AAJ: Does little Miles (Miles IV) play an instrument?
GD: No. He's not interested in doing anything like that. He loves cars. He's a good person. He's not involved with music. He listens, but he doesn't play anything. He used to play drums.
AAJ: Is he around New York?
GD: He's in St. Louis. I talked to him recently. I think he's going to move to the west coast where it's warmer. My mother is there also. He enjoys driving his Porsche.
AAJ: Looking back on it all, is there something you miss the most about your father, something you admire the most?
GD: I miss his guidance. I can still tune into him. It may seem strange to you or anybody else. I can still tune into him, get small gifts from him. If I'm at peace, I can tune into him and he can tell me what he wants to tell me and show me things.
When I was a kid we used to play ball together, go to boxing matches, we used to hop in a yellow cab and go to Yankee Stadium. Father and son stuff. He was a real father. He would dress his kids out of Sachs Fifth Avenue. He was a great father. He was successful and he wanted to give it to his kids. That's one reason I know he would not leave his kids out of his will. Of course he would get angry at times. He wouldn't have thought like that or gone forward with anything like that (leaving kids out of the will).
AAJ: You guys had problems at different times in your life, which isn't unusual. But are there any big regrets in that regard?
GD: I regret that I didn't see himhe wanted to see me before he died. He tried to wait on me. I found out that he had been in the hospital for about two months, and they called me two days before he was gone. If that's not some kind of evil, I don't know what is. When a man is on his death bed, you give him his last request.
I'm sorry I didn't see him. He tried to wait. He told his brother (Vernon), who told my friend. That's how I know that Miles said, "Tell Gregory I tried to wait on him.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.