NYU Black Renaissance Noire Spring 2015 - Page 66

By ANTHONY WALTON BLACKBIRD This is what heroin must feel like — Miles Davis exacting his way through “Autumn Leaves,” pretty and cold, a slow frost along synapses and veins, mapping interstellar darkness one blue note at a time. Sometimes you could hear him thinking through the changes like he was hunting himself, relentless and without mercy, then a burst of blue flame, squeezing the Harmon mute like a man screaming from the bottom of a mine shaft — but however brightly the darkness glows, it is still darkness, and Miles was a black man in a white world, a blackbird in a field of snow, beautiful, distant, quiet — 64 and however many steps you take to meet him he flies ten more feet away. BRN-SPRING-2015.indb 64 3/29/15 11:41 AM