Showing posts from March, 2021


Michael is a musical force in his own right, always was. T he talent that made Von a sensation at 12 helped Michael stand out at 21. I'd like to think that Michael sensed he'd met his moment, but I don't know. What I do know is the guy could riff. To play with Von, you had to. You had to know music from the inside out. You had to be as spontaneous as he was.  By the time we met, Michael, was in his thirties and a seasoned pro. He had a way of biting his lip, closing his eyes and leaning into the drum set. A little closer, a little lower, as if the drums held all the secrets, the fleeting rhythms, of a memorable performance.  We met at Tower Records when Tower Records was a thing. It was a Monday in September when he approached me in the jazz section. I thought he worked there. The day before, I'd read a feature on Louis Armstrong in the Sunday Times. Now I had a hankering for Satchmo. Fresh off a run through Lincoln Park, beads of sweat still glistened on my forehead wh