Scaled in Miles is an interactive visualization that "... is a look at the history of Miles Davis' career and collaborations according to his recording sessions as documented by the Jazz Discography Project. Over four hundred recording sessions are shown in a timeline across the middle of the screen. The circles above it represent the nearly six hundred people who played those sessions; larger circles indicate more sessions with Miles. Scrub and click over the timeline to highlight the people who played with Miles on each date. You can also find specific artists and highlight their sessions by clicking on the circles, or by entering different names in the search box. And if your browser plays audio, you can listen to samples from iTunes in the upper left." [more inside]
and yet it has somehow become the stand-alone representative of the form it is on the whole sardonically setting itself against: something about the way it’s been made — its constituent parts, its presentation — exactly and completely masks this subtly hostile aspect of it, to the extent that it’s instead become a kind of nice-to-hear-in-the-background chill-out classic, which in my opinion suggests a flaw in its conception or execution: that it can’t (or anyway doesn’t) draw the newbie into its darker heartKIND OF BLEUGH, or seven better stand-alone ways into jazz in the early age of the long-playing disc (possibly).
Ranking a catalog the size of Miles Davis’ is an impossible task. There are so many lavish boxed sets, live releases, compilations issued during his hermit period, etc., that in order to make this article at all manageable, major cuts had to be made before it could even be begun. So here’s how this is going to work: I chose studio albums only. But to truly understand Davis’ catalog, there are a bunch of essential live releases, including Live-Evil, In Concert: Live At Philharmonic Hall, Dark Magus, Agharta, Pangaea, and The Bootleg Series Vol. 1: Live In Europe 1967. So consider the 30 albums below a starting point. There’s so much more.For Stereogum, Phil Freeman ranks Miles Davis albums from worst to best.
Fans book burial plots to be near jazz greats. "Nearly all the 70 burial plots which were advertised for sale earlier this year in 'Jazz Corner' – right behind the shiny, granite gravestone of Miles Davis, etched with his trumpet and bearing the honorific 'Sir' to mark the knighthood bestowed on him by the Knights of Malta – have already been taken." Other jazz greats interred at Woodlawn: Celia Cruz, Illinois Jacquet, Duke Ellington. Jazz at Woodlawn, June 11, 2014; Photos from the concert. (Previously and previously, in comments.)
45 years ago today, Miles Davis and the remnants of the second quintet recorded In a Silent Way. Produced by Teo Macero, its release in July of 1969 marked (for some) the beginning of something different. [more inside]
In 1957 composer, conductor, and sideman Gunther Schuller defined the Third Stream as "a new genre of music located about halfway between jazz and classical music." He also defined what it was not. [more inside]
Pete Cosey dead at 68. Though he had a career as a session guitarist prior to and had some important appearances after, Cosey is most well known for his brief time playing with Miles Davis (1973 - 1975) during an era of Miles' that has at times confounded critics*. Cosey appeared on Get Up with It, Dark Magus, Agharta and Pangaea with Miles. [more inside]
MILES BEYOND: the web's premier resource on the influential and inspirational electric music Miles Davis played from 1967 to 1991 [more inside]
John McLaughlin plays "Cherokee" backed up by the Carson-era Tonight Show Band (SLYT guitar porn) [more inside]
In the loosely related fields of planetary science and apocalyptic fiction, the phrase “minimum orbit intersection distance,” or MOID, describes the closest point of contact between the paths of two orbiting objects. Most vividly invoked whenever an asteroid encroaches on our corner of the solar system, that bit of jargon also has its aesthetic uses. Consider the coordinates of Neil Young and Miles Davis on the evenings of March 6 and 7, 1970, at the juncture of East Sixth Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan.Mapping the intersections of Miles Davis and Neil Young.
"A wildly flamboyant funk diva with few equals even three decades after her debut, Betty Davis combined the gritty emotional realism of Tina Turner, the futurist fashion sense of David Bowie, and the trendsetting flair of Miles Davis, her husband for a year. ... she turned Miles on to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone (providing the spark that led to his musical reinvention on In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew), then proved her own talents with a trio of sizzling mid-'70s solo LPs." - All Music Guide (many links nsfw-ish)
Trumpet Kings is a blog dedicated to videos of trumpeteers, mostly jazz but there are a few classical ones. On the companion youtube channel there are 184 videos. These are some of my favorite things: Wynton Marsalis - Riot, Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet battle, Maynard Ferguson - Round Midnight, Louis Armstrong - C'est Si Bon, Miles Davis - No Blues, Ray Anthony - Harlem Nocturne, Booker Little - Minor Mode Blues, Ingrid Jensen - Foxy Trot and Sergei Nakariakov - Bach's Air.
George Russell, jazz's first theoretician, has released a new album to commemorate his 80th birthday. When Miles Davis remarked that he "wanted to learn all the changes," Russell responded by conceiving his Lydian Chromatic Concept. First published in 1953, the Concept resulted in the most influential album in jazz history. Today Russell turns 82.