excerpt from 'Miles To Go: The Lost Years: An Intimate Memoir of Life on the Road with Miles Davis' pp. 13-14 (281 words)

excerpt from 'Miles To Go: The Lost Years: An Intimate Memoir of Life on the Road with Miles Davis' pp. 13-14 (281 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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13-14

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text excerpt

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The gig in Edmonton went fine. It was my first exposure to the band playing together, since they never rehearsed as a group. Miles had a mania for newness: He could never stand hearing something the same way twice, so why practice? Also, I think he felt that there was only so much music in the band, and didn't want to waste any of it. Later, he would change this policy somewhat, but only in regard to new material. Once the band learned a piece of music, they didn't go over it again.

Standing backstage, I loved what I heard. It was like a jungle, with sounds coming from everywhere--a tapestry of music, layer piled upon layer. The percussion alone was mind-blowing: To complement Al Foster on his drum set, James Mtume played three congas plus his primitive little drum machine, which could make percussive noises ranging from very loud to very gentle, like the hum of insects on a summer night, while Badal Roy thumped on four or five tabla drums. The electric sitar laid down a cover wash behind the beat. On top of the sound, Miles played his trumpet as a lead instrument, with Dave Liebman often doing the same on his sax.

There was so much coming at you that it seemed, on the surface, to be musical chaos. But the chaos was controlled: Miles would turn and stop the band cold with a movement of his hand--then start them up again the same way. He was like a kid with a joystick. Still, the performance certainly wasn't organized or planned out. Instead, it had its own movement, a movement that Miles both orchestrated and responded to.

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excerpt from 'Miles To Go: The Lost Years: An Intimate Memoir of Life on the Road with Miles Davis' pp. 13-14 (281 words)

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