Veteran American drummer Steve Gadd has one simple rule in music that has made him one of the most sought-after sticksmen in the jazz, pop and rock worlds - know when to keep your mouth shut.
"It's better to listen than talk," says the 68-year-old who in the past five decades has recorded and toured with acclaimed names as diverse as English blues guitarist Eric Clapton, folk/pop star Paul Simon and fusion jazz pioneer Chick Corea.
"If I was going in the studio, I would just go in with an open mind. I would just go in and let the music dictate what I do. I think it's important to not speak about it until after you've heard it.
"If you talk about it before you've heard the music or played it, then you're setting up barriers for yourself, you're starting to think about things to go with something that you haven't heard and might have nothing to do with when you hear the music for the first time."
He was talking to Life! in a telephone interview from his home in Phoenix, Arizona.
A respected band leader in his own right, the drummer will be fronting his own band of musicians at a performance at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Oct 7.
Made up of Gadd on drums, Larry Goldings on keyboards, Jimmy Johnson on bass, Michael Landau on guitars and Walt Fowler on the trumpets, the Steve Gadd Band will be playing songs they recorded for the drummer's 10th solo album, Gadditude.
This same line-up also backs acclaimed singer- songwriter James Taylor on tours.
"We're all sidemen, that's what we do for a living, and we've all also done solo projects. The album seemed like a real natural way to play with people I love playing with. We're used to working together as a rhythm section, so we just decided to take it one step further," he says of the jazz fusion songs in Gadditude.