Today is Heidi Baker's birthday. Her and her husband Rolland have been one of my biggest spiritual inspirations from afar. I'm so thankful for so many that have lived out what love looks like and have set the bar high. I hope to meet them some day. I got close here. LOL
They are the founders of Iris Ministries. Her motto is "Stop for the One"
On the heels of learning of Jessica's passing I learned that my friend Charlie Royce passed this weekend also. Charlie and Angie are such kind warm hearted people, wonderful musicians, and support the arts in a big way. Charlie helped sponsor a concert series that I was so honored to be asked to be a part of it which ended up being my CD release party for my last CD "Jubilee". They also were so kind to come out and support me when I received the 2014 West Michigan Jazz Musician of the Year Award, and remember their daughter sitting in during the evening. The bottom picture was when I went to see Hark Up play and that's my brother Mike in the back. The memory that sticks out to me however was the first picture of Charlie and Angie that I took. It was New Year's Eve at the Air Museum in Battle Creek, and we had a gig but it was a wedding not a NYE Party. 2nd one I've played like that. I remember I was really sick and it was too late to get a sub. I remember having a fever and just feeling awful so I tried to keep my distance from everyone, but Charlie was like man, pull up a chair, you can't be alone all night. He was so kind and looking out for me and really always supporting me in my career. Much love and prayers to Angie and family.
One of my sisters just sent me this. People ask me what was my first love, trumpet or drums. No question drums! As you can see here. Also not sure why the hi-hat is 100 ft away from me! LOL I played drums any chance I got and the concert that really set everything in motion for me was when I saw Buddy Rich for the first time in 3rd grade. I often think about what my life would look like had I been able to pursue drums through school! It's all turned out ok! LOL
With all the barbie craze because of the movie, I thought I'd get involved too! No I didn't go to the movie and don't plan to. I can't remember the last time I've been to a movie, many years. I got my first barbie doll when I was I think 50 years old. Birthday gift from my friend Marc Townley. It was on my list because I thought Pops wanted to maybe recreate the great duo albums he did with Ella!
Jessica was the official photographer for the jazz studies department at MSU. She really boosted morale as the kids would be so excited to see her documentation of the concerts. In 2017 Jessica and I spent a day together doing a photoshoot in 3 cities in one day! LOL Whew! We first headed to Grand Rapids, then headed to Chicago. What I didn't know was it was going to be a Monday night football game at Solider Field that night. We did it quick and got out before a traffic nightmare. We rushed back to East Lansing to catch the sunrise. We literarily had minutes before the sun went down and I remember frantically trying to get my trumpet and cymbal set up and tie my tie. She was like, " You have 30 seconds!" LOL The last picture here she caught a candid of me working sound at one of the shows. The next set were a few of the thousands she took for us at MSU. You will be missed!
I wish I had time to go into depth about the love I have for the man known as Hammer but my gig is calling me! He has provided so much joy, humor, inspiration and musicality to my life! He also has been such a loving support in this last season for me. I owe him much! Birthday blessings to the one and only Hammer! Maybe I'll write more later. Doesn't seem adequate! Much love!
My birthday greeting to Hammer that he posted!
I'm running short on time here but had to get these two blogs off before splitting for my gig. For me the greatest musician that ever lived is Louis Armstrong! I've written a lot and will continue to do so. I'd say if you can stop a civil war, you are pretty special! He changed music forever! Thank you to Wynton Marsalis and Jon Faddis who constantly told me to be listening to Louis Armstrong. Then thank you to Ricky Riccardi for the amazing opportunity to play Louis's trumpets and for all the work he does to let the world know about Louis Armstrong. It's also interesting to me that 3 of my biggest heroes are born very close to each other's days. Now I have a lot of heroes so that's not too hard to do but, my wife born on July 23, Jon Faddis born on July 24, Louis Armstrong and Jeff Hamilton born on August 4! Jon and Jeff in the same year! Pretty cool! All good reasons to celebrate!
So this is an interesting picture. It's my family who supported me through the season with Talia's sickness. This was the day I buried Talia. I like it because some are smiling like you are supposed to in pictures and some just couldn't because of the sadness in loosing Talia and in solidarity with my pain. When I look at it however, I see how each person in their own way supported and loved Talia and I during this time. I am so thankful for my family. I tried to provide as much hope as I could in my brief comments knowing this is just a little separation and for those of us that know Christ the Bible assures us we will be reunited. The day was very hectic. First thing that happened was I was running a little late so I was speeding and of course got pulled over. However, when the cop asked me where I was going and I had Talia's remains in the seat next to me, he said he did not want my day to be any worse than it already would be and told me he was sorry and to be safe. Of course I was balling, but I never forgot that act of kindness. I have tried to find that cop to thank him and what it meant to me, but to no avail. Once I got to the cemetery we kept waiting for the worker to meet us at the plot but they never came, to say the least I wasn't thrilled so I went ahead with my short planned ceremony to try and beat the rain that was coming. After my family left, I then had to go and deal with trying to get someone to come so I could properly bury her ashes. I think the way I did things Talia would have been happy with. It was hard not to have a formal ceremony with so many that showed so much love to me. It was hard to not have Talia's family there also but coming all the way from Mesa for a 10 min ceremony just didn't make sense and I taped it and sent it to them. I'm happy for this CD project so I can honor Talia a little and let people know God is to be praised.
Max Colley III
Spirit Filled Jazz Musician