A trumpet virtuoso to equal all rivals, Rasey has played with everyone from Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra to the Monkees, and on film scores from An American in Paris to Chinatown. His trumpet can be heard throughout Jerry Goldsmith's score for the latter film, one of the great, classic uses of the solo instrument in the history of cinema.
As a recording artist, he's played with the likes of Sinatra, Crosby, Nat King Cole, Mel Tormé, Anita O'Day, Doris Day, the Andrews Sisters, Benny Carter, Ray Anthony, Frankie Laine, Louis Prima, Judy Garland, Ella Mae Morse, and the Monkees.
Ask any trumpet player in town to recommend a teacher, and you will hear one name: Uan Rasey.
This is the man who knows, the man who played first trumpet on the great MGM soundtracks from the Golden Age of Hollywood: ''An American in Paris,'' ''Singing in the Rain,'' ''Gigi,'' ''West Side Story,'' ''My Fair Lady,'' ''Cleopatra'' -- the man who handled the big pictures right on down to ''Chinatown,'' ''Pennies from Heaven'' and ''High Anxiety.''
Here is what he told a pupil who went for a lesson not long ago:
''Play it lovely, thoughtful, reverent... play it nicely,'' he said. ''It's easy to blow loud and harsh. Play it reverently with a nice sound. Even when you play loud, make it reverent. Make it sound like somebody saying something nice to you.''
So on Nov 18, 1996, there came to be many people gathered at at the Ventura Club in the Valley, all saying something nice to Uan, who has been playing lovely, thoughtful and reverent for nearly 60 years.