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January 13th, 2011 - The Annapolis Evening Capital - Michael J. Sarli
Michael J. Sarli, of Annapolis, died peacefully January 9 in Philadelphia, Pa. from complications related to a brain tumor.
He was born Sept. 16, 1925, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and grew up in West Harrison, N.Y., where he attended White Plains High School. Mike was a US Marine Corps aviator during World War II. He had a long and productive career at the Federal Aviation Administration, retiring in 1992 as Air Traffic Control Chief at Baltimore Washington International Airport.
He was preceded in death by his son, Jeffrey J. Sarli, who died in 2006.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Victoria; two children, Michael S. Sarli and wife Paula of Fairfax, Va., and Mary Ellen Porreca and husband Jeffery of Philadelphia, Pa.; and five grandchildren, Evan M. Sarli and wife Paula Mattison Sarli of Glen Burnie, Matthew S. Sarli of West Norriton, Pa., Benjamin W. Sarli of Annapolis, and Sebastian W. Porreca and Frances Porreca, both of Philadelphia, Pa.
A Funeral Mass is scheduled for 11am, Friday January 14, 2011 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Severna Park, MD. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to VNA In Patient Hospice of Philadelphia, Falls Center, 3300 Henry Avenue 6th floor, Philadelphia PA 19129.
Hurricane Kevin Lebling - 12/13/2011 7:25:00 PM
Very nice to stumble on this sight. Jeff was an old Annapolis friend. He started a band with me and Bernie Nikelski "Rosewood Manor,"and tried to explain "Rockabilly" to me before it had become poputar. This was back in "79," or "80." We were the house band at the Happy Buzzard for about a year. Other local bands he played with were the Wild Cats and Mama Jama. I was so happy he got to get out of Annapolis with his playing. He will always be a cherrished memory as well as an ongoing inspiration to me. Jeff was one cool cat.
Liz McEntee DeCecco - 1/13/2011 9:08:00 AM
I just stumbled upon this site now, in the wake of his father's death (my Great Uncle Mike). Although I'm not sure if I ever met Jeff, I do remember hearing about his music, both while he was alive and the music that was played at his memorial service. It's amazing to read about all that he did and accomplished, and I only can wish that I had gotten to see/hear him play at some point.
Chris Mignone - 7/15/2010 11:07:00 PM
I was thinking of my cousin Jeff today. I love reading all the wonderful tributes to you. Rest in Peace.
Ron Waldrop - 3/16/2010 7:48:00 AM
One of my proudest photo's is Jeff and I standing in front of the door at the Sunset Grille. Boy did he look cool on that old BMW R69S. We will miss you Jeff.
Lauren Bono Janson - 10/23/2009 10:46:00 PM
I had some of the most moving musical experiences with you Jeff. And what a wonderful, unforgettable short time we had together as close friends. I miss you and the tender times we shared. It just wasn't long enough.When Jeff played , the whole band kicked butt. He could make everyone swing better. I will always love you , beyond space and time.
Tedd Craven - 12/19/2008 2:04:00 PM
Very sorry to hear about Jeff. He used to come and watch our band play in the garage when he was a kid in Silver Lake. He was a kind soul and a great person. Why do the gifted have to leave so early? Tedd
Stagger Lee - 8/28/2008 12:09:00 PM
I often wondered, whatever happened to that guy on bass guitar I saw perform with John Mooney and the Bluesiana band? It was back in 1998 at the Cape Cod Music Festival in E. Falmouth, Mass. Along with George Rocelli on drums, those 3 guys put on a show that captivated me and turned me on to the New Orleans music scene for life. Prior to 1998, I had not been to NOLa and have been 16 times since. Yeah You Right! My condolences to the Sarli family. Jeff will be dearly missed.
Anonymous - 7/17/2008 3:20:00 PM
Jeff, We our family celebrates your life on what would be your 50th year on earth. We are sure you know how much we miss you . There isn't a day that goes by that we don't talk about you. We know the Good LORD is taking good care of you. Look down and watch over us. <br> <br>Love MOM&DAD and your Brother and Sister.
Mike Sarli - 12/24/2007 12:35:00 PM
I would like to thank everyone who has submitted comments to Jeff's web page. We apprciate any input reference our son. Thank you all Mike & Vicki Sarli,Jeff's parents
Dan van Buskirk - 12/20/2007 3:36:00 PM
Jeff's on a Youtube video - 'Low Budget', circa 1991, Tornado Alley, Wheaton, MD
Keith Walmsley - 9/18/2007 3:54:00 PM
I used to sit-in with Dean, Tom and Jeff some Wednesday nights at the Rams Head in Annapolis, MD. I miss Jeef, that gig and the numerous musical contributions he made - and the stories he had to tell.
Kate Anthony - 9/18/2007 10:22:00 AM
I had the pleasure of knowing Jeff for quite a few years, as he played regularly at The Talbot Street Cafe in Ocean City Maryland - l984 to l990 - not only was he a fantastic player, but truly one of the loveliest men I have ever met - he will be missed in many lives....
Evan Sarli - 8/7/2007 5:43:00 PM
First and foremost to Alan Manuel...the name is Evan :). At least you got the E right. Not bad for 10 years ago. They say that after a year it gets better, and I think that's true to a degree. I talk to my dad more now than I probably ever have. I know he's here with us but I definitely miss the sound of his voice on the other end. Jeff Sarli was a wonderful father to me when I needed a father and a wonderful friend to me when I needed a friend. I have a music room where I do my practicing and mixing/mastering of whatever project I'm doing, and there's always a picture of him in perfect musical form that I can glance at, and know that it's SO important to keep plugging away...be it music, or art, or whatever your heart tells you to do. Sometimes my heart tells me to cry, but mostly it lets me know that he's fine, he's with me, and everything is OK. I'm very lucky to be his son.
Mary Ellen - 7/10/2007 9:17:00 PM
Happy Birthday Jeffrey-we miss you and love you.
Anthony Malat - 4/20/2007 6:31:00 PM
I met Jeff when I worked at the old Record & Tape Exchange in Annapolis when I was a teenager. I sat out front of the shop all day smoking my Lucky Strikes hoping no one would come. They usually didn't except for the weekends. Jeff pulled up in his old 50's car, I don't remember the make although I did for years, and I put out my cigarette & followed him in. He was bummed when I put out my cigarette, but I told it was better for my health anyways. I was listening to 'Get yer ya-ya's out', an old vinyl copy, so we got to talking. Turned out we had alot of friends in common, seeing as how I'm a bass player too and all, being from the same digs. We'd talk whenever he'd come in, and I think he even saw a couple of my gigs by chance back then. Jeff impressed me so much- I knew we were both fighting the good fight, makings ends meet, playing music. I think about Jeff alot, and just now thought to look him up when I found this site. I've never written in something like this, and I don't know why I am. I guess to tell Jeff how much he meant to me, and how proud of him I always was. He made me feel like I wasn't alone, that I could stand up for myself & my art. I miss you Jeff, I just knew I'd run into you on some street somewhere, and it'd be like yesterday. I guess I gotta wait a little longer for that, and it breaks my heart. I'll play a little harder for you, Jeff, from here on out. We're lifers, you & I. I guess I'll see you on the flip side. Goddamn.
Indra Souvereyns - 4/13/2007 11:02:00 AM
Jeff, Jeff, Jeff! You still have that amazing ability to reach down into somebody's soul. I too had a dream, a few months ago. You were in it and even though we saw each other, we could not get close enough to communicate. I woke up confused and felt the need to get in touch with you after many many years. That's when I read the news. I was sad and shocked and felt the need to pull out my dairy. Ah, so many great memories of my first year in the US. If it weren't for all of you guys, things would not have been the same for me and I would have most likely ended up going back. Instead I have experienced many wonderful things and still am. I am happy to see so many familiar names on this page and to read how so many others were touched by your music and soul. You were truely one of a kind and I am honored to have known you. I've been back to New Orleans and it was just not the same without you guys there! A few weeks ago you appeared in my dream again, only this time we really got to talk, hang out and laugh. It was amazing and I woke up relaxed and smiling, knowing you were OK now. I miss you and really wish I would have acted upon one of my many instincts to get in touch since I never leave a trail behind. So long my friend...
Ferrell Carpenter - 4/9/2007 4:42:00 PM
I met Jeff several years ago and connected immediately. It was the talent that drew me at first, but that was soon matched by an excellent wit, curiosity, intellect, and irresistible kind of quiet but sly sparkle. In getting to know him, there also emerged this incredibly gentle and open soul. He had an innate and remarkable ability to see the world kindly and with forgiveness that was infectious. <br>During a visit, I had the pleasure of meeting his parents and his boys, and it was so perceptible to see that same light reflected in all of them. It was an honor to spend time with them, and I am terribly sorry for their loss. And thank you for the perogies, Mrs. Sarli ! <br>Jeff was a seeker- and he inspired people to open their eyes wider. To try and perceive things in the same gentle glow that he strove to walk around in. <br>We had lost touch, but last night I had an amazing dream. I was wandering around this place that I had never been, wondering why I was there, and then I saw Jeff and thought “Oh of course- this is where Jeff lives now! Cool, I get to hang out with him!” It felt completely real, exactly like a visit: we caught up about the last couple of years, palled around, bickered a little, laughed…in the end we said goodbye, and I woke up feeling intensely refreshed and calm. I literally felt like he and I had just visited. <br>Inspired by this to get in touch, I looked online this morning and found the terrible and staggering news that he had passed. Somehow though, I feel infused still with the power of “seeing” him last night- whether our visit stems purely from my unconscious imagination, or in whatever other way it may have been. Maybe it does not matter. <br>I got to see him, and he was happy, and playful, and lighter than I had ever seen. I do know that he is somewhere good. I do know that all of us that were touched by him are forever better off. <br>
Chris Ippolito - 4/2/2007 5:15:00 AM
I knew Jeff from Big Nite Out Days. I was manager of Wally Cleaver's Recording and producer on a few things that Jeff played his skinny butt off on. A great player and person that was way too cool for school.
thom peters - 3/6/2007 11:00:00 PM
i met jeff when he was about 11 or 12 years old and taught him electric guitar for a short time,his talent and passion for music was evident even then God Bless you jeff see you on the other side thom
patty - 2/8/2007 12:32:00 AM
god damn i miss you so much brah
Larry Hale - 11/18/2006 4:43:00 PM
Some great musicians are passing. Last year it was Rick Serfas and this year it is Jeff Sarli. I was playing drums with Rick Serfas in 1986 and Jeff played a gig with us in Annapolis. I remember him as being quiet but friendly and a great bass player to work with. Although we were not good friends I am truly sorry to hear of his passing, he had a tremendous talent and was a very good person to meet and to work with.
JB Trimmer - 11/6/2006 5:29:00 PM
Deeply saddened upon news of his passing.
Alan Manuel - 10/23/2006 8:00:00 PM
I met Jeff in Leonardtown, MD at Willows Restaurant. I had booked Big Joe & The Dynaflows for the restaurant. Later I sat backstage with him at John Mooney's CD release party for his first release on the House of Blues label, in the House of Blues in New Orleans. What a bass player! He not only played perfect, he looked it too. What a shame that he's gone. The last time I saw him was at a John Mooney gig I was putting on in Calvert County. He had his son Eric with him I remember. Best to you Eric... Alan Manuel (Kingfisher Productions)
paul weager - 10/13/2006 6:57:00 PM
i feel like i am the last to hear everything :( and hearing this today, friday 13th, well, i just have to take myself back through the fun times, happy buzzard, charlies etc. jeff was what it was about. <br>my deepest condolences for the sarli family <br>
Hosford - 10/9/2006 9:08:00 PM
Years ago in what WAS truly a far-off galaxy, my friend J. Wesley Clark and I the Wildcats as part of an article called "Mother Country Music" for Chesapeake Country Life Magazine. The photograph of Jeff, Arnold Kempton and Tom Mitchell on the sofa was done in their house off Ross beck Road in Davidsonville, MD Since we knew the Wildcats for the prople they were, the interview was "free and easy" - a journalist's dream. It didn't hurt that a jug of North Carolina moonshine made its appearance. Lips loosened and a great time was had by all. I later took some pictures of the Wildcats downtown at the City Dock in Annapolis in the free summer concert series. I miss both Jeff and Arnold alot - they were great partners in a dying musical genre and it is sad that no one really has stepped up to fill the void. Jeff was remarkable in his ability to span different genres - he was a consummate musician and the entire musicical community has sufferred a tremendous loss. I'm sorry I was not acquainted with Jeff's family, but I extend to them my kindest regards. He was a wonderful man. - Mike
rob reboso - 10/5/2006 9:53:00 PM
I only met Jeff once at Rams Head. I didn't know him, but I think Dean Rosenthal was playing downstairs and Jeff came by to sit in. We had a nice talk about music and I never forgot that night. He just seemed set apart from most I know in naptown. Very cool; a sweet guy and I wish I'd been a friend.
Anonymous - 9/30/2006 1:15:00 AM
...thanks for being jeff.....ratso
lisa jacobs - 9/28/2006 4:16:00 PM
i just found out that jeff passed, he was the best man at my wedding, he was an awesome person, i will miss him dearly
Ward Gaines - 9/23/2006 8:44:00 PM
Jeff was an exceptional artist and a good person, and will be missed by many.
Kevin Saxon - 9/23/2006 1:02:00 PM
My love goes to Jeff and Family and all who were touched by his ability to get us dancin'. <br>Thanks for teachin' me how to shake a Musicians hand-- Softly but no fish hand <br>Jeff, We love you, <br>Kevin
Gene - 9/22/2006 7:31:00 AM
Farewell, Jeff. You're one righteous dude. <br> <br>-Gene
chris hammersla - 9/21/2006 4:09:00 PM
watching jeff with kirchen back at the sunset grill was the best thing---i was in college then and never did make a morning class on wed or friday. later when i was a dj at the old wrnr i used to park outside his crib in eastport and walk to the station over in annapolis where i would spin a bunch of kirchen/sarli/elliott. may the four winds blow him safely home.
Dez - 9/16/2006 10:42:00 AM
Laughing, Laughing, Laughing!!! When nobody else knew why. In the middle of a gig, in the back of the room where I would be standing checking the sound for the band, Jeff would be doing something that nobody else would see or understand, to make me loose it...and never miss a beat. Reading all these comments about Jeff and the art of his craft, they are all so true and I loved watching him play as well as listening. But, most of all Jeff made me happy by making me laugh. We all know that not all gigs are fun, some are down right silly, but if Jeff was on the gig you were gona be laughing at some point. I will always see Jeff spinning that bass. HIT IT JEFF! <br>Love you big guy!
Scott Hiatt@Arnold MD.Damn - 9/15/2006 10:30:00 PM
It's 1974, I'm drivin down the road with a full tank of gas, belly full of food, sippin' a beer, bitchin' about the dirth of good music on the radio, when Jeff slides in an 8-track of the NightHawks and says listen to this. For a guy who's broke and livin' in his car, life doesn't get any better than this. I would have been dead, stuck on the road, starvin', if not for the generosity of Jeff. (Thanks in part to his parents). More than once Jeff helped feed me when I was homeless. Such was his nature. <br> <br> I remember sitting in his room listening to him trade guitar licks with a Johnny Winter LP. That was before he considered picking up a bass, he wanted to play guitar at that time. Man, he played a mean slide. The rest of the "gang" at that time moved on with the drugeries of life and makin' a living. Jeff followed his dream and did what he wanted to in life. <br> <br>Playin' Music <br> <br> I celibrate that. Congrats! What a wonderful life! However short. <br> <br> I moved from the area, but followed Jeff's career on the internet, always lookin' for a chance to see him at some local blues venue or a blues fest. I missed a million shows. <br>I always thought I'd see him on stage once more. Damn, no more. <br> <br> Don't make the same mistake I made, If you care about someone, make the effort to show it, or live with regrets. <br> <br> It's with regrets that I say "Goodbye Old Friend", too soon. <br> <br>"Play On", <br> <br> Scott
Mary Ellen Sarli Porreca - 9/13/2006 8:41:00 PM
On behalf of my family, I want to thank everyone who came to Jeff's memorial on Monday. We felt comforted that Jeff could bring so many people together to share their grief as well as their love. He really was that special. Those of you who couldn't make it, we know you were there in spirit. We appreciate all the kind words, inspired stories and feelings that have been shared. Just like Big Joe said, we will all carry a piece of Jeff with us. And for that I am grateful. I wanted to give special thanks to Lisa for lending her beautiful voice , to John for bringing us all to tears with Amazing Grace, and to the musicians who truly played from the heart-I can see Jeff's smile from here.
George Hiatt - 9/13/2006 3:15:00 PM
Goodbye Jeff. I'm missing you already, but I'm sure I'll be seeing you again. <br> <br> <br> My condolences to your family and everyone from the neighborhood.
John Gladstone - 9/12/2006 10:15:00 AM
Hey Jeff, I know you were at St. John's Church on Monday, thinking 'Wow, nice room!'; patiently waiting for the Gather Hymnal set to end so you could hear the bassman thump out 'Amazing Grace'. <br>What a turnaround. You always held us up with that fat-bottom, back-beat; the foundation of groove after groove. Now, here we sit, all restless and shaking - missing you so damn much. <br>That year I lived in your home We talked about our kids as much as music. I hope your boys understand that the road is a demanding mistress, but they were always with you, always in your heart, and in every beat you played. <br>
Gudrun Kofler - 9/11/2006 3:00:00 PM
The sad news of Jeffs passing left me astonished,that I could not write immedeately! What a great bass-player,artist and gentle man he was!I am honoured to have known him and that he was playing at Bluesiana/Velden in Austria. I am glad to have written him,that I missed him and that it was not the same without him, when he did already not come with John Mooney this summer. Even when he wrote me about his kidney deseas the news shocked me.I am sorry, that he could and can not see anymore the beautiful pictures taken of him at Bluesiana, <br>which are hanging on the wall since February. But like this he is always with us. "Jeff,I remember the beautiful dinner at the lake with you and John.Now,I miss you like a dear friend! <br>Thank you for your beautiful Being; the dance at Bluesiana and your kind words to me. <br>I believe, that our souls supported of music will meet somehow, somwhere again!" <br>Your friend Gudrun <br>I want to express also my condolences to Jeffs family and friends! <br> <br>
Cheryl Katz - 9/11/2006 11:20:00 AM
I'm so sorry to hear of Jeff's passing. I met him in the mid 90's in Annapolis, and stayed in touch off and on for a while. What always struck me about him was his ease, gentleness and sensitivity...all this aside from being a fabulous musical talent. Jeff was the kind of guy that you could not speak with for a while, and then, there he was, like he was never gone. We are all a little richer for having known him, and I will continue to think of him often with great appreciation and love. Give RANDY W. a big hug for me...keep rockin! My condolences to Jeff's family and friends.
Liz Lohr - 9/11/2006 10:59:00 AM
I first saw and heard Jeff play upright bass about 15 years ago, when the jump blues/swing/rockabilly thing was enjoying a good run in the DC area. The way he channeled that seasoned, old-school, '40s/'50s vibe like something straight off Decca, Chess, or Sun records -- while adding his own personal flair to it, like artist and paintbrush -- was mesmerizing. It made a HUGE impression on me as a piano player and lifelong enthusiast of that music genre. I had the good fortune to play a few pickup gigs with him in the mid-'90s, and through another quirk of fate in 2002, be involved in a local recording project in which he'd supplied that trademark, much-sought-after "Sarli magic." These guestbook entries also show that, beyond his musical gifts, Jeff will be remembered as a special person who inspired and encouraged others. My condolences to the Sarli family and Jeff's vast network of friends.
Richard Green - 9/11/2006 10:05:00 AM
Glad to find this guest book here. It's 9:57 AM, 9/11, and I only just learned of the memorial service. I met Jeff only a few times in the early nineties. If he remembered me at all, it would have been only from his selling me a fabulous, 30s-era National Trojan guitar. I was somewhat intimidated by Jeff musically--he was so real. But he also seemed like the kind of person who'd never deliberately make anyone uncomfortable, regardless of musical pedigree. The loss is two-fold: one of a dwindling number of players who get the old stuff but don't ruin it by missing its humor, and a good person.
Ty Braddock - 9/10/2006 10:29:00 PM
...So I'm with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and some friends after a Birchmere show several years back on a Thursday night, and I tell Jimmie Dale that Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun is playing up the street at the Sunset Grill. Jimmie lights up like a high wattage bulb and says "Man, we have to see Bill and the gang". So we pile in my car and away we go. We step into the Grill (which is always an experience) to the usual packed crowd and great vibes. All the sudden I see the bass player, and i'm just like transfixed, can't take my eyes or ears off of him...thinkin' this is the groovin-est deep end stuff I have ever heard. Plus his "presence" was from another place. Some Grill-billy turns to me, noticing that the saliva puddle is growing around my boots and says simply..."That's Jeff Sarli"...and he has that look in his eye when he said it, that told me we were in the room with greatness. After about 3 or 4 tunes, Jimmie Dale turns to me and whispers in his classic falsetto..."Who's the bass player? He's unbelieveable". <br>That should say it all, the incredible impact of seeing and hearing Jeff Sarli the first time. Some years later we began talking and he joined my band for several months around 2004. In that time we spent hours on the phone, talking music. His passion and love for his art was second to none. I learned ideas and approach to music from him, he wasn't a teacher he was a philosopher of the music art and those are my favorite, you just listen...and absorb, and if you're smart, you apply. Jeff made me a better musician, and in his ways, I also became a better person just from being around his giving nature. He gave his musical soul to so many of us. <br>You never forget that kind of gift, you just don't forget that. <br> <br>Love ya, <br> <br>Ty
Wendi Bourne - 9/10/2006 7:57:00 PM
When I met Jeff (in 1988?), he was playing with The Wildcats in Annapolis. He joined our swing band, Big Nite Out, shortly thereafter. He was such a good LISTENER – both personally and musically. He was a focused and talented guy, a wonderful friend and very FUNNY! One night at 4am in a diner, 5 of us were waiting for our food, quietly staring into space. Jeff picked up a coffee creamer, set it in the middle of the table and calmly proceeded to bring his fist down on it, sending out a spray of white stuff that certainly woke us all up… the waitress didn’t seem too amused, but the rest of us laughed like lunatics! He always knew how to shake things up! Last winter, he called. He said he was on the road and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” came on at the restaurant. He said he thought of me and that my phone number (not dialed for at least 10 years!) came into his head. We spoke for over an hour. I am so grateful for Jeff’s presence in my life. He will most certainly be most missed and REMEMBERED.
Gary Shallo - 9/9/2006 11:32:00 AM
I grew up with Jeff and his brother Michael. Mike was my best friend throughout gradeschool and highschool...I practically lived at their house. I remember Jeff as a quiet and soft-spoken kid, quick to laugh, always easy going...a real gentle soul. <br>The Sarli's moved from Silver Lake, White Plains to Annapolis, MD, when I was about 19 and I last saw the family about 30 years ago when I stood up for Mike at his wedding. Jeff and I went out after the reception and had a great time. I still remember it after three decades. <br>I lost touch with the Sarli's until I received a call out of the blue from Jeff just a few months ago. He was playing at a club in Raleigh, NC, where I live. Another friend, Alan Craven, lives in Wilmington, NC, so we all met up with Jeff at the club. We spent a couple of hours swapping stories about growing up in Silver Lake and what has happened to us since. Silver Lake was a place where you knew all your neighbors and didn't have to worry about your kids. Jeff spoke so fondly of having lived there. His stories about his music career and adventures on the road made my head spin. I always knew he was a good bass player but never realized how good until I saw him in action. He was unbelieveable! <br>The next day I called my parents, brother and sister and told them about what an incredible musician Jeff had become. He was in every sense a true "artist" and he was sooo cool! <br>I have met very few people in my life who know what they are here to do and so love doing it. I envied and admired Jeff so much for it. <br>Recently, through the "Silver Lake Grapevine," I had heard that Jeff was was suffering from renal failure so I sent him an email with some words of encouragement...I was concerned that he might be getting really down about how Dialysis might effect his ability to travel and perform. A few days later, while on my way to the airport, at about 4:00am, I started thinking about how Jeff was doing. At that moment, the entire sky was lit up by an awesome shooting star. It was red and green and white; like a giant sparkler. I have only seen such a bright meteor on two other occasions; the night my Grandmother died and the night my cousin Sonny died. I thought to myself, oh Christ, who died now. <br>I received an email from Jeff's webmaster, Carol, when I got home from my trip and she informed of Jeff's passing. It happened the same day that I left on my business trip. <br>After not seeing Jeff for over 30 years, he again touched my life, this time for just a moment, and I'll never be the same again. <br>God Bless You, Jeff, we'll meet up again some day. <br>
Rachel (Robin) Grenadier - 9/9/2006 1:16:00 AM
Even on the other side of the world, bad news travels fast. Big Joe sent me the link to Jeff's webpage without saying anything to me about Jeff's untimely demise, maybe thinking it would be easier for him this way. I remember meeting Jeff ages ago, it seems, when he began playing with the Uptown Rhythm Kings. As Rusty had warned me "wait until you hear this cat playing with us now!" He wasn't joking. Jeff could play the hell out of a bass and yet was one of the most unassuming and talented musicians I ever knew, next to Danny Gatton. My 16-year old nephew, a hugely talented dude is well aware of Jeff's style of playing and I can only hope he will learn to swing and jump just like Jeff. My deepest sympathies to Jeff's family and friends. And as we say here in Tel Aviv, l'hamshich swinging, Jeff! Keep on swingin! <br>Chellie
Stan Sarli - 9/8/2006 10:23:00 PM
When I think of my cousin Jeff, although I did not know him well, I think of music. Of course I do, it would be silly not to think of Jeff and not of music. Ever since I can remember(and that is a pretty long time) in this family Jeff and music have been the same. I saw him play with Too Much Fun one night, I was with my cousin Paulie and his wife Cheryl, at Willow Street, in Port Chester(I believe it was). The crowd, before Jeff and Too Much Fun began playing, was listening to dance and hip hop music(early 90's). I thought to myself "man this is going to be rough on them" because of the type of music that they play. 1st song-no one on the dance floor....3rd song-the dance floor is packed and jamming. What an experience it was to see Jeff play, he was amazing. I will never forget the guitar player standing on his bass with him playing, it was something to behold for an ameture like me. The last time that I saw Jeff, we spoke for a time about the usual things cousins speak about when they have not seen each other in a while, women, work and women. Although, after seeing each other we tried to get together, it just never happened. I regret that I never saw him play after that night at Willow Street, although it is etched in my mind forever. I have told stories to my friends about how my cousin once played with the Rolling Stones and he will forever play in my mind and heart.
Stephen Cecil - 9/8/2006 7:42:00 PM
I can't remeber the first time i met Jeff...it probably was during a Dynaflows gig at the Sunset(Virginia) or Mambo Room(Washington DC)...I never got to know Jeff as well as I would have liked to..but our encounters though brief were meaningful and always lifted my spirit...Jeff Always took time to conect with you....I seen him many times over the past 20 years....Once at Helena Arkansas back in the 90s when i was doing a gig there with Bobby Parker he was playing there with the Dynaflows....then i would run into him at the wierdest times around Annapolis,MD...i ran into him once when he was loading his bass in his truck to run up to NYC to do a hit with Leon Helms (the band).....then i ran into once at work (i was serving coffee and feeling low) and Jeff came in Recognized me and said "He you were that guy i did that session with in Rockville I was by there the other day and couldn't remember who it was with" that made my day to see cool Jeff...The last time i saw him was strange...i ran into on the street in about a year ago in Eastport, MD.... and he hit me with the coolest vibe....actually it chilled me to the bone....he sent me back to my years in Chicago where i briefly knew this old Be-bop Saxaphonist named Lin Haladay(Delmark Records)...Lin was another cat i knew briefly..mostly because he need rides somewhere...but Lin was from the old school of music....and Lin would tell me stories of the old days in NYC in the fifties...stories of Bird, Max Roach,Paul chamber, and Phil Jones and all the cats he knew....Lin was the kind of cat that you knew lived a rough life...but still had the Glorious Gentle Soul to see the good in the World and throw his love vibe back on it....Well I was getting that same vibe off Jeff...So Strong it was scaring the shit out of me....I didn't know that would be the last time i would ever see Jeff. His Kindness will be missed but never forgotton.
Kevin McKendree - 9/8/2006 11:57:00 AM
I've always thought of Jeff as an older brother. I met him 20 years ago, when I was 17, the very beginning of my musical career. Without Jeff Sarli my life surely would have followed a different, less fulfilling path. Not once, but twice he encouraged me to keep trying when I was ready to quit playing music for a living. I knew I could trust his advice, it was always given with with love and wisdom. His broad knowledge of music inspired me to grow as a musician. I have boxes of cassettes from those days that he made for me. All of them full of great music that has influenced the way I play. His influence on me went well beyond my career and music, though. Jeff's kind, calm manner is something I've tried to model. So are his passion for learning and willingness to work hard to improve. I'm blessed to have known Jeff, I'm a better person for it. And in that way, and many others, Jeff lives on.
Martha Hull - 9/8/2006 11:16:00 AM
Last times I saw Jeff we were two of a couple hundred Elvises, and seeing him was the highlight of the night; the biggest heart, the purest rock 'n' roll soul; play on in peace and joy, <br>martha
Thomas Grooms - 9/8/2006 3:07:00 AM
Yesterday I was watching some old videos at home (circa 94-96) from Mick Fleewood's Club in Alexandria. (The adage is true a picture is worth a thousand words) Well, these videos tell it all about Jeff Sarli, his ability, talent and professional showmanship. He dominated as a musician. Many nights before heading off to work at WCXR now WJZW, I watched him groove and interact with Big Joe, Mick Fleetwood, Eva Cassidy, John Van Horn, Slim Man, Bobby Parker and many more...One evening Country Joe McDonald was in the audience and Jeff brought him up on stage to sing "Shake Rattle and Roll". He was always ready to play with anyone, anytime, anyplace. I concur with Mr. Principato's observation that Jeff Sarli was into the music he made with sincerity, passion, feeling and love...I am so glad that I had the opportunity to hang out with him one afternoon in 2005 at the fairgrounds in Baltimore during a Blues Festival. He will be missed but never forgotten because Jeff's Spirit lives on with the miracle of modern recording technology. I extend my condolences and deepest sympathy to the Sarli family and friends wishing you peace and comfort at this time of sorrow. Tom.Grooms@abc.com
Brian Alpert - 9/8/2006 1:57:00 AM
This life has lost one cool cat, and the next one... well, let's just figure it's their gain. Over the 23 years I've known Jeff, I can't recall a single minute when it wasn't an honor to be his friend, or share the stage with him. From the many great times playing, whether for a thousand people, or, literally, not a single audience member, there wasn't a note come out of that bass that wasn't special and individual, Jeff's own. From the simple pleasure of jerry-rigging a great cup of coffee in a hotel room before the gig, to the wry sense of humor that propelled him up to the marquee, to rearrange the letters so they read "Tonight: Bom Bargolin" (Yeah Bob, that was him), Jeff made a lasting mark on everyone who made his acquaintance. He is missed. Hell, he's probably playin' with Elvis right now.
Tom Principato - 9/7/2006 8:13:00 PM
Jeff Sarli was one heck of a great guy that I will always remember fondly.Over the years many times when I have thought of him it was usually with a chuckle. A very caring, kind and sensitive person.He had a deep sense of "do the right thing". He was into music for the music's sake---no bullshit, just the Love and the art of it. Jeff had that passion, that enthusiasm, that love for music that could drive inspiration in an infectious way to those around him. <br> And that off-beat sense of humor. We had a lot of laughs when he played in my Band around 1990, and in subsequent years whenever I would see or play with him, we would go immediately into our "schtick", our "inside jokes" that we always laughed about and didn't forget. <br> And that bass playing! I would honestly have to say the he and Big Joe Maher together layed down some of the most serious grooves that I have ever had the pleasure to play with. A real well-oiled engine they were. Jeff in his own way was keeping alive a very specialized form and style of bass playing. Something very unique and somewhat rare. That's why some of the greats of the World called on him for his outstanding bass playing. <br> The last time I saw Jeff about a year ago, he looked well and so I am somewhat stunned at the news of his passing. I will always go through my personal and musical life feeling like I have been enriched by knowing Jeff Sarli. Myself and everyone is going to miss Jeff Sarli.
Stephanie Parks Webb - 9/7/2006 4:15:00 PM
I am so sad to hear of Jeff's passing. I've known Jeff since about 1979, and have followed his career and life over the years. <br> <br>Jeff was a gentle soul and a person I have learned a great deal from. <br> <br>The world will be an emptier place without Jeff in it.
Dona Wilson - 9/7/2006 2:02:00 PM
I've seen Jeff many times with various artists but mostly with John Mooney in NC, VA,& New Orleans. He was definitely one of my favorite performers. I'm very sad about his passing but will find comfort in being able to continue listening to his music & knowing even more from comments posted in this guestbook what a kind person he truly was. Evan, I especially liked your comments about your dad and Adrianna, thank you for sharing that quote. Peace.
Kathy Minke - 9/7/2006 12:26:00 PM
Jeff gave all of us so many wonderful memories. I hope his family and friends are comforted by the moving tributes here. He will be missed.
Jeff Lodsun - 9/7/2006 8:27:00 AM
See you in that big jam session in the sky...while you're up there, how about settin Christ straight bout that chick singer he's got.....
Debbie Kennedy - 9/6/2006 10:50:00 PM
i will miss jeff!i remember meeting him when he played with john mooney years ago. wow those days back at the american leagion hall in bethesda and the club that was many transformations in bethesda, md. all those great gigs in b'more. man all tyhe rools of film and photos i shot , i will treasure always... jef brought such a deep rich sound to every band he played with a musician who will be dearly missed in many hearts.
Jon Liebman - 9/6/2006 7:38:00 PM
When I was getting my schooling from the fellows in DC like Doug Jay, Big Joe, Glenn Moomau, Pete Kanaras, Joe Stanley, etc Jeff was right in there with them. Telling me how to do it and what not to do. I had the pleasure of playing gigs with him up North and spent some time with him in New Orleans. Now that I am back in Georgia, playing and touring, and ten years older I still remember things Jeff said to me and they will stick with me always.
Nick Ruggieri - 9/6/2006 5:07:00 PM
Jeff to me, was the consumate artist. He loved it and lived it. His sound and his feel on his instruments were immediately identifiable. He was quite known for his aucoustic playing which had that wonderful swing feel to it. I found his electric playing to be just as expressive. Not matter what rig he was using, one could always distinguish his sound. To me, it was all in his fingers, the way he attacked his strings. It always felt like this big, fat cocoon that you could get lost dancing in. <br>I had the honor of playing with Jeff in a few configurations over the past 20 years. He was always a gas to be around and hang with. Whenever we would have a musical conversation, it would flow from one style to the next, always with inciteful and acquried knowledge that he readily shared. He had recorded a few original R&R tunes in his basement a few years ago and they sounded so raw – nothing intricate- just cool and deadly. David Kitchen, Jeff and myself played them out a few times and tried to record them again. Somehow we just didn’t get it right. Not like the way he had gotten them himself. He just had that certain something that was all his own. Thanks for sharing it with us Jeff. We’ll all miss you… <br>
Les and Judy Bostwick - 9/6/2006 4:52:00 PM
I remember Jeff when he was just about 3yrs old. The family would all be at his Grandmother's house and I would watch all the young children while the adults talked. <br>Jeff loved dinasaurs and knew all the names of them, which he proudly recited for me. I know he played his music with the same excitement and pleasure as he recited those dinasaur names. May he be at peace .
Anonymous - 9/6/2006 4:40:00 PM
Stuart Dahne - 9/6/2006 4:07:00 PM
You know, you never know when the universe is going to place that special soul in your path that may teach you such an important lesson, & its not until a moment like this that you even begin to realize that purpose & what that lesson might be. How sad it was to find out that my dear friend Jeff Sarli passed away, & today, like most anyone who ever knew him, I am filled with sorrow & grief! I loved Jeff, He was truely a FRIEND! I am so glad that the memories that I have right now are all great memories. In the past few months, while Jeff was struggling with his health & with dialysis....every time that we spoke He made sure to tell me how GRATEFUL that he was!!!! In the midst of diagnosis, dental problems, financial problems.......He was GRATEFUL!!!! Even when they put him on dialysis & He knew that he could not tour anymore & that he was going to have to make some major changes (again), He was grateful that the swelling had gone down, that he wasn't yellow......He was grateful that he was clean!!! <br>Jeff was an amazingly talented man, a great friend, and with Honor, Respect, & Grief.......what I have to say is that I will truely miss you Jeff!
Bob Sekinger - 9/6/2006 2:49:00 PM
If anyone would have asked me “do you know Jeff Sarli?” The answer would have been, “yea man, of course I know him. He’s one cool mellow cat, great musician, he’s from our area” Truth of it is that I didn’t know him beyond “Heymanhowzitgoing. Great set!” But I’m thinking I had that limited conversation hundreds of times! My mistake not to carry the conversation further. It does feel like you know someone when you’ve seen them perform on countless stages in many towns with countless other familiar local and famous musicians. It’s become clear as I’ve had a chance to talk to others who were close to him that he was an extraordinary person to know. Thank you, Jeff for so many nights of groove.
Ron Weinstock - 9/6/2006 12:43:00 PM
What can one say about Jeff remembering first noticing him when he and Ben Sandmel backed Boogie Bill Webb at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and then seeiung him in Tom Principato's regrouped Powerhouse with a very young Kevin McKendree and Big Joe Maher as well as the numerous other times I saw him play and chatted with him. A real good person who made the music better and the people around him better.
Alan MacEwen - 9/6/2006 11:38:00 AM
Getting together with Jeff was never a boring time. Jeff always had a great story about life or music to tell. It was either about his own experience or some apocryphal music scene tale of some jazz or rock and roll great. Hanging with Jeff was always something to look forward to. <br>When I first started going out to hear or play music, Jeff was someone whom I ran into from the beginning. I think it was probably at the Wharf in Alexandria that I first saw him play with Uptown Rhythm Kings. He eventually did a handful of gigs with me in The Grandsons after the band gave up on full-time bass players and started working with a cast of 1000's. Jeff always brought great playing, a great vibe and his own unique self to the gig (as well as some enviably fine stagewear). <br>I'm glad to have known Jeff. I will certainly feel his absence in the music world.
David Goodfriend - 9/6/2006 9:52:00 AM
The world has a little less joy today. What I will remember most is his beautiful smile that was the the gateway to a beautiful soul. <br>What I will remember after that was the best dressed musician that this area has ever seen. Man what threads he had. I will put him on my list of legendary closets I would have liked to seen. <br>Rest easy my friend. <br>
Rick Booth - 9/6/2006 9:46:00 AM
Jeff has been a friend and business associate of Intrepid Artists for the past decade. As the longtime bassist of John Mooney I have a number of great memories of Jeff and John tearin' it up on stage. If you ever saw Jeff play, you knew he had an immense amount of talent and John always helped to bring that talent out. I believe he did the same for John. He called our office often and was always soft spoken and polite to everyone here at Intrepid. His talent and kindness will be missed.
Janine Maher - 9/5/2006 10:09:00 PM
So many many music memories of Jeff flying through my brain. What good times they were with the Rhythm Kings, Dynaflows,Principato, The Band....Then there's the personal; he was always was so caring and thoughtful. He would phone the house for Joe and engage in conversation with me as to how I was doing or what Philip was into these days and one particular time back in 1991, after my brother passed away suddenly, he lent his ear to me for a long time while I poured out my emotions. I will never forget his kindness and hoped he knew that it meant so much to me. So many friends and family have similiar stories I'm sure because we sure had a kindred soul.
Carol Cooper - 9/5/2006 9:17:00 PM
A wonderful cousin. I Love you and miss you. I'm sorry that we didn't get to see each other more often.
Evan Sarli - 9/5/2006 8:50:00 PM
Seeing all of these pictures and reading so many kind words about my father make me very happy and very sad at the same time. I learned a lot from my Dad, be it music, or life, sometimes what NOT to do :), but most of the time how to be a great man and a caring person. Thank you to everyone who took some time to put up a comment and express your feelings about my Dad. I love him and I miss him.
Sue Marzelli-Franze - 9/5/2006 7:40:00 PM
I am saddened by the death of my childhood friend that after 20+ years we finally began to reconnect and now that time is over. My thoughts and prayers are with Vicky, Mike and Michael and their extended families. Life is so short, treasure all and live each day to the fullest. Jeff, you will surely be missed but God has a new angel!
demetrios Fotos - 9/5/2006 5:19:00 PM
Correction- that is 1979
Demetrios Fotos - 9/5/2006 5:17:00 PM
I have a collection of photos from 1970 of Jeff that I took. Call me if you want me to help make a card. The "Facing the Music" photo of him could be a perfect card image- and perhaps the best and last good photo of him. Call me at 410-263-5292. I will add that Jeff was the first musician to hire me for musician photos.
Ameriga ("Riga) Strache - 9/5/2006 2:54:00 PM
My heart is heavy today - with sadness at losing yet another fabulously talented and sensitive soul. <br> <br>I, like may others, was honored to know Jeff since the late 80's - as a friend, musician, song writer, temporarily land-lord and a great cook who shared his recipes for everything from shrimp with beer and peanut butter to wheat grass juice concoctions. I am sure that mine is not the only heavy heart today. <br> <br>My sincere condolences to his sons whom he loved SO much and of whom he was always so proud, but also to his loving and supportive parents and extended family who were always there for him when he needed them. T <br> <br>his is truly the end of an era, and I will never drive through Annapolis without stopping in front of The Pink House to remember the sweet soul who lived, loved, cooked and played magical music there. <br> <br>I remember December of 1988. My then fiance was teaching himself to play steel guitar and secretly coveted one of Jeff's. He has heard Jeffa round town and adsmired his ability from afar, but was too scared to talk to him. <br> <br>He told me that Jeff would never part with that guitar, but later that week when I explained over coffee with milk and cream just why I desperately needed to have it for a surprise Christmas present - Jeff let me buy it, with the agreement that my boyfriend had to sell it back to Jeff and Jeff only if he ever gave up on the hobby. <br> <br>I gave Randy that guitar, his first with steel strings, and soon after they were friends, good friends and making music together. <br> <br>I will always appreciate Jeff parting with that guitar to help me put a smile on someone's face. <br> <br>That's the kind of guy he was. <br> <br>And Randy sold him back the guitar a few years later, or maybe they did a trade. I forget. But Randy never did. <br> <br>Jeff, you will be missed dearly and by many. Please give Randy a hug from me when you see him. <br> <br>My deepest sympathies to the family, <br>Ameriga Strache
Maxine Blank - 9/5/2006 12:26:00 PM
I have never met a more versailte musician than Jeff.Always a pleasure working with such a talent.Never heard any complaints no matter how bad the sound may have been, Thank you Jeff for being a huge part of my career.You will be missed dearly. Maxx
Sharon Johnson - 9/5/2006 12:23:00 PM
From the days of Big Joe it had been a wonderful experience to work with you and it gave me a chance to meet one of the Best Bass Players of the day.I was so proud that you played on the Rolling Stone CD and will teasure your autograph. You will be missed dearly.Love Sharon.
Henry Chung - 9/4/2006 10:10:00 PM
Jeff, <br> <br>It was nice playing with you and Dean Rosenthal at Rams Head last year. You will surely be missed. Me and your fans in Hong Kong will miss you greatly. <br> <br>God speed, <br>Henry Chung
Stonesdoug - 9/4/2006 5:15:00 PM
On behalf of all Stone's fans, thanks for the music.
Jef Jaisun - 9/4/2006 12:17:00 PM
To Jeff's friends and family, <br> <br>I was very saddened to hear of Jeff's passing today. He was one hell of a musician, and I was privileged to see him and hear him play a number of times. Of course, his legendary status in my eyes was secured during the now-famous 1998 Jazz Fest set, when Jeff was literally topped by John Mooney's encore shoulder climb. (That shot on the "Photos" page is mine. I'm glad Jeff and his fans got some use out of it.) <br> <br>Last time I saw Jeff was at the first Pondersosa Stomp, when he was still recuperating from the 1999 car accident. We spoke briefly and I wished him well. Now all I can do is wish him eternal peace, and let his musical legacy speak for itself. <br> <br>Jef Jaisun
FRED THE MOTORHEAD - 9/3/2006 9:10:00 PM
we have been freinds for over 25 years,and im gona miss the jams when you were around, fun with our old bikes, tinkering with our "KOOL" cars and always making a deal we both can live with. say hello to RANDY W. AND VISIT US IN A SONG. will miss u, FREDDY V.
Steve - 9/3/2006 5:10:00 PM
September 1st, 1:00AM <br> <br>Jeff, <br>Just wanted to say that I love you and I'm going to miss you. I feel good knowing that the last time I saw you,(Feb 05 at the Rams Head in Annapolis for Sonny Landreth) was a good catch up for both of us. You were a good listener for me and all my problems with an alcoholic spouse, plus your insight about raising kids in that situation was heartfelt and encouraging. <br>We had some great and funny times playing with Lips and that project at your studio with Joe and Brian was killer. <br>Thank you my friend. May God bless you. <br>Steve firstname.lastname@example.org
Deb - 9/3/2006 4:57:00 PM
August 30th, 6:56PM <br> <br>A gentle sweet soul left us today <br>No more we will hear his music <br>So beautiful so rhythmic that bass man could play <br>I will miss you sweet Jeff <br> <br>Keep the universe swinging, <br>Deb email@example.com