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June 30, 2013


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Henry Holland

That was the great Miles "lost" quintet of him, Shorter, Corea, Holland and DeJohnette, I'm sure someone used to the big band era would have found them unbearable. Still, this is a great album, the last with Shorter:


What a concert, Miles opening up for Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

Glenn Kenny

Indeed. You can also hear said quintet, recorded in closer temporal proximity to the event that so distressed Down Beat's Ralph Berton on "Live In Europe 1969, The Bootleg Series Vol. 2." The 'musical catfight" in question would seem to have been "Masqualero/The Theme."

James Keepnews

Could'a been alot of things -- as the Live in Europe 1969 set (winner, incidentally, of this year's DownBeat Critics Poll for Best Historical Album of the Year) amply demonstrates, those cats threw _down_, and the set was very much in flux ("I Fall in Love Too Easily" was probably never heard again after '69). Given his pathetically atavistic unpublished writings on Coltrane and otherwise unrepentant racism -- e.g. his strong support for apartheid South Africa, &c. -- I personally don't give tinker's cuss what the librarian at Hull has to say about the music, or about his contemporaneous commentators.


This sort of commentary always amuses me since, in the end, it almost always boils down to personal taste. I don't necessarily enjoy the type of music that I think the writer's describing, but that's in large part because I'm not equipped to do so. (Haven't heard the recordings referenced above.) Often what's taking place in a performance or on a recording is on an artistic/technical plane that requires a considerable amount of musical knowledge in order to comprehend and appreciate. Even then, it's not easy for a person possessing that knowledge to get his or her head around the performance. What a pity it would be if artists were limited to the narrow parameters of what a critic (or even broad popularity) finds palatable. I may not be able to appreciate some of this music personally, but certainly others can, and I have no doubt that for them it acts as a creative impetus. That's a good thing!


In response to Kurzleg, I think it's true that the amount of musical knowledge and training can allow one entry into the more complex/cerebral/rule-breaking musics - but not always. My friend is an accomplished musician - plays classical piano, blues guitar and harmonica, accordion (!) etc. I am singularly unaccomplished and can barely read music. We were talking about jazz: he likes pre-bop stuff, Louis Armstrong etc. - rightly so. But he HATES Coltrane. My fave album at the time was "Giant Steps," which I really connect to emotionally - again, with no real musical knowledge or training. He can't listen to it, finds it immensely frustrating. Taste.


@GHG: Yeah, taste. There's no accounting for it, or so I've heard.

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