Miles Davis died 29 years ago this week. This morning his son and nephew were talking about growing up with him on “q”. He was obsessed with music, always playing, even when listening to the radio or watching TV. Davis’ “Porgy & Bess” was one of the very first jazz recording I purchased. I listened to it during many of the long nights when I was in art school. A classmate that year introduced me to Miles and to Nina who then became my best friends to help me through life in a fourth floor slum tenement apartment full of baby cock roaches. It was Nina Simone’s “Little Girl Blue” that kept me company. When I moved out, the man who lived next door (I had never met him during that year) told me the late night concerts were sometimes too much. In NYC I knew a jazz musician who took me to a diner in the upper west side on Broadway where Miles Davis liked to have lunch. We were hoping he would be there, but sadly, it didn’t happen. I did go to see other jazz musicians, Thelonious Monk, Nina Simone, Ornette Colman. Usually I am an avid attendee at the Jazz Festival here in July. Missing that this year because of covid, I started using a headset to listen to music when working. Now I understand the kids and their headsets. The music sounds like I am right in the room with the musicians. I did have a copy of Miles’ autobiography. I gave it to my then jazz piano teacher. I enjoyed the book, a good read, but nevertheless, was not a good jazz student. Too much education in classical music. I just couldn’t make the leap. Thinking back on those days of jazz concerts in NYC compared to my quiet life now, I feel very lucky I had that opportunity and happy for my headset.
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