excerpt from 'Miles To Go: The Lost Years: An Intimate Memoir of Life on the Road with Miles Davis' pp. 10-11 (307 words)

excerpt from 'Miles To Go: The Lost Years: An Intimate Memoir of Life on the Road with Miles Davis' pp. 10-11 (307 words)

part of

Miles To Go: The Lost Years: An Intimate Memoir of Life on the Road with Miles Davis

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

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10-11

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text excerpt

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"What do you like to listen to?" he [Miles Davis] asked [Chris Murphy].

"John McLaughlin and Jimi Hendrix are my two favorite musicians."

Miles laughed. "You a guitar player?" "Yes," I confessed.

"I knew it!" he said. I added that 'A Tribute to Jack Johnson' was one of my favorite albums, which made him smile.

"They fucked it up good, Columbia did," he told me. "They released it with the back cover on the front, and then withdrew it and re-released it later. All the momentum was lost. They fucked it up!"

Although Miles would never admit to wanting to be popular, he was aware of how Sly Stone and Jimi had become rock stars to a young white audience, and he would have liked to do the same thing. He saw 'Jack Johnson' as his big chance to cross over to a rock audience--a chance that Columbia Records had blown.

I assured him that all the rock players I knew listened to 'Jack Johnson' and loved it--that to us, even more than 'Bitches Brew', it showed how jazz and rock could work together. "The difference between the two albums is that rock instrumentation took over on 'Jack Johnson'," I said, "while on 'Bitches Brew' there was still that jazzy sound."

Miles's thoughts jumped back to John McLaughlin, who is featured prominently on Jack Johnson. "That John is a motherfucker!" he said, laughing and rolling his eyes. "He's not only white, he's English, and you can't get any whiter than that. And yet he has the funk. He plays like he's black and he's so white."

I mentioned that I also liked his use of mini-chords on the album, the little two or three-note chordlets that he used as a kind of percussive punctuation, symbolizing the left jab of the great champion.

"You caught that?" he asked.

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excerpt from 'Miles To Go: The Lost Years: An Intimate Memoir of Life on the Road with Miles Davis' pp. 10-11 (307 words)

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