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Chuck Nessa

RIP Ira Sullivan

41 posts in this topic

I hate losing friends.

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I've been a big fan since his album on the Horizon label came out, but sadly never got to hear him play in person.

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RIP.  Had an interesting, creative mind; he'll be missed.

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So sorry to hear this news.  He was a wonderful musician.

R.I.P.

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Really interesting musician.  89 years old, RIP.

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Very sorry to hear this.  I saw him  a few times as a solo leader, but also caught him with Red Rodney at the Keystone Korner.  I think I went four nights.  Good memories.  RIP Mr. Sullivan.

Edited by BeBop

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I already miss his phone calls.

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I saw him for the first and last time playing trumpet in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase; early 1980s? It was more than great, it was astounding.

He was one of the free-est improvising beboppers I have ever seen. I was just floored.

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Me too at Jazz Showcase, just as I was getting more into the music at college in the late 80’s. For some reason, I’m recalling a version of Infant Eyes. RIP

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Some things cannot be faked or replicated. Here was one of those.

RIP to a real musician.

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I saw him once here in Cleveland and he was incredible.  Between sets, his assistant sold CDs and got people lined up to meet and sit with Ira.  Ira and I chatted a bit (I asked about Jaco) and he signed the copy of Blue Stroll that I had just bought, telling me about picking up the peck horn during the session.  Before I left him, I asked if he might be willing to play 'I Waited for You'.  I very rarely ever request songs, so I don't know what inspired me to ask Ira to play that beautiful ballad other than having an inkling that he would know it.

During the next set, he asked the band if they knew it and they didn't.  Ira says on the microphone, "Where's Justin?  He asked for a tune, but the band doesn't know it.  He likes the tune and so do I, so I am going to play it anyway."  I was on cloud nine as Ira launched into it unaccompanied, wrapping the melody in his gorgeous soprano sound as the band eventually joined in behind him.

I'll always treasure the memory of that night.  Thank you for the music, Mr. Sullivan, and rest in peace.

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5 minutes ago, Justin V said:

I saw him once here in Cleveland and he was incredible.  Between sets, his assistant sold CDs and got people lined up to meet and sit with Ira.  Ira and I chatted a bit (I asked about Jaco) and he signed the copy of Blue Stroll that I had just bought, telling me about picking up the peck horn during the session.  Before I left him, I asked if he might be willing to play 'I Waited for You'.  I very rarely ever request songs, so I don't know what inspired me to ask Ira to play that beautiful ballad other than having an inkling that he would know it.

During the next set, he asked the band if they knew it and they didn't.  Ira says on the microphone, "Where's Justin?  He asked for a tune, but the band doesn't know it.  He likes the tune and so do I, so I am going to play it anyway."  I was on cloud nine as Ira launched into it unaccompanied, wrapping the melody in his gorgeous soprano sound as the band eventually joined in behind him.

I'll always treasure the memory of that night.  Thank you for the music, Mr. Sullivan, and rest in peace.

Sounds just like him. During one of my recording sessions, studio guest Don DeMichael shouted out "play bebop". Ira turned to the booth and queried "The tune or the style". Then he called Dizzy's "That's Earl, Brother". That performance is on the record.

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13 minutes ago, Justin V said:

I saw him once here in Cleveland and he was incredible.  Between sets, his assistant sold CDs and got people lined up to meet and sit with Ira.  Ira and I chatted a bit (I asked about Jaco) and he signed the copy of Blue Stroll that I had just bought, telling me about picking up the peck horn during the session.  Before I left him, I asked if he might be willing to play 'I Waited for You'.  I very rarely ever request songs, so I don't know what inspired me to ask Ira to play that beautiful ballad other than having an inkling that he would know it.

During the next set, he asked the band if they knew it and they didn't.  Ira says on the microphone, "Where's Justin?  He asked for a tune, but the band doesn't know it.  He likes the tune and so do I, so I am going to play it anyway."  I was on cloud nine as Ira launched into it unaccompanied, wrapping the melody in his gorgeous soprano sound as the band eventually joined in behind him.

I'll always treasure the memory of that night.  Thank you for the music, Mr. Sullivan, and rest in peace.

Lovely story, Justin.  Thank you for sharing.

 

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RIP to another one of the greats.

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I'll never forget hearing him when I was a freshman in high school in 1956 or '57 at a Monday night session (Monday was a no drinks sold off night so young people could get in) at the Gate of Horn with Johnny Griffin, Jodie Christian, Donald Garrett, and Wilbur Campbell. They played "Night in Tunisia" and after Ira and Griffin soloed, Ira picked up his tenor and he and Griffin had a friendly tenor battle.

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19 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

I'll never forget hearing him when I was a freshman in high school in 1956 or '57 at a Monday night session (Monday was a no drinks sold off night so young people could get in) at the Gate of Horn with Johnny Griffin, Jodie Christian, Donald Garrett, and Wilbur Campbell. They played "Night in Tunisia" and after Ira and Griffin soloed, Ira picked up his tenor and he and Griffin had a friendly tenor battle.

Was there anyone -- ever -- who was able to play BOTH the trumpet/fluegelhorn AND reeds with such mastery? 

Benny Carter, maybe?  ... I can't think of anyone else.

 

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Ira and Von were the Chicago bop scene for me. I arrived too late for Nicky Hill and some others but....

Glad that Von led Ira back to me in Chicago as Ira said in the notes to "Circumstantial".

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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sad news, what a year it's been. A really great musician.

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