'I met John at the Five Spot when I was just out of college. I used to go down there to hear Monk. It was just after I married. I lived not too far from the old Five Spot at 5 Cooper Square, and I would go there every night and I would hear Monk — and Ornette Coleman, when those guys first came from California. And when Trane was with Monk, I frequented the club every night, because he was a man who exerted a great deal of influence on me.
So one day I got up my nerve and said I’d like to ask him to show me something — like a tutorial. And I said I was from Philadelphia, like he was; I tried to do as much as I could to bond with him as much as possible. (Laughs). And he was a very nice man, John, and he wrote his address down in a very careful neat hand, and I showed up the next morning at his home on Columbus Avenue, not thinking that he had finished his gig at the Five Spot at 5 in the morning — and I was there at 10. And he had practiced himself to sleep, no doubt, until about 7.
Well, his wife of the time, Anita – Naima – opened the door, and she asked me in, and I waited for John until about 1:30, when he got up. And his horn was lying on the sofa; he hadn’t put it in its case. And he picked it up, and he started to play immediately — something like “Giant Steps,” for about 10 minutes, just uninterrupted saxophone. He put his horn down and said, “You want to play something for me?”’