One afternoon last summer I was performing at the City Winery in Manhattan with the fine young trumpeter Michael Rodriquez and his quartet. Midway through our set I noticed Rashied Ali take a seat with a friend near the bandstand. After one of the tunes I went to the side of the stage to say hello. He acknowledged my greeting with a few polite words but he was eyeing the bandstand with a definite intention. He wanted to play and I wanted him to play. A chance to hear and watch a master is always a welcomed opportunity.
“Man, I sure would like to play those beautiful drums!” he said.