Maffy Falay


Born in 1930, Maffy Falay studied trumpet and piano for seven years at the Ankara Music Conservatory. In 1956, Falay led the dynamic band which greeted the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra in Ankara airport. Soon after this performance, an article in an American jazz magazine stated: "Dizzy Gillespie, on a bop tour of the Middle East for the State Department, wires that he has discovered a terrific new trumpet player. Diz says he’s as good as Eldridge or Miles Davis. He’s currently at the Intime Casino, Ankara, Turkey. His name is Muvaffak Falay."

Dizzy recommended that Maffy travel to the United States saying "Just your name is going to make you famous!" The name "Muvaffak" was irrestibly hilarious for most Americans. Maffy had to introduce himself over and over again to Dizzy, his wife and the whole band. Properly speaking, his name means "he who shall be successful."

In 1960, he became a member of Kurt Edelhagen’s Radio Orchestra in Cologne, Germany. Later, he joined the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band touring widely throughout Europe and appearing on half a dozen albums between 1961 and 1966, including Jazz Is Universal (Atlantic 1401), Handle With Care (Atlantic 1404), and Now Hear Our Meanin (Columbia CS9114). On the advice of Åke Persson, a Swedish trombonist, Maffy went to Sweden for the first time in 1960 to join the Harry Arnold Radio Jazz Orchestra. Shortly after, he joined the Quincy Jones Orchestra along with Benny Bailey, Åke Persson, Phil Woods and Sixten Eriksson. They made several records and performed the soundtrack for the Arne Sucksdorff film "The Boy in the Tree."

During the years, 1962 through 1967, Maffy met and performed with Bernt Rosengren and Don Cherry. In 1965, Maffy became a member of the Swedish Radio Jazz Group and made Sweden his permanent home, although he continued to travel and perform widely in Europe, North America and South America. In 1970, he joined the Dizzy Gillespie Reunion Orchestra for a lengthy European tour.

Maffy often played at festivals and concerts with baritone saxophonist Lars Gullin from 1960 until Gullin’s death in 1976. He performed on two of Gullin’s recordings, Bluesport (EMI 1364612) from 1974 and the Aeros Aromatica Atomica Suit (EMI 4750752) from 1976.

As a freelance musician in Sweden, Maffy Falay played and recorded with many great performers including Don Cherry, Gunnar "Silja-bloo" Nilsson, the G.L. Unit, Lalle Svensson, Claes-Göran Fagerstedt, Nannie Porres, Peter Gullin, Arne Domnérus, Reebop Kwaku Baah, Nils Lindberg, the Radio Group, George Russell, Bengt-Arne Wallin, Monica Zetterlund and Bernt Rosengren. In 1985, Maffy formed his own jazz group with Bernt Rosengren on tenor saxophone, Elvan Araci on trombone and Johansson on piano. In 1986, they recorded the album We Six (Phontastic 7576).

Maffy can also be heard in a recent release. Lulu Alke. (CPR 21372) Musicians are Bjorn Alke, Palle Danielsson, Leif Fredriksson, Maffy Falay, Jan Allan and Krister Andersson.