Miles and Miles and Miles
a poem written by Andy O’

July 1970, 14th Avenue and Knox Court Westside

The speakers are in Ricky’s windows like always on Saturdays

Fender Rhodes scholars’ pianos weaving  the air

I didn’t know what a bass clarinet was when I was 14 but it’s calling

John McLaughlin’s electric reminder of something new.

Pharoah’s Dance is in the projects!

The Brew Crew is on the Tonight Show

Girls are dancing acid trip motions under the burning blue sky

It’s getting hotter

Miles soars over the rooftops

What’s that sound?

What’s that noise you mean?

Shut up! This is hip!

The atmosphere is on blue fire.

Cut to a crowded bodega of a record store on 16th Street before the mall.

Speakers at work in the crowded space

Before I can ask who…

It’s Miles’ new album Big Fun.

I use my gig money and buy it and Silent Way.

Who is this guy?

Jack Johnson Right Off on underground radio burning the skin off the night

What is this music?

Mom pulls out Kind of Blue to show me what came before.

I’ve heard Trane and Cannonball but BILL EVANS!!!

Dream sequence: a week after Miles Davis left the scene.

I am sitting in with Miles and his band

The music is working

I’m playing my funky best bass.

It’s in the can

I am getting back slaps and attaboys

Miles walks over and says

“Nice, but if you’re playing with me…you must be dead.”

I wake up gasping for breath.

Who IS this guy?

Find out on Sunday, May 26 at 9 p.m. on The Nightside.

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