I do not understand. I don’t get why it had to be him. Mulgrew Miller, the shining example of everything good in this world. Gone too soon. I don’t get it. This was the person who turned my life around at an early point. Mulgrew Miller, the first person outside of my mother and father who made me question the meaning of our existence, to question our purpose and meaning for being. This person is gone already?
I met Mulgrew in 1980 through my trumpet teacher Bill Fielder. He was playing with Woody Shaw and I was still in school at Rutgers. Back then he was already a hero to me because I knew he was with the Ellington band and then with Betty Carter. Later, when he joined Woody Shaw, he continued to amaze me with his writing in that band, with tunes like “Eastern Joy Dance.”