Often, when people ask me what I read as a young girl, I lie. Or, I should say, I lie by omission. I tell them about my brilliant fourth-grade teacher, Miss Artis, who assigned us 'Johnny Tremain' and 'Where the Red Fern Grows' and 'Tuck Everlasting,' all books that made an impression on me. And people nod in approval.
I never heard anything so brilliant in my life as I did that first time I heard Ornette. He played like some revolutionary angel. Soon, we were rehearsing in his place, music scattered everywhere, and he was telling me to play outside the chord changes, which was exactly what I had been wanting to do. Now I had permission.