Denver cornetist Ron Miles' new album, “I Am a Man,” takes its title from the slogan used by striking African-American sanitation workers in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Though he was only 4 years old at the time, Miles never forgot the images of the striking workers and their signs using the slogan to proclaim their essential humanity. Martin Luther King Jr. was in Memphis to support the strikers when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
Miles was recently inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame alongside guitarist Bill Frisell as part of the hall's “Jazz masters and beyond” class. Frisell also plays on “I Am a Man,” joining New Orleans drummer Brian Blade, pianist Jason Moran and bassist Thomas Morgan on Miles' latest release.