Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

Kind of Blue is pretty much the perfect jazz album, often cited as the jazz album even people who don't like jazz can't help but enjoy. Count Basie is still my favorite jazz musician, but there's no denying that Miles David had an unparalleled daring and creativity in his work, even though I find some of his output borderline unlistenable. That's definitely not the case with "So What" which I can never get enough of. Enjoy.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... John Mellencamp.

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  1. And KIND OF BLUE is the album it is in part because Bill Evans had been working with George Russell on modal improvisation, notable albums from that period including JAZZ WORKSHOP featuring "Concerto for Billy the Kid"...then Evans joined the Davis Quintet, and taught them about modal improvisation.

    Davis is given credit for all kinds of work other people did, even more essentially (KOB is still a great album, but, for example, BIRTH OF THE COOL is a "Davis" album because he had the record contract it was released under). And he was a genuinely terrible person who was at best toxic towards all kinds of people in his life, and was worshiped by clowns for his bad behavior, ranging from assaulting his wife to literally pimping his girlfriend to trying to kill the careers of fellow jazz musicians on a whim. This doesn't always color my reaction to his work, but it does always color my reaction to others' reactions to Davis...his music didn't transcend the work of his peers, as more people would know if they listened to more jazz, but they don't, so they don't. And, again, KOB is a great album.

  2. From what I've read from some of those who worked with him, he got worse as his drug use increased. Earlier in his career he wasn't that bad. I do love BIRTH OF THE COOL except for "Darn that Dream." It's like nails on a chalkboard for me. It gave us Cool Jazz, and by extension Bossa Nova, so for that alone I'm grateful.

    And I don't think Davis' working with modal concepts pioneered by others diminishes KIND OF BLUE. Ray Charles didn't write the majority of his music but he had a knack for innovating and bringing out different aspects that nobody else had seen. Davis starts to lose me with SKETCHES OF SPAIN and later works, but KIND OF BLUE and BIRTH OF THE COOL are always worth revisiting.