GLASGOW JAZZ FESTIVAL
to come), but the quintet (with Wayne Shorter on saxophone, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Tony Williams on drums) redeﬁned the roles of soloist and rhythm section in an increasingly fierce dialogue. These re-workings of 19505 material inhabits a menacineg different sound-world.
“ When I went into the studio to record Bitches Brew. . . I wasn’t prepared to be a memory yet, wasn ’t prepared to be listed only on Columbia’s so-called classical list. I had seen the way to the future with my music, and I was going for it like I had always done. Not for Columbia and their record sales, and not for trying to get some young white record buyers. I was going for it for myself, for what I wanted and needed in my own music. I wanted to change course, had to change course for me to continue to believe in and love what I was playing. ’3
(Miles Davis on Bitches Brew)
At the end of the 19605, Miles entered a new phase, consciously seeking to exploit the huge rock audience through a jazz-rock fusion which had begun on In A Silent Way in 1969, but coalesced in Bitches Brew, released in 1970. It’s dense, steamy textures and compacted layers of sound, assembled in the studio from multitudinous takes, in stark contrast to the single-take conditions in which Kind of Blue had been made, remain the most successful ofhis 19705 fusion experiments (the later ones got lost in an increasingly chaotic attempt to extend the possibilities explored here), and one ofthe biggest selling records by a jazz performer ever made.
5 “ When you work with greatmusicians, they are i always a part of you — people like Max Roach,
'7 Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Bird, Diz, Jack DeJohnette, Philly Joe. The ones that are dead I miss a lot, especially as I grow older: Monk, Mingus, Freddie Webster, and Fat Girl (Fats
Over , in exactly the same way as Marcus Miller Navarro ). When I think about the ones that are
now does with synthesisers and electronic dead, it makes me mad, so 1 try not to thin k about
instruments in the trumpetef’s late 19805 it. But their spirits are walking around in me, so
recordings. Those WhO dismiss the recent Work they’re still here and I’m passing it on to others. . .
5' «$5! ' '
and sigh longingly for a return to the style ofthis Thatshiz that weplayed together has to be
PertOd Simply aren’t listening. 3 somewhere around in the air because we blew it “ If I. was the inspiration and wisdom and the link I "Rifle mg "1.“ (shit was magical’ was Spiritual” forthis band, Tony was the fire, the creativespark; ( 1 65 av“)
Wayne was the idea person, the conceptualizer ofa I In the midqgms, Miles disappeared from the
Wh01310’0fmusicalideas we did; and R0" and music scene, and most observers assumed we had Herbie were the anchors. I wasjust the leader who heard the last of him. In 1980, though, to
put us all together' Those, We“, allyoung guys and everyone’s surprise, he re-emerged leading a new although they were [earnmgf'om me, I was band, and has continued to work throughout the
[eammgfmm them’ [00’ about the new thing’_ the 19805. His music on the records of that decade has free thing' Because to be andsmy ‘1 greatm‘maa" moved steadily away from the jazz leanings of his you’ve gotta always be Open ’0 Whaf new’ WW comeback, We Want Miles, to an more overtly happening “(the moment“ ' ' Creatlvny andgemus funk and soul inﬂuence on the most recent, Tutu
in any kind ofartistic expression don 't know and Amandla (both WEA, although pane "O‘hing “bow “8‘?” WWW“ 80’ i’ “you do" 7’ . Mikkelborg’s tribute Aura (CBS), released last andbeing Oldisnotgomgm help yougem' ” year with Miles on trumpet, isabrilliant (Miles DaViS 0" the QUintet) ' encapsulation of all his styles). Despite the l changes, though, Miles still sounds just like While it is a little harsh for some, Live At the Miles; jazz is too deeply ingrained in his musical Plugged Nickel(CBS), a Chicago club recording ‘ soul to be dispersed by anything as malleable as from late 1965, has long seemed to me to capture musical style. Instead, the trumpeter shapes the the creative essence of Miles’ great mid-605 form to suit his own musical purposes, just as he quintet better than any of their studio albums has always done. (although anything by this group is required listening) Miles, playing off a savage tension Miles Davis Group, 55cc, 3July, 7.30pm. All Photographfrom The Eye ofJazz, The petwee.“ a blueSTIOOted direchn.ess and . italicized quotations arefrom Miles: The. Jazz photographs of Herman Leonard mcreas‘n’gly Obhqu‘? Chr9m3ttctsma 15 too acerbic I Autobiography, by Miles Davzs wzth Quincy (Viking, 1988, £20), for some tastes at this pomt (a foretaste of things I Troupe (MacMillan, 1990, £13. 95).
“The List 29 June- 12 July 1990