Miles Davis: Strange Fruit - JazzWax

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August 22, 2007


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John Salmon

Nice breakdown of the albums. It's interesting that when Miles did play more "boppishly", as he did on early recordings, he still was (usually) more than competent, despite not seeming to have the stellar chops you'd expect of a bop player. Of course, Miles was criticized by Tony Williams (that was later, to be sure), and I imagine others, for not practicing, so woodshedding may not have been a priority for him. Maybe his playing was fresher as a result.

Was there ever anyone who dominated his instrument as much as Milt Jackson did the vibes? No one else has ever come close to his brilliance. I remember hearing Milt play with Gary Burton on a TV special maybe ten years ago, and he made Burton sound like a beginner.

John Salmon

I wonder by the way if Miles fulfilling his Prestige contract can be likened to Sinatra doing teh same for Capitol, before Reprise. Both wanted to move on and weren't at their best.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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