Uan was one of the regulars at my every-other-Sunday night big band gig, and it seems like we just saw him a few weeks ago.
In addition to his amazing resume as a player, he was an astonishingly decent human being, and unbelievably dignified about his circumstances as he grew older. He always left me with the sense that even though he wasn't sitting on the bandstand with us, he was still part of the team, since we never wanted him to hear us play anything but our best. He'll be missed.
A definite musical giant and gentleman. I took a lesson from him a number of years ago. When I showed up he asked if I could wait a minute while he finished up a call. Turned out Arturo Sandoval was in town for the Grammys and had just called to chat. I thought that was pretty cool.
It was a great lesson, too. He helped me take some attention off the mechanics and move more focus to the sound.
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