A Fireside Chat with Roberto Miguel Miranda
RM: Yeah, we are doing a three bass thing along with Nels and Alex Cline. For one thing, it helps me to realize and know that God requires respect for the elders. Henry is sixty-eight years old. The person who really helped bring him out of retirement, he is just going to turn eighteen. He fell in love with Pharoah Sanders and fell in love with Henry's playing and this is a guy who has been studying with me know for three years and is one of my best students. Not only is he a student of the bass, he is a student of what you do for the community that you become a part of. Not only are you a musician in this community, you are a member of the community. He took it upon himself to help Henry. Here you have this young, eighteen-year-old kid hanging out with this sixty-eight-year-old master jazz bassist and there is this reverence there. That in itself is to me, a validation that God expects and demands respect from the young folks to the elders. The elders are there to help the young folks.
FJ: Has it been a challenge to be spiritual in a secular industry?
RM: That is what the war, the inner war is all about. We are constantly attacked by Satan and his demons in the form of making money or becoming famous. You are always on the frontline, but thanks to Jesus Christ, we know who will ultimately be victorious and as long as we follow our captain and remain true to him, we know the ultimate outcome. There is hope in that and that is one of the things that helps me to continue to engage in the battle.
FJ: Why have you not recorded more?
RM: The opportunities have not presented themselves. To be quite honest with you, Fred, I was really taken aback and surprised that people who were going to jump at the opportunity to put out my album, didn't. The album includes some of the finest musicians in jazz music, the late Billy Higgins, Kenny Burrell, Billy Childs. These are guys who people know about. Then it includes some of the finest musicians who people don't know about, Charles Owens, Bobby Bradford, and Don Littleton. I thought that people were going to pick this album up because anybody who knows anything about the music is going to want to pick this album out. I sent out twenty letters and I may have gone about it in the wrong way, but I didn't get one letter back. Actually, I got one and it was a letter of rejection. I put it out myself and to this day, I am looking for a distribution deal. But in spite of all of that, I am happy and to top it all off, I am saved. What am I going to complain about? I am a happy man.
FJ: And the future?
RM: I have a couple of dates at the LA County Museum of Art. I will be there with Bobby Bradford's group and also with Theo Saunders. There is also a new venue opening up in Pasadena called the Boston Court Theater and I will be there with my trio July 18 and 19. Currently my trio is Don Littleton on drums and percussion and Nate Morgan on piano.