…So, Francis and I are in James’ studio. We asked the secretary where the maestro was and walked over to the hall.
James was in the recording room. Another three guys, around twenty years old and wearing headphones, sat behind the same controls, pressing some buttons and moving levers.
“Stop! Stop! One second!” James ordered. Seeing me, he nodded cheerfully and signaled for me to wait.
Thick glass divided the hall from the recording room, where a jazz band was playing. I offered Francis a seat on the bench. Since he did not expect to find himself in a real recording studio, accompanied by the very “cuckoo doctor” on top of it, a stunned Francis sat down without another word.
When the recording session was over, we went with James to his office. I inquired how Margaret was doing and in general what was new with them. Then I asked if he can take Francis on as his student.
“He is a good kid. He loves music and used to play piano. Now he is unemployed and has no idea what to do with himself. I don’t know how you will decide the matter of payment with him, though.”
Without going into details, James agreed. He grew up on the streets of Harlem and understood everything without any further explanation.
“Adam, buddy, don’t worry about money. Your Francis and I will talk it over together, so long as he wants to learn.”
We shook hands on it and came back to the hall where Francis was waiting. We were laughing on the way since James liked to tell jokes. At the entrance into the hall I grabbed James by the flap of his jacket.
Francis was sitting at the piano pressing the keys. Shiny music stands and microphones surrounded him.