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 Miles Davis: 1967-1970 - the transition to electricity

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S.D.
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PostSubject: Miles Davis: 1967-1970 - the transition to electricity   Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:52 pm

When Mile's second great quintet began to fragment in late 1967 (Shorter, Hancock, Carter, Williams), Miles decided to strike off into a new direction. Inspired by the success of bands like Sly & The Family Stone, Hendrix, etc, Miles wanted to experiment with rock rhythms and instruments as a new platform to improvise over. This experiment would come to fruition in late 1970 with the release of Bitches Brew...but I'm a fan of transitional recordings and think the records right before are every bit as interesting.

The first Miles album to feature electric instruments was Miles In The Sky.

Miles requested that Hancock play electric piano on the date. Guitarist George Benson was also added for the cut Paraphernalia. While this album is still firmly rooted in the acoustic jazz Miles was playing at the time, the change to a more groove-based rhythmic structure on a few cuts points the way ahead. These first steps are tenuous, just testing the water temperature.

Filles de Kilimanjaro: Directions in music by Miles Davis was released in late 1968.

Recorded in a few different sessions, this features the last appearance of the full original quintet, Dave Holland takes over on bass for the majority of the tunes. Miles brought in Gil Evans (uncredited) to help him work on the arrangements for the electric material. A classic album with Mademsoille Mabry and the title track being a couple of the the standouts. While the previous album tested the water, they dived in here.

In A Silent Way released in 1969 was an instant classic, popular with both the jazz comunity and with the "hippies".

The band lineup was now augmented by Chick Corea on second keyboard and Jack DeJohnette came in halfway through to replace Tony Williams who left to form the fusion band "Lifetime" with John McLaughlin. The real breakthrough here came from the use of editing that Miles and producer Teo Macero used to "compose" the album. Miles & Teo took a variety of jams recorded over the course of about 7 months and started compiling pieces into finished tracks. The finished album has 2 album-side length songs and as beautifully as it flows you'd never guess that these were pieced together. Miles and Teo would further explore this technique with Bitches Brew. This album is a "stone classic" as one of my friends like to say, it takes you on a journey. One of my all-time favorites.

There is also a box set release called "The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions" that allows you to hear the complete jams that were used to compile the album.

This period of Miles tends to get lost with all the talk that Bitches Brew would get the following year, in my opinion that's a tragedy. Both rock fans and jazz fans need to hear this stuff.





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Akeldama
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PostSubject: Re: Miles Davis: 1967-1970 - the transition to electricity   Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:50 pm

Those three albums are great along with the 'The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions' but Miles In The Sky is my fave from this era.
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PostSubject: Re: Miles Davis: 1967-1970 - the transition to electricity   Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:21 am

The In A Silent Way Sessions box is a must-own, I also like listening to this material in it's original released form (including Circle In The Round & Directions).

What I think is interesting is to take these albums and Bitches Brew and think about them in context with all the other AMAZING shit happening in music during that era.

Jazz guys were being influenced by the psychedelic crowd...

Rockers were getting turned onto the spiritual jazz stuff being laid down by Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders...

Hendrix and The Beatles were tearing down ALL the boundaries on what was possible...

Miles was redefining the concept of jazz entirely (for about the 4th time in his career at that point)

Poets like Morrison, Dylan, Nick Drake and others were striking out in bold new directions...

It was quite simply the most fertile period for music in the history of the world.

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gershom

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PostSubject: Re: Miles Davis: 1967-1970 - the transition to electricity   Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:16 pm

After reading this i need to give mr Davis another spin, I'll need to find this Miles in the Sky album, I haven't heard that, it sounds interesting, I can't say I've been a big Miles Davis fan, but thanks to some Asshat I've been able to jam some Davis I never heard, I just need to give it another chance to grow on me.
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PostSubject: Re: Miles Davis: 1967-1970 - the transition to electricity   Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:11 pm

Well then, this "Asshat" will pass you the Miles In The Sky album as well ya Bastard.
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gershom

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PostSubject: Re: Miles Davis: 1967-1970 - the transition to electricity   Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:13 pm

Muchos Grass-E-Ass.
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S.D.
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PostSubject: Re: Miles Davis: 1967-1970 - the transition to electricity   Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:44 pm

I think the Jack Johnson album should be one of the first to check out, it's Miles' most "rock-oriented" album, thus making it an easy transition album for people just getting their feet wet in the whole jazz-rock thing.

So lend him a copy of Jack Johnson if you have it.
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PostSubject: Re: Miles Davis: 1967-1970 - the transition to electricity   Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:46 pm

Here's a sample of the opening track:

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Akeldama
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PostSubject: Re: Miles Davis: 1967-1970 - the transition to electricity   Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:58 pm

Detuned wrote:
I think the Jack Johnson album should be one of the first to check out, it's Miles' most "rock-oriented" album, thus making it an easy transition album for people just getting their feet wet in the whole jazz-rock thing.

So lend him a copy of Jack Johnson if you have it.


I will, didn't even think of that one, Gershom is more likely to like Spectrum, Mind Transplant, Believe It, Crosswinds and Total Eclipse and things of that nature more.
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