follow us in feedly
Brubeck in context: The BBC’s ‘1959: The Year That Changed Jazz’


 
Pianist Dave Brubeck’s shedding of his mortal coil yesterday reminds us how important it is to view a figure like him in relation to his time.

Luckily we have BBC4’s 2009 documentary, 1959: The Year That Changed Jazz to do just that. Produced by documentarian Paul Bernays and UK jazz DJ Jez Nelson, 1959 scrutinizes the impact of Brubeck’s classic Time Out album alongside three others from that year: Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, Charles Mingus’s Ah Um and Ornette Coleman’s The Shape Of Jazz To Come.

The main Brubeck segment starts 12 minutes in, and the doc explores both the racial politics inherent in the Brubeck phenomenon, and the influence of his band’s groundbreaking 1959 tour of the Soviet Bloc, Mideast and South Asia on Time Out. But the whole hour is worth watching, if only for the compelling close-readings of masterpieces like Davis’s iconic “So What,” Coleman’s intense “Lonely Woman,” Mingus’s firey “Fables of Faubus.” The doc’s juxtaposition of Brubeck’s ascendance to Mr. Cool-ness against Coleman’s Cold War-tinged urgency is also a nice touch.

With an interview roster that includes Hal Wilner, Lou Reed, Stanley Crouch, Charlie Haden, Sue Mingus, Herbie Hancock and Nat Hentoff, 1959 offers up some crucial background as to what made Brubeck and his contemporaries what they were.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Dave Brubeck Quartet: In Concert, Germany 1966

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
‘Miles just called and said he wants this album to be titled: ‘Bitches Brew’
11.06.2012
09:09 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Miles Davis
Bitches Brew


 
A letter dated November 14, 1969 from record producer Teo Macero to Columbia/CBS Records executives regarding Miles Davis’ suggested title for Bitches Brew.

“Please advise.”

Click here to see larger image.

Via High Definite

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Genius, Hustler, Superstar: ‘The Miles Davis Story’

miles_davis_smoking
 
Miles Davis was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He was at the forefront of various Jazz movements, including Be Bop, Cool, Modal and Fusion. He lived a life that was a complex mix of genius, superstar, pimp and street hustler. Duke Ellington nailed it when he described Davis as “the Picasso of Jazz”.

The Miles Davis Story is an Emmy-winning documentary that gives a fairly good overview of the man and his incredible career and controversial life, mixing interviews together with some amazing footage (including rare concerts from the 1960s and 1970s). There is a good selection of interviews, but occasionally I wanted to hear more from Davis and his music and less from the contributors. This small quibble aside, The Miles Davis Story is compelling viewing.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Like A Spiritual Orgasm: Miles Davis plays the Isle of Wight Festival


Impressions of John Coltrane: 3 vintage TV performances


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Impressions of John Coltrane’: 3 vintage TV performances

john+coltrane
 
Impressions of John Coltrane is an excellent trio of television performances featuring John Coltrane,  with his own quartet, the Miles Davis Quintet and alongside Eric Dolphy. Filmed between 1959 and 1963, each performance reveals the quality and range of the great man’s playing.

The first comes from the series The Jazz Casual, originally aired in 1963. Here you’ll find the perfect line-up of Coltrane (tenor sax/soprano sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums). This is said to be the only time Coltrane’s “classic” quartet was caught on camera. Together they give great versions of “Impressions” and “Afro Blue”.

The second is from 1959, and has Coltrane playing with the Miles David Quintet - Davis (flügelhorn/trumpet), Coltrane (tenor sax/alto sax), Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Jimmy Cobb (drums). They are accompanied by Gil Evans and a 15-piece orchestra. And certainly get going on “So What”, “The Duke”, “Blues for Pablo” and “New Rumba”.

The third is from West German TV in 1961, which shows Coltrane playing with Eric Dolphy (alto sax/flute), McCoy Tyner (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums), who hit the spot with “My Favorite Things” and “Impressions”.

Track list:

01. “Alabama”
02. “Impressions”
03. “Afro Blue”
04. “So What” (with Miles Davis)
05. “The Duke” (with Miles Davis)
06. “Blues For Pablo” (with Miles Davis)
07. “New Rumba” (with Miles Davis)
08. “My Favorite Things” (with Eric Dolphy)
09. “Impressions” (with Eric Dolphy)
 

 
Thanks to Jazztification
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Like A Spiritual Orgasm’: Miles Davis plays the Isle of Wight Festival

miles_electric_miles_davis
 
When Billy Eckstine came to St. Louis, with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, Miles Davis went to see them play.

Davis was playing trumpet with Eddie Randle’s Rhumboogie Orchestra, and one day, after rehearsal, he went round to the theater to see Gillespie and Parker perform.

Davis arrived with his trumpet slung over his shoulder, dreaming of how one day he might be up there playing along with the likes of his idols Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie or Charlie Parker. Just as he reached the theater, Gillespie appeared, noted Davis’ trumpet and rushed over to the young musician.

‘You play?’ Gillespie asked.

Davis told him he did.

‘We lost our trumpeter, and we need one fast. You got a card?’

Davis nodded ‘Yes’.

‘Then you’re in.’

Davis played with Gillespie and Parker for the next 2 weeks, and this was the start of Mile Davis’ incredible career.

In 1970, Miles Davis played to a 600,000 audience at the Isle of Wight Festival. It was the largest pop festival in history. At the time, many questioned why Davis had agreed to perform at it, as man of his success and talent was middle of the bill, sandwiched between Tiny Tim and Ten Years After.

Davis had just released his double album, Bitches Brew, which proved to be a game-changing moment in Modern Jazz. The album divided critics. Some reviled it, claiming Davis had sold out, and was no longer relevant. But the audience loved it. And Bitches Brew became Davis’ biggest success, going gold within weeks.

In August 1970, Davis decided to play Bitches Brew at the Isle of Wight Festival. It was a myth-making appearance, where Davis improvised much of his performance.

That festival, and Davis’ role in it, are revisited here in Murray Lerner’s documentary Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue, which inter-cuts Miles’ astounding performance together with members of his band and those who knew the great man.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Squeaky door in Chicago does Miles Davis impression
08.17.2012
10:00 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Miles Davis
Bitches Brew
Doors


 
The YouTube description says, “An ingenious door in a Chicago parking garage will not “die with his music inside of him.”
 

 
Via BuzzFeed

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dark Magus: Miles Davis live evil at Montreux, 1973
03.07.2012
09:32 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Miles Davis


 
[I’ve got the flu today, so I’m retooling an older post from 2010 with a different video while I go feel sorry for myself!]

In 2010, The Quietus blog ran a feature where they asked musical luminaries like Nick Cave, John Lydon, Iggy Pop, Mike Patton, Wayne Coyne and Ennio Morricone what their favorite Miles Davis album is. Unsurprisingly, asking these iconoclastic fellas, the majority of the nods go to Miles’ incredibly far out 70s album (from Bitches Brew to Dark Magus basically), the ones that most jazz fans, and even staunch Miles Davis fans used to absolutely hate, but that have been reconsidered critically in recent years as the public caught up to them

For me, I started to get into this “difficult” spot of the Miles Davis catalog about ten-twelve years ago. I already owned Bitches Brew and Get Up With It (which features a incredible sidelong elegy to Duke Ellington titled “He Loved Him Madly” improvised in the studio after Miles heard Ellington had died. The piece was cited by Brian Eno as the beginnings of ambient music) but it was A) getting a really good stereo system in 2002 and B) reading this amazing rant by Julian Cope about this period of Miles’ output that saw me really investigate the “horrible” racket Miles was making then. Wanting new music to listen to on my new toy, I bought Dark Magus first, Pangaea and Agharta in the space of three consecutive days. Once I started, I fell into a musical rabbit hole that I didn’t get out of for about a year or two later. I was not a very popular guy with the neighbors back then, I don’t think.

Not that I am saying anything here that hasn’t been expressed already in quarters like The Wire magazine, but if you ask me, the material that Miles Davis produced between 1970 and 1975 (when ill health and drug dependency forced him to retire for several years) is the absolute apex of his vast recorded output. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kind of Blue, In a Silent Way, Sketches of Spain, and many other earlier Miles Davis albums, but the ones I play loudest, most often and that I pay the most attention to, are the coke-out live albums, Dark Magus, Agharta, Pangaea. These albums are… fucking unique and that’s putting it mildly. There is nothing else to compare them to, even remotely, in the history of modern music (Maybe Can meets Fela Kuti?)

With up to three electric guitarists (Reggie Lucas, Pete Cosey and Dominique Gaumont), Miles on organ and electrified trumpet (run through a wah-wah pedal) and a rhythm section consisting of the insane, propulsive drumming of Al Foster, Mtume on percussion and the most amazing Michael Henderson on bass holding the whole thing together, holy shit, these performances are AGGRESSIVE. Julian Cope wrote about notion of continental plates shifting to get across the power of the Pangaea set (recorded live in Osaka, Japan in 1975 on the evening of the day that Aghartha was recorded) and I’d say that’s about right. Every instrument which isn’t soloing is placed in service of THE GROOVE—even the guitars can be seen as adding a percussive element to the overall wall of noise-funk effect.

At the proper volume, it can plow you down like a Mack truck. Interestingly, from the midst of this dank, swirling sonic maelstrom, every time one of the musicians steps forward for a solo, it reminds me of the odd noises and “squiggly” sounds that seem to come out of nowhere in certain Stockhausen or Xenakis compositions, cutting through the soupy din (At one point on Dark Magus, a primitive drum machine is pulled out and used like a machine gun!).

This 1973 performance from the Montreux Jazz Festival is a pretty scorching example of what Miles and his band (Davis’ sidemen here are Dave Liebman, Reggie Lucas, Pete Cosey, Michael Henderson, Al Foster, Mtume) was doing live at the time. It MUST be turned up loud for the proper effect:
 

 
Via Exile on Moan Street/Mark Stewart

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Miles Davis and John Lennon shooting hoops, 1971
09.30.2011
03:34 pm

Topics:
History
Music

Tags:
Yoko Ono
John Lennon
Miles Davis


Photo found at Awesome People Hanging Out Together

Crazy! Here’s some Super 8 footage of John Lennon and Yoko Ono at a party—perhaps one held at Allen Klein’s house, according to some accounts—in 1971 playing basketball with Miles Davis.

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Miles Davis talks about his art on Nile Rodgers’ ‘New Visions’


 
The great Nile Rodgers has started uploading clips from his old TV show New Visions to his new YouTube account. This short clip gives a fascinating insight into the artwork made by Miles Davis, of which there is an example above, called “The Kiss”.

Here Miles talks candidly about the shapes and colours in his work and what they mean to him, in his wonderfully gravelly voice. It all seems very sexual. The only downside is that this video is agonisingly short - Nile, if you have the full length version of this episode then you HAVE to put it online for the whole world to see!
 

 
Bonus!
Another clip from New Visions, this time featuring guitarists John Lee Hooker, Carlos Santana, Robert Fripp and more:
 

 
Previously on DM:
Nile Rodgers: Walking On Planet C
Nile Rodgers dishes the dirt on Atlantic Records
Miles Davis Quintet skateboards
Miles Davis: Louis Malle’s ‘Elevator To The Gallows’ recording session

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Lou Reed, Miles Davis and Grace Jones selling Honda Scooters and TDK tape in the 1980s

image
 
I owned one of Honda’s flashy red scooters. It didn’t last long in Manhattan. Stolen.

The Lou Reed commercial captures a certain nitty gritty New York vibe, the kind of place where scooters disappear.
 

 
Grace and Miles after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The last Miles: Miles Davis art exhibit opening in London
12.01.2010
08:09 am

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Miles Davis

image
 
The last batch of unsold Miles Davis paintings will be exhibited at the Gallery 27 space in London starting this week. I’ve seen some of his art “in person” in the past and some of it is just spectacular, exactly what you’d hope paintings by Miles Davis would be like. Not a disappointment in the least. If I was in London, I’d definitely make time to see this. Via MOJO:

Miles Davis - jazz legend, trumpet guru and dab hand with a pencil - spent the last decade of his life creating swathes of drawings and paintings that for the most part have been kept away from the public gaze. Until now…

A new exhibition at Gallery 27 in London’s Mayfair will open on December 7 and is set to unveil his last remaining 100 original drawings and oil paintings.

“As with his music, his artwork changed continually,” says exhbitor Andy Clarke, “from rapid, motion-filled drawings of dancers and robots to his later more Tribal work in oils on canvas. In the early 80’s his muse was Giulia Trojer, from whom part of this collection derives. In the last few years of his life, alongside his last partner, Jo Gelbard, he turned to painting citing Picasso a great influence alongside his African heritage.”

Miles Davis London Exhibition: Original Paintings and Drawings by the Jazz Legend runs from Tuesday, December 7 to Saturday, December 11 at Gallery 27, 27 Cork Street, London W1S 3NG.
 
image
 
image
 
More Miles Davis on Dangerous Minds

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Miles Davis’s band members on Vans sneakers

image
 
Here are some freakin’ amazing one-of-a-kind Vans WE Sk8 Hi’s designed by super-talented artist, Ian Johnson. I totally think Vans and Ian need to make more of these fine shoes.
 
image
 
image
 
See more images after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Miles Davis: Dark Magus
10.08.2010
01:34 pm

Topics:
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Miles Davis

image
 
Over at The Quietus blog, they’ve got a fun feature where they ask musical luminaries like Nick Cave, John Lydon, Iggy Pop, Mike Patton and Ennio Morricone what their favorite Miles Davis album is. Unsurprisingly, asking these iconoclastic fellas, the majority of the nods go to Miles’ incredibly far out 70s album (from Bitches Brew to Dark Magus basically), the ones that most jazz fans, and even staunch Miles Davis fans used to absolutely hate, but that have been reconsidered critically in recent years as the public caught up to them

For me, I started to get into this “difficult” spot of the Miles Davis catalog about ten-twelve years ago. I already owned Bitches Brew and Get Up with It (which features a incredible sidelong elegy to Duke Ellington, (“He Loved Him Madly”) improvised in the studio after Miles heard Ellington had died and cited by Brian Eno as the beginnings of ambient music) but it was A) getting a really good stereo system in 2002 and B) reading this amazing rant by Julian Cope about this period of Miles’ output that saw me really investigate the “horrible” racket Miles was making then. Wanting new music to listen to on my new toy, I bought Dark Magus, Pangaea and Aghartha in the space of three consecutive days. Once I started, I fell into a musical rabbit hole that I didn’t get out of for about a year or two later. I was not a very popular guy with the neighbors back then, I don’t think.

Not that I am saying anything here that hasn’t been expressed already in quarters like The Wire magazine, but if you ask me, the material that Miles Davis produced between 1970 and 1975 (when ill health and drug dependency forced him to retire for several years) is the absolute apex of his vast recorded output. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kind of Blue, In a Silent Way, Milestones, and many other earlier Miles Davis albums, but the ones I play loudest, most often and that I pay the most attention to, are the coke-out live albums, Dark Magus, Aghartha, Pangaea. These albums are… fucking unique and that’s putting it mildly. There is nothing else to compare them to, even remotely, in the history of modern music (Maybe Can meets Fela Kuti?)

With up to three electric guitarists (Reggie Lucas, Pete Cosey and Dominique Gaumont), Miles on organ and electrified trumpet (run through a wah-wah pedal) and a rhythm section consisting of the insane, propulsive drumming of Al Foster, Mtume on percussion and the most amazing Michael Henderson on bass holding the whole thing together, holy shit, these performances are AGGRESSIVE. Julian Cope wrote about notion of continental plates shifting to get across the power of the Pangaea set (recorded live in Osaka, Japan in 1975 on the evening of the day that Aghartha was recorded) and I’d say that’s about right. Every instrument which isn’t soloing is placed in service of THE GROOVE—even the guitars can be seen as adding a percussive element to the overall wall of noise-funk effect. At the proper volume, it can plow you down like a Mack truck. Interestingly, from the midst of this dank, swirling sonic maelstrom, every time one of the musicians steps forward for a solo, it reminds me of the odd noises and “squiggly” sounds that seem to come out of nowhere in certain Stockhausen or Xenakis compositions, cutting through the soupy din (At one point on Dark Magus, a drum machine is pulled out and used like a machine gun).

This 1973 clip is a pretty scorching example of what Miles and his band was doing live at the time. It MUST be turned up loud for the proper effect:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Miles Davis TV interview 1986
09.10.2010
11:15 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Miles Davis
Bill Boggs

image
 
Jazz legend Miles Davis gave very few television interviews. Notoriously prickly to begin with, Davis also had a colorful way of expressing himself as readers of his autobiography can attest to—a sentence consisting of a single word (“Bitches!”) gets the point across—a quality that perhaps didn’t lend itself so well to the medium of television.

However, Miles Davis was interviewed by Bill Boggs on his television show Time Out in 1986:

“I have been told by people over the years that this was an historic interview. ‘Do you ever remember Miles Davis being on a talk show?’ Apparently not too many people do cause they keep telling me this is unique. How’d it happen? Well the entire long form story is part of my play ‘Talk Show Confidential,’ but the Cliff Notes version is: I ran into Miles when I was in a restaurant in Los Angeles. Actually, he came to my table and said hello. ‘That Midday was like my Today show,’ he told me in that raspy voice. It turned out he’d been watching me for years and said, ‘I always wanted you to interview me.’ So the way this whole thing happened was he asked me what I was doing and I told him I had a show in Philadelphia called ‘Timeout’ and he basically said let’s arrange to do it. And about a month or so later, there he was. I was not pleased that the producers of the show chose to add other guests. It should have been just Miles and me for the entire hour. But they were afraid he wouldn’t carry the ratings-small thinking, in my opinion, since his appearance on the show made headlines and was discussed before and after on local radio. Anyway, the charming Maurice Hines, an old friend joins in as do some young trumpet players-which sort of worked..See for yourself..Miles Davis circa 1986 in Philadelphia.” -Bill Boggs

 

 
Via Pathway to Unknown Worlds/ Thank you Steven Daly of New York City!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Miles Davis beer: Bitches Brew
09.02.2010
09:07 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Miles Davis

image

 
Miles runs the brew-doo down! In honor of the 40th anniversary of Miles Davis’s jazzrock fusion masterpiece, Bitches Brew, Dogfish Head brewers have released a new commemorative beer. Not only is “Bitches Brew” a bitchin’ name for a brew, of course, that iconic Mati Klarwein cover painting makes the coolest label I think I’ve ever seen.

Miles Davis’ seminal Bitches Brew album was a game changer – a bold fusion of rock, funk and jazz. To honor the 40th anniversary release, Dogfish Head has created a bold, dark beer that’s a fusion of three threads imperial stout and one thread honer beer with gesho root. Like the album, this beer will age with the best of ‘em.

Speaking of Bitches Brew, I’ve been listening to this album a lot lately—I’ve always loved it—because I got the most amazing quadraphonic bootleg version of it. Apparently sourced from a reel to reel quad master, it sounds utterly incredible, as if you were in the room with Miles, Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin, Jack De Johnette, Chick Corea, Dave Holland and the others, when these tracks were being laid down. Plus the sonics are uncrushed by modern remastering. Truly an audiophile’s delight. I can’t believe Sony is putting out a $125 box set of the, ahem, “definitive” Bitches Brew box set for the second third time  and they didn’t bother to offer the multichannel version!
 

 
Via Laughing Squid

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Page 2 of 3  < 1 2 3 >