A quick one as I prepare to leave for the weekend (which means no review tomorrow…I’m okay with that). Miles Davis has always been a towering figure for me in music: he was my gateway into jazz, and his evolution served as touchpoint for my own growth as a listener. The connection to his music is even stronger now that my son joined his schools jazz ensemble and in what is now his 7th year playing trumpet opted to get his own for Christmas. So we’ve been exploring the man’s work, and today as we drove to school I put on Jack Johnson to show Davis’s skill at improvising over a repeated lick, and his use of a mute, which my son is also starting to utilize.
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You can say someone is your favorite artist or musician, but in the case of someone like Frank Zappa or, in this instance Miles Davis, it’s near impossible to be well versed in every aspect of their discography. How do you gain a level of understanding broad and deep enough to qualify/quantify the man is your favorite when there are literally troves of live, alternate, and side performances to sift through? I often find myself settling back to the 10 or so “home base” recordings that solidified my love for Davis, but the beauty of someone with as many records as he has is the joy of returning to less tread waters, exploring albums you’re not nearly as familiar or comfortable with. Hence Live-Evil, which ironically was the first Miles I found and purchased on vinyl.
Continue reading “Miles Davis: Live-Evil (1971)”