I was getting off a plane and spotted him sitting alone with his wife in a darkened and otherwise empty airport gate. I felt I had to say something, so I stepped over and told him that he’s made the world a better place, he’s inspired countless people to better themselves, he’s brought joy and solace to literally millions of people, and I tried to express to him how profound that seemed to me.
He was incredibly kind and warm, asked me about myself, gave me encouragement. I shook his hand and went on my way. The interaction lasted just a minute or two, but I was on Cloud Nine.
And TODAY he turns 90 years old. Happy Birthday to Sonny Rollins. He’s the basis of who I am as an artist. He’s uplifted all of us. What a profound and beautiful person.