NBJP: If you were about to have your last meal, what would it be?
AM: I am a sucker for Mom’s cooking: Corn Chowder appetizer, followed by Chicken Scaloppini with Tuna Noodle Casserole; My 3 favorites and if it’s going to be my last, I’m doing it all.
NBJP: What’s your favorite jazz club to go to if you’re going to hang?
AM: I really dig the Jazz Standard. I’ve seen some of the greatest shows of my life there and the atmosphere is really hip.
NBJP: What musician influenced you the most?
AM: The most influential is hard to say. Lately, it’s been pianist Taylor Eigsti, trombonist Andy Hunter and vocalist Gretchen Parlato.
NBJP: What instrument, other than the one you play, would you like to be able to play?
AM: I always wanted to be a piano player, just for the wide range of textures. But to be honest, I tend to try to play the trombone like a trumpet, so definitely the latter.
NBJP: What’s your favorite non-musical pastime?
AM: Racquetball. Bring it.
NBJP: What’s your favorite jazz tune?
AM: This one changes about once a year. Dolphin Dance, Stablemates and Blood Count have all held the title at some point. Right now, it’s Isfahan. I am a fool for Billy Strayhorn. His writing has an undeniable signature to it and is always dramatic, honest and sincere.
NBJP: What quality do you like least about yourself?
AM: I tend to be nervous in unfamiliar social situations. I always start to overthink everything when I get uncomfortable. However considering improvising in both music and life situations is essential to this career I am continually striving to be more relaxed and personable.
PLUS ONE: When did you know you wanted to be a professional jazz musician?
AM: I’ll let you know. I knew I wanted to be a musician in high school thanks to some very encouraging teachers. And although I primarily play jazz, in no way do want to limit myself to only being a jazz musician. I love playing and listening to some many types of music and believe life is so much more rewarding with diversity.