«2» This is
definitely not news, but it's new to me. Still while researching my
The Complete On the Corner Sessions
article, I stumbled upon one of the most entertaining and passionate
reviews of the increasingly inaccurately named holy trinity of Get Up With It, Dark Magus, Agharta, and Pangaea I have ever read. It's written by
psychedelic rock eccentric Julian Cope, and the review is out there.
"What the jazz-loving Miles Davis fan would consider to have been an
affronting (and even uncool) sell-out turns out to have been nothing
less than the great Cunt of the Mother opening in a manner which she
had rarely opened before. (...) In 1974-75, Miles Davis did so much
more than merely glimpse eternity - he actually embraced it."
Hallelujah. Embrace, or enter, or whatever your preference, the
Belden has recently completed his production and
arrangement work on a new album called Miles
From India, which features Miles Davis music played by some of
the best Indian classical and jazz musicians, teamed up with alumni
of the various Miles Davis groups from the past, including John
McLaughlin, Michael Henderson, Dave Liebman, Jimmy Cobb, Gary Bartz,
Lenny White, Pete Cosey, Vince Wilburn, Chick Corea, Mike Stern and
others. Some of the tracks recorded are "In A Silent Way," "Miles
Runs The Voodoo Down," "Ife," "Jean Pierre," as well as a McLaughlin
original, "Miles From India." I've heard some of the music, and it
sounds great. I'll be posting some pix of the session soon, and if I
get permission, some streaming audio. The release date is not yet
known, but probably towards the end of this year.
While researching an article about the On the
Corner boxed set, I had a look at the current
page on Miles Davis at Wikipedia, and was shocked. When I last
looked, two years ago when writing the article about the Cellar
Door boxed set, I thought that the Wikipedia
entry, particularly about the electric period, was impressively
good. What's there now about the electric period is a mishmash of
revelant and irrelevant facts (why is it so important that Miles
alledgedly said that he liked John Lydon's singing??), horrendous
English, errors of fact, and stuff that appears to reflect the
particular tastes of whoever wrote a particular line (writing that
Carlos Garnett "highlighted" On the
Corner is not only terrible English, but what about Herbie
Hancock, John McLaughlin, Jack DeJohnette, etc??). I've already
deleted a couple errors of fact, but I don't have the time to spend
half a day cleaning up this page. I also am pretty sure that the
enthusiasts who currently maintain it will not accept a wholesale
re-write by one person. So here's a call to anyone reading this who
knows his or her stuff about electric Miles to go in and improve
Wikipedia's Miles Davis entry...
«28» Last week
Sony finally released the EP Evolution of
the Groove. It features five Miles tracks, among them "It's
About That Time," "Honky Tonk" and "Black Satin," remixed and
reinterpreted by Charley Drayton, Vince Wilburn Jr and Pat Thrall,
with a contribution by Santana. You can read a review of the EP at
the Allmusic site here. Written by Thom
Jurek, an electric Miles affectionado, it's very positive. Though
when he compares the album to Bill Laswell's Panthalassa his comments are
incomprehensible and incorrect. Does anyone know what is meant by:
"He [Laswell] was attempting to create a dark sound piece that
evoked the spirit of Miles in his own manner of hearing"? You can
read the real story of Laswell's creative vision here...
Here's something that could lead to some
cognitive dissonance for those who thought that jazz had something
to do with renewal and opennes to new ideas... Visit this page, scroll to the
bottom and check out Wynton Marsalis' wages, three times as much as
the Lincoln Jazz center's CEO! Can these possibly be a reward for
Marsalis' self-appointed role as curator of traditional jazz,
someone who is intent on excluding all forms of music he doesn't
agree with? Certainly Marsalis has done everything in his power to
discredit the electric music of Miles Davis, and of others.
«27» The final
track listing of The Complete On The Corner
Sessions boxed set is up and can be found here...
More details will be added in the next few days, so
keep checking back.
«10» Yes, more
updates finally coming up. I have an advance copy of the On The Corner boxed set here, which is
called, you guessed it, The Complete On The
Corner Sessions. Kind of like calling a boxed set release of all
the post-1967 Beatles material The Complete
Sgt. Pepper Sessions. Anyway, it doesn't take away from the
great material that's on this set, including one track in which Pete
Cosey really lets rip... The only such Miles studio track I've
heard. Sony tells me that the official release is still September
18, though it may be pushed back by one or two weeks. date The
complete track listing, and other info will follow soon...
«03» To all you
Miles Davis affectionados who are by now concerned, impatient,
annoyed or whatever over the lack of updates on this site: DON'T
PANIC! I've been totally pre-occupied with finding a new place to
live for my family and and I, and with finally moving house. We're
now in the new house here in the South of France, which is great
(the only thing that needs some work is the weather, which is cold
and wet), but I'm in day 34 waiting for France Telecom to connect
our broadband. Today FT called because they were unsure what
telephone line to connect the broadband to. After 34 days!!! You get
the picture. PLUS I've had a major computer crash 6 weeks ago, and
lost a year's worth of data (the back-ups wouldn't load, and I'm
currently working on a C drive that's a year old.)
The be and end all of this is that once my
office and computer are fully up and running again, hopefully in a
couple of weeks, and France Telecom has
finally connected the broadband (some time before 2010), there will
be some major updates, including pictures of sessions Bob Belden is
currently doing with several ex Miles men and Indian musicians.
Meanwhile ex-Captain Beefheart guitar virtuoso Gary Lucas was given
my book, and had some nice words to say. You can read his
observations halfway down this
See ya all later...
«18» Here then,
finally, the long-awaited On The Corner
& Beyond track
listing, including session information. The next
update will feature MP3 samples of some of the previously unreleased
«31» 2007 is
hardly new anymore, but happy continuation to all you electric Miles
Davis lovers anyway!
Here's the good news that you all have been
waiting for: the On The Corner boxed set
appears on schedule for a release in the fall of this year, PLUS I
have the full 6-CD track list, which covers the period 1972-75, and
permission to put it on the web.
I'm crazily overwhelmed with stuff
concerning life, the universe, and tax returns at the moment, and
it'll take a few days before I'll have the time to do the update. So
check in later for this track list, which may even have a few MP3
snippets of the new material. The update should also—finally—feature
a review of Gregory Miles' book about his father.
«24» Today the
New York Times publishes a comprehensive
update of what's happening with the two in-the-works feature movies
about Miles, one with a script written by Quincy Troupe, the other
overseen by the Estate. You can find the article here... (you'll need to
register with the NYT to be able to read it). The article also
contains a brief interview with Jo Gelbard, but strangely no mention
of Gregory Davis's brand new book Dark
Magus: The Jekyll and Hyde Life of Miles Davis.
Gregory's ode to his father, also mentioned
below, landed on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago (thank you
Backbeat Books). I've not had the time to read it yet. Leafing
through it, there are a number of never-seen-before photographs, and
it seems that Davis' oldest son is very honestly trying to chronicle
his admiration and love for his father as well as the pain their
relationship caused him. I intend to post a review in the coming
weeks. In fact, my plan is to review all serious books on Miles
currently on the market. There are so many now that some pointers
and impressions may be a good idea. Watch this space.
Bob Belden, George Avakian, George Duke and,
yes, Teo Macero, are all part of a panel that's scheduled to appear
at the International Association for Jazz
Education's 34th annual festival, January 10-13, 2007.
The topic: Producing Miles Davis. Sounds
like something that's not to be missed if one's in New York. Anyone
who is going and wants to write a report, please contact me.
Bob Belden informs me that he's working on a
project called MILES FROM INDIA, "using the major Indian cats from
the various MD bands.... Stern, Scofield, Al Foster, Ron Carter,
Chick, Herbie, Bartz, Liebman, Garrett, Erin Davis and Vince so far
have agreed to play with the Indian cats..." It's hard to imagine
what that would be like, but it certainly should be interesting.
This is all the info I have right now. More later.