NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 19

The Man With No Horn He didn’t seem to hear or understand the response clearly. It could be that he was still half asleep. Just then, I remembered the group was coming over. About that time Vince said; “Uncle Miles, its Buffalo.” “Oh shit, Buffalo… why the fuck didn’t you just say so?” “Come on, taste this Bobby,” Miles said, hand-feeding me my first bite of the highly intoxicated perch. “Oh my goodness Miles… this is so, so good! Incredible! I can taste the subtle balance of all the flavors.” Miles looked at me, nodded and winked, reaffirming the sanctity of our secret. It was safe with me… that is, for one day. Randy insisted on knowing how Miles had prepared the exceptionally delicious fish and I couldn’t wait to tell all. He too, found it hard to believe. Miles’ generosity as a host equaled that of my most hospitable relatives in North Carolina. Of course, the crew felt at home with my dirty rice. At the time, I still had not consciously connected my family lineage of cooks and restaurateurs with my own talents in the kitchen. But, in retrospect, it makes perfect sense that my first collaboration with Miles would be the creation of music you can taste. Over the next few days we ordered the musical equipment needed to set up a workshop space alongside the stack of Heineken beer cases that stood like a pyramidal sculpture on the ground floor of Miles Davis’ upper Manhattan brownstone building. Studio Instrument Rentals delivered my requested Fender Rhodes electric piano, a Horner clavinet and a Minimoog synthesizer along with drums and four amplifiers. Miles seemed to be beyond nirvana with the new portable Farfisa organ they set up for him in the far left hand corner of the room. In, fact, he appeared to be perpetually high on the transformation of this Spanish stucco portion of his living space into an electronic musician’s haven. Our youthful energy seemed to animate him. We were all about half his age. In fact I was born in ’53, which happened to be Miles’ current age. This meant that I was almost 27, the same age Miles was on the day I was born. For me this felt like a strange numerological alignment joining our life paths and destiny. He seemed to treat us with the same nurturing that his early mentors, Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Eckstein imparted to him as a young man. I know this because Miles beamed with a boyish sparkle on his face while sharing frequent stories of the good times with them. Today Miles extended his usual hospitality saying; “Fellas, there’s the Cuban/Chinese restaurant, La Caridad 78 is just two blocks away, so if you get hungry I can call in an order… and of course, there’s plenty of cold beer.” 17 I exhaled as Miles released the lock and invited them in. The energy suddenly shifted from fearful to fun. It was our first knowledge of that nickname for Vince. Led by the hilarious wit of bassist Felton Crews, the band relentlessl ???????????????????)????????Q??????????????????????)????????????????????? ????????)???????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????)?????e????????????????? ????????????)??????????????????????????)?????????????????????????)????????????????????????????)??????????Y????????????????????)?????????()Y??????????????I???????????)????5??????????????????????????)U???????5????????$???????????)?????????????!??????????????????)?????????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????$?????)????????????????????????????)???????????????????????????!?)????????????????????????????)???????????e????????????????????)????????????)???????????????????????)=???????????????????q????????)????????????????????????????t)???????????????????????????????)???????????????????????????????() 1 ,?I9%MM9 ?9=%I(+?q]?????????]?????Q$????????????)]????t() I8?10????????????((???????????4((0