Milt Jackson’s Mallet

  Irony is unstoppable. A swish. A whack. Chop goes the axe. A needle drops into a vinyl groove, and like a Japanese flower unfolding in water, the simple magic of paper and dye, I am thirty years younger in the New York apartment of a friend. We are four. Finishing our drinks. Donning our coats. About to go out to listen to some jazz. My friend and his lady. Me and my wife. And one of us—me, it has to be—noticing Dizzy Gillespie in that silver-framed photograph on the wall holding a straight trumpet, huh? what’s that? what’s happened…

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