I had never known anything about the late trumpeter Uan Rasey beyond noticing his unusual name in discographies — until my friend Marc Caparone told me about taking a lesson with Uan, what a remarkable person he was, how he emphasized something larger than “technique,” which was the making of beautiful sounds. Through Doug Ramsey’s RIFFTIDES, I learned this morning that Uan had died, age 90. You can read more about this unique man and musician here —
But I want everyone to read one short paragraph about Uan Rasey — proof of how special a man he was. It’s a story told by Uan’s grandson:
When he was 89 years old, he learned that his seven-year-old granddaughter Taylor had no way home from school because her mother had been delayed. Rather than let her wait, possibly for a long time, he called Access Paratransit. Blind and in his wheelchair, he got into the Access van and traveled three miles to the school. When he got there, he wheeled himself into the school, found Taylor and took her home in the van. Then, when they got to the house he fixed her a meal, and when Taylor’s mom got home, she found the two of them partying, having a great time.
Uan Rasey was a beautiful sound in human form, and we could do him honor by remembering that story and trying to live our lives that way.