Within all the intensity, they seemed to be having a good time and retained something of the party atmosphere. Flaten started on electric bass guitar but soon switched to stand-up, which he held onto the rest of the set. Along with his plastic alto, McPhee had a tenor and pocket trumpet in town; near the end of the set, Gustafsson borrowed the tenor, demonstrating that the intense scream is his own and not his baritone's. And as he, winded and tongue-tied, attempted to make announcements, McPhee put his arm around in him and said "I don't know what you're saying. You're talking Scandanoovian and I'm Poughkeepsian." It was not a night about the radical politics that inspired a poem, a song and a painting, or at least not a night wearing that time and place on its sleeve. It was more a spiritual reunion, a little fancy and uptown but with such sentiments not forgotten.
I was first exposed to jazz by my high school girlfriend's father. On the one hand he was the school's Vice Principal, on the other
he was a big Miles Davis fan. He gave me my first jazz record, Miles at the Blackhawk.