Donald Harrison: I think it’s important to provide a link to the musicians that I've played with. That's what I see my role as. When I played with Art Blakey or people like Roy Haynes, they could tell me what Charlie Parker was like and what it was like to play in those groups, so they were my link. Playing with McCoy Tyner, he could explain what it was like playing with John Coltrane. So I see my job as to keep that thread alive, because many of those masters are not with us anymore.
I actually started in New York with Roy Haynes when I was 19. My first gig was on 52nd Street with Roy Haynes. How can you – and I'd only been playing jazz – I started at 16, so I think about that now, and I'd only been playing jazz for three years and then I was playing with Roy Haynes, and that is truly amazing to me.