I was born Into a wonderful vibratory world known as "The South Bronx" to a Sephardic first generation American father (Harlem 1923) and Cuban Roman Catholic mother in 1959. 

In 1959 my 40 year old Mother and I  labored for four days before we were rudely C-sectioned out and eventually carted off to the "Grand Concourse" to endure the spring cold.  Although I claim no cosmic connection to the karmic relevance or zeitgeist of that time, later on in life I began to reflect reverently on the events occurring during this time (many of which were occurring within a 50 mile radius of my navel) with thankfulness for the spiritual animation they would provide me. Some really profound things were "happening".

So what? .....  As these "happenings" may seem completely disconnected from our personal orbits, a mystic worth his biscuit will tell you that all things and all people are connected. We are blessed to be inspired by visionary outliers in very direct and palpable ways. I mention them here only because I think they eventually shaped much of my life and much of what you hear in "Little Black Car". 

In April of 59, "Kind of Blue" was being recorded in Manhattan. Miles, Coleman, Mingus, Blakey, Coltrane, Dolphy, Brubeck, Monk, Evans, Morgan, C Taylor and many others were redefining Jazz. Frank Sinatra had by then released several of his wonderful Capital Records offerings with Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, and Billy May. (It was Sinatra who first taught me English. On any given evening you would hear his music permeating from every apartment , as most of us had no A/C at the time.) 

Meanwhile, the seeds of what would soon become "The Beatles" were taking root in Europe. Paul McCartney would shape my musical mind in years to come. Later on came Clapton, Hendrix, Page, Beck, Zappa and the Allman Brothers with their twin guitar sound and many others to solidify the Rock representation and drive everything toward a train wreck by 1970 with the Jazz world known as "Fusion". Enter John McLaughlin and his Mahavishnu Orchestra...Damn! The message was... "it's all good" and it was a message that preconceptions were to be decommissioned. Moreover, that the sum of the parts, as disassociate as they may have appeared to be at the onset, were the mother of invention. 

In another camp, the day after my birthday, NASA introduced  the "Mercury 7" astronauts.  By 1967, the  so-called Space Race captured my imagination. Hidden from me of course by my youthful exuberance was the truth of an arms race that found dogs, monkeys and actual humans strapped in as the actual payloads of hi-rad delivery systems.  And while Armstrong played with his rockets, we played Stickball in the streets of the Bronx with the famous "Spalding" (or Spaldeen as it was pronounced) and a broom stick. The thought that these "right stuff" guys had the stones to go to the Moon was so alien to us that we thought the whole thing was a TV fiction. Of course, for some the suspicions about TV and it's Orwellian fictions linger. For me it was real, things we choose to do not because they were easy but because they were challenging. There was still some real leadership being provided. 

Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba in 1959. When the US rejected him out of hand, he turned his affections toward Russia, who immediately saw an opportunity to check the US missile positions in Turkey with missiles parked in Havana. This would soon culminate in the October missile crisis, where the Kennedy brothers would come to serve their Drama, saving the world from extinction by resisting the insane calls for preemptive U.S. strikes on the part of the joint chiefs. The world came very close to ending those 13 days of October of 1962. 

I spent the first 13 years of my life living in the Bronx and am thankful of it. I wouldn't trade those days for the world. It was just the best. We were listening to "Sgt Peppers" and "The Sunshine of Your Love", roofing Spaldeens on Wallace avenue rooftops and watching Armstrong take a giant leap for mankind.  In 1973, our family moved to Miami to join the Cuban side of my tribe. Although I was dazed and pubescent, I was most certainly sensitive enough to suffer the culture null strafing my brain. But a few years went by and I had the good fortune  to fall in with a group of musicians and artists that were always turning each other on to new bands and music. To this day, I wonder where the network got it's juice. But we were trading vinyl, cassettes and early badly mastered CDs.  U.K., Bruford, Holdsworth, Genesis, Brand X, Patto, Happy The Man, Tempest, Yes, ELP, McLaughlin, Queen, Kansas, Rush, Chick, Herbie and so many others.  Many more names not mentioned here, but that period of my life was edifying. We all struggled to learn to play what we were hearing. I would wake up every Sunday morning and drive down to the Coconut Grove in my 442 to visit my old friend Micheal Dean, also known as Franky Twist. He ran a second hand jazz vinyl  shop know as "The Yardbird", and I would buy 10 to 20 albums from him every Sunday without fail. 

I registered at Miami Dade College in 1978 to study Church Organ. It lasted only a few months. 
I had a mental block around reading music and to manage an organ you have to read 4 staves of the stuff. 
By then, I was working stringing tennis rackets and had enough money to buy myself a high-end audio system as well as a 50 watt Marshall Half-Stack and a Gibson SG. I played in a few bands for a spell playing guitar, bass and keys and enjoyed that life so it inspired me to go on to graduate from Florida International University in 1984 with a degree in Accounting. I subsequently became a CPA and took a job with Price Waterhouse. I effectively stopped playing my Rhodes and owned not one guitar for close to eight years. I should mention that while I studied accounting I worked in the Garment Industry in Opa Locka part time doing books for a ladies sportswear manufacturer based in NYC and I learned quite a bit about the mass production of clothing. Another blessing to me.
Michael Dean, co-owner of Yardbird Records, 2809 Bird Rd., in the Grove. At Yardbird, jazz is king. Two slightly chintzy speakers outside the shop grace the street with the sounds of The Ole Dude and the Fundance Kid, featuring young Phil Woods and jazz great Budd Johnson, who died shortly after the album was released last year. The shop’s name was the nickname of another jazz monarch, Charlie Parker. The key to success, he said, is knowing where to find what he doesn’t have.