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Sun, 29 Jan 2006

Miles Davis ... sorta

ESP 2: A tribute to Miles
Live in Stuttgart
Randy Hall
Robert Irving III
Adam Holzman
DVD, TDK

I saw Miles Davis at the Village Vanguard in NYC when I was pretty young. How I got in I don't know as you were supposed to be twenty-one and I wasn't, and I looked about twelve. I was dressed in a blazer and tie. Maybe the doorman thought it was so bizarre that it wasn't really happening. In any case I was allowed in and was served a beer at the bar and I settled down to some small-group Miles. What he was doing then was a kind of cooler child of Bird -- of Beebop. Or maybe it was beefed up West Coast Cool. He blew sinuous torrents of sound and in the small audience people would end his phrases with "Yeah!". To a child it was also beyond good. You didn't need to know anything about music to know that this man was a master. And you didn't need to much about people to intuitively appreciate that the man was angry, unapproachable, and slightly adrift -- if the opposite of adrift is connected in a happy way.

Miles isn't on this DVD but a lot of his sidemen from his last years are. This tribute covers a particular side of Miles Davis -- the fusion side. The playing is wonderful and nicely recorded and it might set you to wondering about ties between Fusion and some modern electronica. (Baron K)

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