The Jazz Universe Inside My Head

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Thinking About the Beginning…For Me

Miles Davis
In a Silent Way
Year: 1969
Label: Columbia

You know, I was just thinking back to the day that I first “heard” jazz…it’s cemented forever as a golden moment. I was probably in the 4th grade, maybe 5th, when my father gave me a record player, receiver and some old speakers.

(I remember distinctly tapping into a Cleveland station, somehow gettin’ to listen to the Cavs for a few nights on the radio with Price and all them…Nance, Hot Rod, Daugherty, Ehlo…my second fave to the Celts. Someone turned that knob enough to never touchdown again!) What a blast!

I went through my parent’s records and took what I thought would be cool…some Doors…CSNY…Black Sabbath’s Paranoid…shit, a bunch of classic, heard-a-thousand times material (that’s not a bad thing Ma and Pa). Along with all that, I grabbed Miles’ In a Silent Way, only because his name was in household terminology, even in West Brookfield, MA. It was my Ma’s by the way.

I put it on one night, late…like I should have been sleepin’ already...a long time ago. It was the perfect soundtrack for a hyperactive boy’s bedtime. It reminded me of a bright blue sky with puffy clouds moving unhurried. It was beautiful, long, not anything what I expected Davis to sound like…and I don’t mean that in a bad sense. It’s just that when you’re a kid, you get this stereotype of what jazz “is.” It blew my mind!

Another aspect of the discovery was the album cover itself. I mean, what the hell is a kid supposed to think when he sees Miles’ paranoid eyes beaming up to his own name and album title. Not to mention he was sporting the same turtleneck that I was going to wear to school the next day. I sat and stared at it…never forget that.

To this day it’s my favorite album of all-time (or at least most significant – a contender for most adored) and I appreciate the fact that it was found at such a young age. So, thanks Ma and of course much love to Miles and the rest of the crew that opened the doors to the jazz world in such a celebrated fashion.

Here's What Has Been In Heavy Rotation:

Gabor Szabo Spellbinder
Lonnie Smith Think
Alice Coltrane Lord of Lords
Larry Young Lawrence of Newark
Keith Jarrett The Survivor's Suite


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