Saturday, May 10, 2014



MILES DAVIS:  Jazz Is Like An Attitude

Can you give ?  Can you give yourself ?  Do you have the ability to Give ? Miles Davis will be 88 years old this month. I am more than sure that if Miles were on the planet, that somehow, some way, some where, he would be doing what he did best: Giving.  That is what we do as Artists, as Writers, as Performers,  we  give,  and  you,  the audience,  take,  and if it's really good,  you actually get to partake. Miles Davis, probably,  one of America's most outspoken, controversial, single-minded and guided musicians in recorded history will be Eighty - Eight this year. Eighty - Eight : The  Number of Keys on a Piano.  The full spectrum.  Before there were 88 keys on a piano,  they had called it a harpsichord.  Music before Miles Davis is all harpsichord and every thing after,  is something totally new. When people called him Be-Bop, he transformed.  When people called him a  JAZZ  MAN, he transformed again. One thing Miles Davis never did, was Conform.  
Miles' influences were varied.  He  loved  Dizzy Gillespie more than a man might love his own father. It was Dizzy who got Miles Davis back in the ring after several years of inertia. But Miles also had a deep respect for Classical composers, "I always loved Stravinsky, Stockhausen, Ravel, Rachmaninoff,  Chopin." he remarked,  upon receiving one  of  several  awards  throughout  life. He seemed to take the recognition in stride, appreciative, but, a bit aloof. Miles  is incomparable, but when forced to parallel, I would say,  he is Dylan.  Both men battled the system,  themselves, sometimes fans and always original.  Never  the  same  performance  twice. Prodigious  outputs . Popular success as well as solid credibility with purists,  and  then  later,  angering  the  purists in search of something else,  something new,  something truly Pure,  something never heard before or something heard before,  but never like that.  When Dylan or Davis do a ' Cover Version '  of someone else's tune, It is safe to say, it will never sound like anything but Dylan or Davis. Listen to Dylan's Grateful Dead renditions. Or Miles', Time after Time.  The later example,  possibly an equivalent to Miles' long time  friend  and  collaborator  John  Coltrane's,  ' My Favorite Things '. Read The book review in this Edition for more on John Coltrane's influence on  The  Jazz  World.We are currently studying The Fillmore Remix out on SONY a 4 Disc masterpiece of wonderment.

"If  it's Blues,  I play it Blues.  If it's a Ballad, I play the Ballad. If it's Funky, 
I play it Funky. If it's Fast, I play that."

When people called Miles a sell out, he had this to say, "People say, You sold out, and shit like that, I don't know what they're talking about. That's what musicians say when they're lazy, Don't want to learn more things." Miles Davis is one of the most  G I V I N G  performers, that I know of, In Any Medium. You simply listen to Miles Davis and it is a supreme lesson in focus. A pure offering in abstract terms, a truth, Miles' truth, no one else'e truth. Giving a veritable truth. And giving it All, NOW. There is nothing else. There is no one else. There is just a performer, an instrument and yes, there is an audience.  Though, no audience will return, time & time again, as they did for Miles, if the first two ingredients are insufficient. And no performer can get two ingredients without the first: Giving. " If it's Blues, I play it Blues. If it's a Ballad, I play the Ballad. If it's Funky, I play it Funky.  If its Fast, I play that. Not one style. Jazz is like an attitude."  There are plenty of books on Miles Davis, no need to add to the bibliography, so I will spare the tired facts, numbers, opinions and rumors. The best way to understand Miles Davis is to simply give yourself to the music. Can You give ? Can You Give Yourself ? Do You have the Ability to GIVE Yourself to MUSIC ? If you are able, then listen to what Miles Davis has to say.  It is deep.  It is joyful.  It is painful.  It is authentic.  It is passionate. It is enlightened. It is raw. It is refined. It is Africa.  It is Asia.  It is Europa.  It is America. It is unexpurgated, undefinably, unmistakably, undeniably,  pure sound.  It is the Sound of Miles Davis and this year, it is Eight - Eight.  Infinity twice.  A double Helix.  Good Luck in Chinese. Quite simply: a man's age. Look for more on Miles Davis at The Fillmore coming soon.