Ira Sullivan…Old Friend, International Jazz Treasure

Ive known Ira since I was 16 years old, he put up with me coming by his house all the time that he lived in at that time,  it was right across the street from a grave yard in Dania Fl …  Then when I was 18 he gave me a Selmer mark 6 to go to New York with, this was an expensive gift to give to a pimple faced kid,,,I guess he had some faith in me, the problem was I liked the drugs far more then anything else at that time, ( Im clean since 1985) This is the kind a guy he was, and is. I only get to talk with him once a year or so now, but Ira, I love ya man…Lookin Good! Any jazz player that hasn’t studied Ira should get a grip. Trumpet, or sax, he dose more with a melody then anybody that ever lived. Check out his LP’s with Red Rodney back in the 60’s, his new CD After hours, hes 85 and sounds great…

When it comes to influences Ira Sullivan is, and has been the single most influential men in Jazz I have ever known, and I have met most of them along the way. We all look to Miles DavisJohn ColtraneJaco PastoriusMonkCharlie Parker, and so on, but Ira seems to be the silent Giant among us, walking softly and caring a BIG stick!. I know first hand, he likes it that way. Weather it be Ira playing Trumpet, or Sax Hes the man. Ira was the driving force behind so many great Jazz players just by his very presents and his uncanny capability to share his huge gift with just about anyone. When most players were all about building their rep, Ira was working with the young players everywhere from the street to the university’s. This man may very well be, the best thing that ever happened to Jazz, and the funny part about it, some players don’t know who he is… Thats insane, the man went up for jazz player of the year for the Academy Awards 5 times! Ira told me he just stopped going out the the award presentations  because it just cost him money, and he never came home with the prize. Then he laughed. Here are three links to get you started on a musical path to Ira’s contribution to Jazz. Take the time and check it out. Its worth it…Big Time!

… That should wake ya up…The quiet monster of Jazz…The artical link below is a nice tribute to Bird and Ira.

The man is in his 80’s playing Soprano Saxophone like this, he sent this CD to me a few years ago, and over a period of a few months I still cant get over how he handles melody in his solos…My mentor  as a youngster, and great friend till today Ira Sullivan, This man has a history in Jazz like no other, look him up on the net…Trumpet and saxophone, and plays his ass of on both, Jaco came from under Ira’s wings…As well as a multitude of great players from Miami and Chicago area…

Hers Ira back in the old days with The Red Rodney Quintet…


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