"I remember one time, I got kidnapped by Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie," Woods said. "I was working at Birdland. I was drinking too much and unhappy with the band I was playing with and moaning and groaning and all that stuff.
"Dizzy and Art took me to Dizzy's pad out in Corona where he lived and said: "Now what is your problem, man?' I said, 'Oh, man, I'm not ready. I'm a white guy I'm not going to make it in jazz.' And Dizzy said, 'Young man, Charlie Parker did not give this music to any particular race. He gave it to everyone in the world. And if you can hear it, you can have it. You can't steal a gift.' I'll never forget that. "I said, 'Do you think I can make it?' Dizzy said 'Yeah, if you'd shape up.' He gave me the confidence. He said, 'You can play, but you've got to get your act together.' These two giants of our industry taking the time off to talk to this maudlin, honky guy who didn't know which end was up. But they took the time," Woods said. "Dizzy was most supportive, and school was open always to the end.
"The amazing thing was the yin and yan of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Bird was the meteor who wasn't around a long time. He came, he changed it and he left. But Dizzy was the arranger, the composer, the reader, the sober, industrious one. Everybody knew who the boss was," Woods said. "Dizzy was the teacher, the one who passed it on."