Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I was at a Miles Davis concert. It was in a kind of semi-outdoor space, where the stage and some seats were under a canopy, like at Tanglewood or something, only smaller, like a wedding tent. Miles was playing a very distinctive, simple line on an electric bass. I don’t know where his horn was. This was like what he did late in his career, when he played the keyboard onstage. But this was late-’60s Miles, the music open and exploratory. S. was with me. We watched and I thought about him, about what he was doing and what he represented. We wandered to the back of the room and it became another room on the other side, with an identlical stage, a kind of mirror theatre. There Louis Armstrong was playing. He was in his element, with his longtime band. He was singing “Hello Dolly” and hamming it up and scatting and doing what he does. I thought about how Miles and Louis were two sides of something, connected in their opposition. It’s an obvious thought, too obvious and almost silly to express, except that it happened in a dream, and you’re innocent when you dream.