Interview and photo by Steve Korn
When I was 14, I fell in love with the sound of the bass, specifically, Milt Hinton.
If I could do it all over again, I’d probably do most of it again, perhaps more efficiently.
Practice makes perfect, allegedly, but it never quite does which is why we keep doing it.
The bass is “a thing of beauty and a pain-in-the-ass forever.”
When I look at where I’m at right now, I know I’m still on the way to where I’m going.
My parents were talented, interested and interesting people, supportive and, in my case, very tolerant.
Fear is a poor motivator.
Motivation is whatever works for you.
As I get older, I’ve realized that advancing age is not necessarily a catastrophe, at least so far.
The thing about music is it’s the greatest blessing and thus requires nothing less than our best effort to do it right.
In the big scheme of things, what really matters is [ See above]
I cried when Elvis got out of the Army.
Music has taught me, is still teaching me, humility and gratitude for the grace it makes possible.
When I’m performing well, it feels like I’m home and I’d like to keep doing this for a long time.
If I could have made a career on another instrument, it would have been the piano or the larynx.
Some musicians just don’t understand that they don’t understand. This ain’t some kind of deregulated democracy.
Your audience is an essential part of the whole process and, whenever possible, to be valued as such.
I’m happy whenever I’m listening to Lester Young. There are many others but Prez never fails to cheer me with his wit, imagination, and the sheer joy of his playing.
I view my greatest achievement to be maintaining a high degree of enthusiasm for and optimism about the music I love and still wanting and needing it as much as I ever did.
Read all of Steve’s Leading Questions at
1 comment to “Leading Questions: Michael Barnett”
I love reading these “leading questions”, it’s a great idea. The answers are always thought provoking and/or at least entertaining. I look forward to more. Thanks for doing this, Steve.