Today is an ironic celebration of life, as we mourn the death of the great musician and composer Gerald Wilson, and acknowledge the birthday of the great Roy Ayers.
To say Gerald Wilson was a library is an understatement.
For a jazzman to live 96 years is an accomplishment by itself, but when you’ve worked with everyone in the span of 70 years, touched so many through music, you are one of a kind. You are Gerald Wilson, the great composer and musician who has passed away recently.
When it comes to Gerald Wilson, it’s almost impossible to put his career and life into perspective. Words like “dedication”, or “experienced” don’t work. To think of the greatest names in jazz, and to think that Gerald saw them come and go, Miles, Bird, Coltrane, Monk, true masters of the genre he has touched, will leave anyone in awe. A notable person who Gerald Wilson gave his first break, was the great Roy Ayers, who played with Gerald Wilson in the early 60’s, so it’s only right that we acknowledge Gerald Wilson’s contributions specifically to the career of Roy.
Today is a day in which we reflect. We remember the great career of Gerald Wilson, who passed away yesterday, and Roy Ayers, who celebrates his 74th birthday.
Happy Birthday, Roy Ayers, and rest in peace, Gerald Wilson. You’re legacy lives through us, and will continue to shine through those in which you influenced.