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Miles Davis and John Coltrane’s The Final Tour

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A Love Supreme  John Coltrane
A Love Supreme – John Coltrane – one of my desert island discs…

Well, I know what I’m buying myself for my upcoming birthday…

Fred Kaplan writes:

A new box set captures Miles Davis and John Coltrane’s final tour together. It challenges the conventional wisdom about both of them.

This is the wonder and delight of The Final Tour, a four-CD box set of live concerts in Europe, from March 1960, by jazz trumpeter Miles Davis’ quintet featuring John Coltrane—none of which have ever been released in the United States.

The tour took place a full year after the band laid down Kind of Blue, one of the greatest jazz studio albums and still the most popular of all time, having sold more than 4 million copies. The band on The Final Tour is much the same as on that album, and so are many of the tunes, but the music—the way the tunes are played—is radically different. It’s such a jarring departure that it demands we revise the conventional wisdom about these two musicians and fills in some blanks—which, until now, we didn’t know were blanks—in the story of jazz, and where it was going, in those pivotal years.

Coltrane didn’t want to make the tour with Miles in 1960. He was determined to leave the band and start his own, but Miles prevailed. And the tour was a big deal—the first time Miles had played in Europe as a leader.

The opening night, March 21, took place at the Olympia theater in Paris. That concert also constitutes the box set’s first disc. The set begins with “All of You,” the Cole Porter song, which Miles had covered, with Coltrane as a sideman, on his album ’Round About Midnight(recorded in 1955, one year after the song was composed). Miles blows with a vigorous but lyrical swing, in Sinatra phrasing, with jaunty comping from the rhythm section—Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums, all of whom had played on Kind of Blue.
It’s very elegant, as befits the continental setting. (Photos in the album’s booklet show the band members decked out in tuxedos.)

Then, Coltrane enters with his solo. He starts out in a simpatico spirit, a harder tone but a gentle sway. In the second chorus, he throws in a few very fast triplets. By the fifth chorus, he’s unleashing volcanoes of notes—chords on top of chords, scales zipping through the stacks, so dense, so ferocious, so fast. A few years earlier, the critic Ira Gitler had described Coltrane’s style as “sheets of sound,” but these are blizzards of sound, implosions of pure energy. Four minutes in, he spends an entire chorus experimenting with multiphonics (sounding two or more notes at the same time), then he goes back to the blizzards, or languishes on a single chord, turning it a dozen ways in as many seconds, as if sifting all the angles of a prism.

Yet at the end of each chorus, he rings out some phrase of the melody, and it doesn’t sound out of place because, through all the frenzy (this becomes startlingly clear on repeated listening), he never lets go of the song, he stays tethered to some harmonic or rhythmic hook. He may seem to be unleashing chaos, but that’s the opposite of what he’s up to.

Many years later, the tenor saxophonist Branford Marsalis heard a bootleg album of the 1960 Stockholm concert—which took place the night after the Paris concert—and experienced what he later called “one of the worst nights of my life.” Coltrane’s playing, he remembered in an interview with the New York Times Magazine, “was massive, intense. I wanted to quit. It wasn’t like I could say, ‘Well, if I start to do this or that, I might get there.’ Forget it.”

(click here to continue reading Miles Davis and John Coltrane’s The Final Tour, reviewed..)

Two of my favorite artists, touring together, music heretofore unreleased. What’s not to love? I’ll let you know if it is any good but I assume it will be awesome.

Miles The Autobiography
Miles The Autobiography, a great read

Amazon blurb:

The latest entry in the award-winning Miles Davis Bootleg Series focuses on the final chapter in the landmark collaboration between Davis and saxophonist John Coltrane: their last live performances together, in Europe in the spring of 1960.

Miles and Coltrane first collaborated in 1955, when Davis recruited the tenor saxophonist alongside pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones. This “first great quintet” made their Columbia Records debut in 1957. Those early recordings showcased the stunning contrasts between Miles’ spacious, melodic lines and Trane’s cascading high-energy solos, famously described by the critic Ira Gilter in 1958 as “sheets of sound.”

While the quintet disbanded shortly after the release of ‘Round About Midnight, Coltrane was back in Miles’ ensemble in early 1958. A year late, the Miles Davis Sextet (Davis, Coltrane, Chambers, saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, pianists Bill Evans or Wynton Kelly, and drummer Jimmy Cobb) recorded the historic Kind Of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time. And for this final tour the rhythm section of Kelly, Chambers and Cobb backed Miles and Trane.

These historic performances marked Miles and Trane’s last outing together and showcased both musicians’ incredible influence on the changing sound of jazz. The beautiful music they made together is presented here officially for the very first time.

The 4CD set The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series Vol. 6 includes concerts recorded in Paris, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

 

(click here to continue reading Miles Davis & John Coltrane – The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 – Amazon.com Music.)

Written by Seth Anderson

April 2nd, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Posted in Music,Suggestions

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The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz was uploaded to Flickr

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– maybe the best ten bucks I ever spent!

track list:
http://ift.tt/RZOqWg…

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/noBWow

I took The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz on April 27, 2014 at 09:02PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on April 28, 2014 at 02:05AM

The definition of Cool

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“Kind of Blue (Legacy Edition)” (Miles Davis)

Speaking of police arresting iconic black dudes, Miles Davis had his own dustup with the police, as Bernard Chazelle reminds us:

Why didn’t Professor Gates keep his cool? Not sure. Let’s ask the man who gave birth to the cool. In the words of Leonard Feather,

After escorting a young white girl out of the club to a taxi [outside Birdland in NYC] he was standing on the sidewalk when a patrolman came by and asked him to move on. When Miles said, “I’m not going nowhere — I’m just getting a breath of fresh air,” the patrolman threatened to arrest him. Miles said, “Go ahead, lock me up.” When the patrolman seized his arm, a scuffle ensued during which a painclothes cop passing by began hitting Miles with a blackjack. With blood dripping all over his clothes, he was taken to the police station where, with his distraught wife, Frances, at his side he was booked on charges of disorderly conduct and assault. At a hospital, 10 stitches were taken in his scalp.

Feather doesn’t tell us if President Eisenhower had the cops over for a beer.

[Click to continue reading A Tiny Revolution: “So What”]

[Miles Davis after resisting arrest]

From Miles Davis’ autobiography:

I had just finished doing an Armed Forces Day broadcast, you know, Voice of America and all that bullshit. I had just walked this pretty white girl named Judy out to get a cab. She got in the cab, and I’m standing there in front of Birdland wringing wet because it’s a hot, steaming, muggy night in August. This white policeman comes up to me and tells me to move on. At the time I was doing a lot of boxing, so I thought to myself, I ought to hit this motherfucker because I knew what he was doing. But instead I said, “Move on, for what? I’m working downstairs. That’s my name up there, Miles Davis,” and I pointed to my name on the marquee all up in lights.

He said, “I don’t care where you work, I said move on! If you don’t move on I’m going to arrest you.”

I just looked at his face real straight and hard, and I didn’t move. Then he said, “You’re under arrest!” He reached for his handcuffs, but he was stepping back. Now, boxers had told me that if a guy’s going to hit you, if you walk toward him you can see what’s happening. I saw by the way he was handling himself that the policeman was an ex-fighter. So I kind of leaned in closer because I wasn’t going to give him no distance so he could hit me on the head He stumbled, and all his stuff fell on the sidewalk, and I thought to myself, Oh, shit, they’re going to think that I fucked with him or something. I’m waiting for him to put the handcuffs, on, because all his stuff is on the ground and shit. Then I move closer so he won’t be able to fuck me up. A crowd had gathered all of a sudden from out of nowhere, and this white detective runs in and BAM! hits me on the head. I never saw him coming. Blood was running down the khaki suit I had on. Then I remember Dorothy Kilgallen coming outside with this horrible look on her face–I had known Dorothy for years and I used to date her good friend Jean Bock–and saying, “Miles, what happened?” I couldn’t say nothing. Illinois Jacquet was there, too.

It was almost a race riot, so the police got scared and hurried up and got my ass out of there and took me to the 54th Precinct, where they took pictures of me bleeding and shit. So, I’m sitting there, madder than a motherfucker, right? And they’re saying to me in the station, “So you’re the wiseguy, huh?” Then they’d bump up against me, you know, try to get me mad so they could probably knock me

[Click to continue reading Hot House: Race Relations, 50 Years Later]

Miles Davis after being arrested for standing next to a white girl, helping her catch a taxi

Back to Mr. Chazelle who subsequently enters into another kind of discussion, the kind I can read all day without really understanding the details. Just the feeling is enough. D-minor is a favorite chord of mine, albeit on guitar. I have never had a piano of my own that I could noodle/learn on, so haven’t ever figured out what chords are what without laboriously putting them together. I mean, I can create melodies on a piano, but don’t have enough formal musical training to sustain an entire 10 minute jam, much less explain what the hell Dorian modal scales are.

OK, What about the music? “Kind of Blue” is the most extraordinary jam session ever, featuring a dream team of jazz musicians (Miles, Evans, Coltrane, Adderley, Cobb, Chambers). It’s one of the most influential albums in jazz. It broke from bebop in a big way by going modal. But that’s not why I can listen to it a million times without ever getting tired. The reason for that is the dream team. All the modality does is give them space to breathe and explore melodic ideas that are ruled out in chord-heavy bebop (unless you’re Bird and you can play a full-fledged melody in two-and-a-half seconds).

“So What” is harmonically straightforward: you go Dorian for the first 16 bars, then move up half a step for 8 bars and then back to the original key for the last 8. Sounds so simple. Until, of course, it’s your turn to solo right after Coltrane. Good luck! It’s often said that jazz introduced modes to modern music. Nothing could be further from the truth. Satie, Debussy, Ravel and all those guys used modes heavily a good 50 years before Miles, using far more complex arrangements. But who cares? This video alone gives you a good sense of why jazz is the music of the 20th century par excellence.

Click to continue reading A Tiny Revolution: “So What”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4TbrgIdm0E

Miles Davis and John Coltrane play one of the best renditions of SO WHAT ever captured on film-Live in 1958. Edit : in fact, was in New York, april 2, 1959. Recorded by CBS producer Robert Herridge. Cannonball Adderley had a migrane and was absent from the session. Wynton Kelly played piano–he was the regular band member at this time–but Bill Evans had played on the original recording of “So What” on March 2, 1959. The other musicians seen in the film were part of the Gil Evans Orchestra, who performed selections from “Miles Ahead”. Jimmy Cobb on drums.

Written by Seth Anderson

July 24th, 2009 at 9:41 pm