Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Miles Davis - 1969-11-02 Ronnie Scott's, London, England

A Tipping Point or Two...

Shiny horn, shiny pants
A fun thing you can do if you want to get mad is look up Stanley Crouch's remarks on Miles Davis. Even as Davis was settling into a role of elder statesman of jazz - you know, the period where he was showing the common roots of pop and jazz by seamlessly working Cyndi Lauper covers into setlists - Crouch was saying he was only good before he got into rock.

By which he means: I dunno. Is there a demarcation line somewhere? I guess maybe On the Corner, but even before that came works like Jack Johnson or Live Evil. And I'd argue you can go as far back as Miles in the Sky to find a direct rock influence on his sound. And that came out in 1968!

Today's share comes from late 1969, right when Miles and band were rewriting the rules every night. Could jazz be electric? Could you work in straight-ahead rhythms? What if ideas like melody didn't apply in the sense they used to? Chick Corea's electric piano adds jagged, shiny edges to the music while Jack DeJohnette's propulsive drumming pushes everything forward. Dave Holland's playing on home court (both literally, and figuratively: before long, Miles would have him ditch the standup bass in favour of a Fender) and Wayne Shorter's sax twists and turns, like he's inspired by the direction the music's going. And Miles? He's the guy behind the whole thing: even when he's not playing or writing, he's acting like one of those late 60s/early 70s directors (Coppola, Truffaut, Kurosawa) who lent films a distinct personality. You can listen to almost anything Miles did between 1968 and 1975 and know immediately it's his work.

This set was recorded by the BBC at Ronnie Scott's, and was allegedly broadcast on TV. What a sight that must've been; Miles wouldn't be on American TV at all during this period, at least to my knowledge. The tapes were lost or wiped at some point, but this audio document survived, and it's a worthy companion piece to the Bootleg Series Vol. 2: Live in Europe 1969 set from a few years ago. I like this set a lot. And I've got a lot of Miles.

7 comments:

M. Milner said...

Miles 1969: http://www86.zippyshare.com/v/ukBEkiyu/file.html

atheist extraordinaire said...

Thank you

Beemer said...

Thanks for this and the steve miller. Looking forward to more from your eclectic good taste.

Mary Slakie said...

So sorry, but zippy has been blocked for over a week now. Any chance for a re-up on another server, or a pledge that the file will stay until the ill-wind blows over? Thanks for all your posts. You're blog is awesome

M. Milner said...

Mary: give me a few days and I'll try mediafire!

M. Milner said...

Miles 1969: http://www.mediafire.com/file/zplhgjj3yemr1va/1969-11-02_-_Ronnie_Scott%27s%2C_London%2C_England.zip

Mary Slakie said...

Thanks so much for the re-up! It worked like a charm! You are very kind to answer to my request. Dilly-dilly!!