On the June night of Dolphy’s passing, the composer is in New York, holding forth about the size of space. An audience has gathered to hear him speak. Perhaps they recognize him, but more likely they only think they do. He is wide as a boxcar and not a little frightening, this giant of a man with a scowl across his lips. He ashes his cigar into an up-turned linen cap.
I first heard Howard Tate back in 1995. These were the happy Clinton years. The mean kids hadn’t taken over the playground yet. We were all a little dizzy on peace. I was living in the suburbs of the South, Greensboro to be precise, where I had come to receive indoctrination into the good miseries of literature.