I have been going to Chicago for jazz concerts since high school. I've seen so much of the history there. Have many fond memories at Ravinia. Added one more last night seeing Branford Marsalis with the J@LCO. Branford is one of my favorite saxophonists and it was so fun to hear him play with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. I usually see the orchestra a few times a year but because of the obvious, it's been a min. I'm always struck by how welcoming and hospitable everyone is. They are truly family and was so good to see and hear them all.
It was around 1982 that Don Gallagher introduced me to Jon Faddis on an album called "Joust Oscar Peterson and The Trumpet Kings" and I fell in love immediately.
Fast forward to 1987 I finally get to hear Jon live twice. Once at a Jazz For Life Event in Detroit with Ellis and Branford Marsalis then at the ITG Festival that was held in Kalamazoo.
Then in 1993 I got my chance to get a lesson with Jon and then share the stage with him with my college jazz band at Central Michigan University.
I've seen Jon hundreds of times since and he has become in addition to being my hero and mentor yet, a dear friend. I have learned so much from Jon not only about music but about life. I have seen Jon do such amazing things with people when nobody is looking. I have had the pleasure to share the stage with him on numerous occasions since (usually calling me out of the audience to play "West End Blues" which he taught me at his house on a visit). (The last time was at Andy's club in Chicago and he just gave me his horn to play as I was sitting at a table in front of the stage. LOL)
Jon has literally played with everyone in jazz since he has been alive. He is a true master in my book and my life is so enhanced by his presence and friendship. I could make this very long but I still would not convey the love I have for him. So born on this day July 24, Mr. Jon Faddis!
There is a lot of debate on when the great Louis Armstrong was born. The date Louis claimed was July 4, 1900 I believe. My friend and foremost authority on all things Louis Armstrong wrote this blog on the 3 possible dates for Louis. I'll share more personal thoughts at another time soon on Louis. Enjoy: https://dippermouth.blogspot.com/2015/07/happy-birthday-pops-case-for-july-4-1901.html
The past few years have been hard for me to celebrate. I've listened to some good commentary today and thought I'd share someone I truly respect. I'm currently reading Frederick Douglass biography and just got to this speech. Perfect timing. Thank you for your always thoughtful words and fighting in love! I'll also add this in who is and has been my vote for president Condoleezza Rice.
There is a line in most peoples vow's when they get married that says in sickness and in health. 2021 has been a challenging year for my bride dealing with some pretty serious health issues. (non covid related). I don't know who it has been harder for, her physically or me emotionally. You always wish when you love someone that you could be going through it instead of your loved one. That's only happened once when Christ went to the cross for my sins! What I have learned about my wife is that she is a very strong woman. I guess what this circumstance has really brought to the forefront for me is, do I really believe what I say I believe. My wife has led the way in our faith that she will be healed completely. We had just finished reading "When Heaven Invades Earth" and she was able to directly apply all we just learned. It took me a moment to wrap my head around it all, but finally got on board! So on this 4th anniversary, I believe we are as strong as we have ever been because of what we have been through. So many have been so incredible on this journey with us. What an incredible blessing God has given me in my wife! I look forward to an amazing year growing closer together and growing closer with God. Love you Talia! Happy Anniversary!
Max Colley III
Spirit Filled Jazz Musician