This pic was a Berklee College of Music Alumni party from 2009 to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of one of the GREATEST MUSICIANS EVER bassist Victor Bailey! I’m on the end, right hand side and Victor is standing right beside me! It was a great evening of fun, reflection, laughter, tears, great food and of course great music! There were many stories about Victor and how he changed the World and influenced many!
One of my stories with the Master (which I didn’t get to tell there on the podium) was about a time when I was gigging as the House guitarist at the BlueNote Jazz Club NYC with the late night band, one of my first prominate gigs when I first arrived in NYC and right after Berklee. At the time, you were highly accepted if you sounded exactly more or less, like one of the previous greats on the guitar, but that kind of direct emulation thing just wasn’t me. And it can get discouraging when people tell you, you got sound like someone else in order to be a working musician! So… Right after a set, Victor jumped up on the stage and came right for me! I didnt even know he was in the audience and had NEVER met he before! We embraced and he looked at me square in the face and said… “Man I’m so happy you don’t sound like George Benson like the rest of the cats! Keep doing what you’re doing” I was floored! But not only that, it REALLY inspired me and gave me strength to keep pursuing my own style, my own way but of course still reflect the history of the music! It was HUGE for me at the time! I will ALWAYS love Victor Bailey for that and much more!
As some of you know, Victor isnt doing so well right now health-wise, so PLEASE send him your love and prayers… Long live the great Victor Bailey! One love to the Universe