I first saw Jimmy playing his tenor sax at Mozart’s in the early “80s. I became an instant fan. I took sax lessons from him for a year; loaned him my tenor when his was in the shop; helped him move his few belongings across Riddle Road. We would talk. I was surprised how much he knew about sculpture. I went to hear him play often. He played beautifully, especially at difficult times in his life, and his playing inspired and moved me. This portrait, which he posed for in the summer of 1990 (two years before he died), is part of a series of sculptures, The Big Men, that addresses that ability of people to rise above the trials and tribulations of their lives and to inspire others through their work. The big hands emphasize their deeds; the well defined faces, their individuality and character; and the mangled, turbulently textured bodies, the painful, temporal aspects of life that we all must rise above. He had a look about him, even when he was not playing, that can best be described as having been chiseled by the wind. I could picture him on the prow of a ship. He had that look.
Cast stone for bronze.
29 x 16 x 14 inches.