Happy Birthday Ornette! My dad took me to see him when I was a teenager and me and my friends used to dance around to”Dancing In Your Head” with its youthful, joyful energy. I met and talked to him at the Grammys in 2007 where he received a lifetime achievement award, we (Groove Collective) were nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album that year. Having a little chat with Ornette and getting my picture taken with him to show my dad, was definitely one of the highlights for me. He was so gracious and told me to stop by his place when we were back in NY anytime. Someday I still hope to take him up on that, though I did get the feeling he is just that open and welcoming to everyone he meets. He gave an incredible and beautiful acceptance speech which thankfully, benefited from not being televised, in that it surely would have been cut short. Unfortunate for the viewing public though, as it was surely much deeper and more significant than most of the drivel that does get televised. His speech was not unlike his playing. I was drawn into what seemed familiar, almost soothing and then found myself lost in swirl of ideas and phrases that I knew would make sense, if I could only snap out of my trance! For a minute I thought someone slipped something into my drink. I can’t believe I didn’t take some video or more pictures but it was 2007 prior to my smartphone carrying days I did enjoy the moment though. Here‘s a link to a nice picture from his birthday party talking to Cecil Taylor.