I just got word that one of my favorite people in the world, and one of the most accomplished musicians I've ever known, Al Tinney, has passed away. Al Tinney played with Charlie Parker, Ruth Brown and other greats in New York City before returning to Buffalo to raise a family. I first met him when I was 12, at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery jazz series, where he played weekly with Emile Latimer, Sam Falzone, John Bacon, Jr., Carol McLaughlin and many others. Al was a funny, gentle, beautiful man who loved music, children, and hugs.
For the last few years, Al has been fighting emphysema. It broke my heart to see him carting around his oxygen tank and still smoking cigarettes. Please, don't smoke.
We love you, Al. Peace and Godspeed. You will be deeply, deeply missed.