did a record at Dizzy's with Johnny Mandel, he wrote all the music, all his originals and his arrangements. FB: He charted them for big band? CF: Yeah, and he was there directing. It was hot, man. FB: How old's he? He must be damn near eighty. CF: I know he's in his eighties. FB: Shucks. CF: I know, man. FB: And Abene, what a great writer he is. CF: Yes, so those charts are happening. They get all the cats to write these charts [air-blows 'tough charts'] It's like, if you can't read, you're not in the band. So, they would bring in guys to sub, men, if they couldn't find a lead player to sub, they're not gonna just get a chick, 'cause she's a chick. So I have a lot of respect for Sherrie and what she's doing -- definitely. FB: That's cool. Bring a few ringers in. Wow. And with them you played Carnegie Hall, Apollo Theatre, Lincoln Center and backed a lot of great people -- I'm just reading from your resumé here: Anne Hampton Callaway, John Pizzarelli, a few others. CF: Yes, these old school singers they bring in. Who's the tap dancer? FB: Hines? CF: Yeah! His brother. Maurice. We did this thing at the Apollo Theatre once, it was a tribute. FB: To Gregory? CF: Man, if you could have been there. They did this scene where they danced together. It was Gregory was up there on the projector, it was like his shadow and his brother danced with him. Everyone was -- there was not a dry eye in the place. I mean, it was like. We played the music, argh, nah, man. Deep. That happening. It's nice because, you know what, Stanley Kay, right, who just passed away a few months ago, he was the founder of the band, he played with, he was Buddy Rich's manager, he played drums way back in the day. Phil knew him, that's how I got hooked up with the band, 'cause he calls Phil one day, "Hey, do you have any trumpet players?" I happen to be in Phil's office, "Hey, talk to Christine." So, that's how I got hooked up with the band 'cause Phil and Stanley were friends. FB: With the Diva band? CF: Yeah, man. FB: A guy founded Diva? CF: Yeah, absolutely. FB: Sweet. CF: 'Cause he believed, he heard Sherrie. She's a chick drummer. "Hey, let's do this." He was as liberal as it comes for an old-school cat. So this guy, he was so old-school that's why the vision, that's why the band is as hip as it is, because he and Sherry got together. Yeah. That's my little connection to the old-school world. These cats, these students in the improv labs, or in the classes in the brass department, they don't know tunes. They learn these tunes. Listen to all these dead guys, man. That's our connection. FB: Yeah, there is a big gap between what students are listening to and what they might be catching up on. It happened long back in music history. That's the way it is. You've got to kind of scratch your way down from the surface to get down layers further and further to really broaden your perspectives in your career. You have to listen out, but you also have to listen back. CF: Yeah, absolutely. FB: And that seems to be harder and harder in some respects. CF: I think it helps that I'm younger, because, see, if I'm not an old fart and I'm going, "Listen to these records. Hey, cats, this is hip. Check it out. C'mon play." Then it's like, "Oh she's doing it -- okay." FB: She's only eight years older than me. CF: Yeah. Well, whatever, man. FB: It's a generation gap. It's true. CF: So I think it helps, 'cause all my -- the guys I still listen to, they're all dead cats, and transcribing. FB: I mean, you named Art Farmer, one of my gods, one of my all-time favorite players, but there are lots of guys who played trumpet who were just so creative and so cutting edge, I mean, Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie. CF: My favorites are cats like Clifford Brown, because his articulation is so clean, and he's so meticulous, this cat. FB: Meticulous. CF: You hear those practice tapes, Clifford Brown practice tapes. They're online. It's like him practicing with a mute, same thing over and over, playing changes, practicing. FB: No. CF: I love him. I play that stuff for my students. "Listen, this is how Clifford practiced." Except I say you gotta rest more than he's resting. He never takes it off his face, you know. Ah, those are grating, hearing that stuff. FB: In one sense, YouTube and the great wealth of things that are now online, is a blessing, but you have to know where to go. You know, if you get tied up in video games and the latest tweets and Rebecca Black and all these other one second wonders, you get lost in the fray. You need people to kind of steer. "Check that one out." "Check this one out." And why. CF: Honestly. And you know what, I'm at the point now when I'm making my students buy CDs, because, like, liner notes, you know, who's on the record, you gotta know what's going on. FB: You need the context. CF: And you read about the history. I'm learning every time I read the liner notes. "Okay, in 1952, this cat was doing this. Oh, ok." It's the history. FB: But, the sad thing is that there are no liner notes on anything except jazz and classical records. The rock and roll things you've gotta go to Rock's Back Pages [site] and see the commentaries by the pundits, the critics to get any of that stuff, 'cause rock and roll never had any notes. You get some splashy art, but never any back story. CF: Yeah, I'm talking about jazz records. FB: Me too, that's what I really care about. I'll be calling Cedar Walton this afternoon. CF: Yeah, man. That's cool.