A formative influence on my playing was a single performance at a Methodist church somewhere in the late 70s. A fellow named Hal Lovvorn played a trumpet obliggato in, if I remember correctly, only one song at the end of a long youth choir program.
It was gorgeous. It sounded like a handbell, a bowl of still water, and a silver mirror blended together. We had a recording of it on reel-to-reel, so I can say it isn’t just a kid’s lens-flare memory.
I spent years trying to sound like that, not realizing until later that there is a wonderful effect in a church called reverb. At any rate, I did my best to become a tone player, but nowadays I don’t play every day and I’ve lost a bit of it.
Still, it’s good to remember that every single performance could be the one that inspires someone.