I remember it like it was yesterday. Public Enemy was appearing on Saturday Night Live to support their newly released “The Enemy Strikes Back”. Before the group did their 1st number Chuck D standing front and center as always with his right fist raised stated “Let’s have a moment of silence for Miles Davis“! That was Sept. 28,1991. Within a split second I realized that one of the world’s greatest musicians to ever walk this earth was gone. This was pre-internet, pre-twitter, pre-Pac and all the other music artists related deaths. The closet thing I can think of that relates to that moment was Marvin Gaye’s passing. But this was Miles Davis……MILES DAVIS. The Miles Davis who changed music 4-5 times. The Miles Davis who was one of the most respected musicians ever- regardless of genre. The Miles Davis..who was cool enough to hang out with Bird and Diz and years later hang out Prince and Michael. Miles Davis the Definition of cool. Certain parts of society consider “classical” music to be the music of class and culture. I’ve yet to see any classical musician have the universal appeal that could span musical generations like Miles Davis did. Miles Davis was/is classic cool!

Miles Davis had an appeal that far exceeded racial and cultural boundaries. That type of appeal for a “jazz” artist is rare and unheard of even by today’s standards. Walk in any jazz club and before the night is over you’ll hear a Miles Davis tune. Look in any “Top albums of all time” poll Miles Davis will have at least one or two. Because technology wasn’t what it is now the world was slow in their tributes. Over the last 20yrs that has changed. Since then critics and musicians have argued which era of Miles was most relevant. All of them were. His art, which has been critically acclaimed is now being showcased. Documentaries and vaulted concert footage have been released. Books on the electric years have been written. Don Cheadle,I pray, has the cameras rolling on that Miles bio pic. But I can’t forget the most relevant tribute…the music. Columbia Records has come correct and given us classic re-issues, box sets and vaulted material. Hey Warner Bros. …..your turn!

So on this day instead of mourning I will celebrate the music and the legacy. Gonna have everything in rotation from “Round Midnight” to “On the Corner” to “Amandla”. Might eve nhit the local record store to get “The Complete Jack Johnson” box set. So whether you like the Miles 1st quintet yrs, the 2nd quintet yrs, the Miles electric funk 70’s or the later yrs. It doesn’t matter. Celebrate the man and his music. Now if you all will excuse me…..a friend just called asking for some background music for a dinner he’s planning. He wondered if I had any recommendations. Yeah… “Ever heard Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue?” ? Can’t go wrong with that and the mascotto “!