I had a chance to meet you in person, Mr. Gillespie
It was at the Village Gate
I was with a group of people I had organized to hear your group.
That night, your were with band members Ben Brown on bass, Rodney Jones on guitar and Mickey Roker on drums
You announced to the audience that you were going to introduce the members of the band
You introduced them—to each other
You also featured special guests trumpeter Jon Faddis and Mike Longo, my piano teacher at the time
Jon Faddis played a bent trumpet just like yours
During one tune, he played some notes higher than the ones you played
You said to the audience, “But I wrote it”—or something like that
After your concert, you were surrounded by fans waiting to get your autograph
I thought, I’ll wait for another time to meet you
Sadly, it never happened.
Your autobiography is called To Be or Not to Bop
It has some funny stories in it
I read it, and I laughed.