NHTE 170 Carl Fischer

Billy Joel’s trumpet player for more than a decade now, he also plays flugelhorn, trombone, and saxophone. Carl has also been a featured soloist with Diana Ross. And, he has been the Music Director for Blood, Sweat, & Tears, recorded with Mariah Carey and for national TV commercials. He also is a band leader of two groups of his own. As he mentions during this interview, he is currently working on material for his next solo project.

Show Quotes: 

“If you get sick and tired of (playing major venues), if you don’t think it’s special, you should not be playing music.”

“Not many people can sell out a baseball stadium and has not had a record out in 20-something years.  That speaks volumes about the classic songs of Billy Joel and I’m proud to be a part of that.”

“I don’t have a job.  I don’t go to work.  I go to play.”

“The real work is the travel.”

“I look at it like we’re the seasoning and the sprinkle and the color… in the gumbo, so to speak.”

“I look at each gig like an opportunity to hone my skills.”

“New York has such a vibe and it’s a New York band and Billy is the quintessential New York Gershwin, so to speak.”

“I really like to sit with musicians and geek out on equipment.”

“There’s a business that goes along with having fun.  How to get along with people on a tour bus.  There’s a lot of guys who are great musicians that I wouldn’t hire in a band just because they don’t get the idiosyncrasies and the nuances that you need.  Or vice versa, if you want to be a… session musician… what tools you need for that.  There’s a different toolbox for each avenue of expertise you’re going to get into.”

“There are two types of music – good and bad.”

Songs on this episode: 

“Downeaster Alexa”
“Weinheim Blues”