The voice of the old black woman floats above the shadows and trees, disembodied yet whole.It rides up there and cruises alongside the night birds circling above some unseen church or log cabin, in some out-of-the-way location back in the bushes, hidden. And if you had the privilege of hearing that voice, perhaps you wouldn't file it away as anything special, something to imitate and relate to for the rest of your lifea reference point for your own life's experiences, making you sensitive, alert, cognizant of other beautiful, necessary things. Perhaps the voice would remind you of a lonely trumpet sound.It also examines, through the lens of Miles' life, how it is that jazz, this country's classical music, is always neglecteduntil it conforms to the white majority's expectations I write "Miles'" without the extra "s" because that is how I hear it.Without the apostrophe and added "s," his name sounds right to me, open-mouthed and familiar.(Trumpeter Lester Bowie, from is a lively city with a coastal culture heavily influenced by the French, Spanish, Native American, and African peoples.With its Mardi Gras, Congo Square, African ring dance, Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, African drumming, Cajun fiddling, and Creole cooking, the culture of the Crescent City is thoroughly intermingled like a great big pot of gumbo or jambalaya., on the other hand, is a city founded by the French but controlled by Germans.Pioneered by Eddie Randall, Levi Madison, Harold "Shorty" Baker, and Clark Terry (Miles' real first mentor in trumpet style) and perfected by Miles (who, in his youth, had played in several East St.
It is more Calvinistic than Catholic, more marching band than Mardi blacks, one that took a much cooler approach. His horn could blow warm, round notes that spoke to the deepest human emotions, and it could spit out cracked trills that evoked the angry sounds of bullets firing.Sometimes his trumpet seemed to float over and through remarkably complex rhythms and time signatures with heart-stopping speed and efficiency. It could also be muted, tender and low, like a lullaby, but it was always charged with deeply felt emotion.That's because there were so many marching drum and bugle corps bands, which were part of a tradition brought over to St.