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  • Loren Roetman

On Thursday, September 28, 2006, I was privileged to be invited to attend the induction into Hollywood's Rockwalk for Miles Davis.


My friend (my brother) Vince Wilburn, Jr. invited me to attend with a group of Miles Davis' family and friends. I drove his father Vince Sr., a Veteran of 4 Wars, (may he Rest in Peace) to L.A. from Phoenix. Erin Davis, Cheryl Davis, and others were with us to celebrate the event. The night before, I installed a new ProJect PerspeX turntable into Vince's HiFi rig in his home.


The basic system was the personal music system of Miles Davis from his Malibu home and he left it to Vince, it includes vintage European Revox electronics and speakers.


Vince had received several of the Japanese LP Reissues recently and wanted to hear them on a proper table. After I got everything set and adjusted, I grabbed up the fresh copy of Kind of Blue and cued up So What.


What followed can only be described as transcendental. The system has four large floor-standing full-range loudspeakers, one in each corner of Vince's large front room.


The spirits of Bill Evans and Paul Chambers lit up and then Jimmy Cobb added the drive and the air. I stood in the center of the room and when Miles came in on trumpet, on his old system, it was like he entered the room. I closed my eyes and went way into the music, then Coltrane showed up, then Cannonball, soaring and diving into the Evans solo to fade. The perfect experience to start off our celebration.


Wallace Roney (may he Rest in Peace) joined us for the drive to Hollywood the next morning and his remarks later that day at the ceremony summed things up, he said that Miles had been THE influence on him and all those around him, in the way that they played, behaved, dressed and how they thought about music and life.


Lenny White offered that those who had been around Miles, many times had to wait for the rest of the music world to catch up. No one can ever catch up and no one will ever equal, Miles Davis. Miles never waited, Miles is on ahead.


A telegram from Carlos Santana was read which in part said; "Miles Davis, Miles Davis, Miles Davis. The name alone represents some of the very best that the human mind, soul, and spirit have ever conceived."


I have only been on the fringes of this whole world, and I know that even though I never met the legend, I have been strongly influenced by my appreciation of the power of his music and more importantly by the grace and kindness of his family.


Someone said that Miles was the coolest person in the room although he had already been gone for 15 years; Vince Sr. and Vince Jr. came next in order. A heart-felt thanks to the Wilburns and to Cheryl Davis for giving me that glimpse into their special world.


(that's me in the orange shirt in the background, no, I don't know what I was thinking...)

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