I first met Tommy LiPuma in 1972, when I signed to his label, Blue Thumb Records. For the next 45 years I had the pleasure of spending a lot of time with him, listening to music, hanging out, driving around and having great dinners. Whatever you were doing with Tommy was one of the best times you ever had, because he was one of the funniest and nicest guys you ever met.
He was one of a kind, a person who made great musicians feel comfortable and even the elevator operator feel valued. He loved music and he made great records, but his real secret was that he was a genius with people. It didn’t matter who he was with: Even if they had just met him that day they wanted to deliver the goods, because there was something special about him. Nobody wanted to let Tommy down.