Deckle edge
Miles Away

Miles Away
(Sal Paradise Introduces Miles Davis to St. Peter at the Gates of Heaven)
By Chris Flisher© 1989

Ball of hot fire, screaming through a sky.
Toe-tappin,' bass-heavy, brassy-cool, never asked why.
Funked to the top, and sharp as the steely stare of a cool cat.
Vacant phrases set on crisp cymbals, showered with sax.

Brass, brass, cool and sassy, Miles, the rhythm was in your blood.
Music like lava, too hot to touch.
Cuts and carves, taking willful prisoners at every turn.
Causing heads to nod, to listen. to learn.

"Boplicity," a time gone awry.
Bird flyin' high, Diz and Max standin' by.
Duke on the wind and Coltrane in the corner of yo' eye.
Seeking a voice, finding a style.

"Kind of Blue." Always blue. And red and green and black too.
The blues soak your tongue even when you tried to stay new.
Blue and dark, deep and raw, smooth and slick, rich and cool.
A voice too hard and tense to be schooled.

"Bitches Brew" turnin' corners, leadin' the way.
Electric scorch, a nervous flame of blue and gray.
Black heat, black heat, hot as sun.
Calloused lips, raspy tongue, attitude and rebellion all in one.
Style and eloquence, second to none.

Cool to the ear and hot to the heart, he spoke the truth.
Voice powerful and restrained, a glance at the old, with the eye of youth.
Always looking, never happy, never content.
Energy spent exploring the will to experiment.

Left by a master, a hole so vacant and lean.
Changes and chords, modal resonant, lines crisp and clean.
Deep blue too hot to cool, without a rival.
A challenging spark that flew above all.

Miles is gone, but his heat lives on.
Jazz musicians call him but the spirit ain't gone
No one like him, nowhere near.
A trumpet, a stance, an attitude, a sneer.

Deckle edge