North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

Posts Tagged ‘Jazz

Blood on the dance floor: Miles Davis’ Live Evil

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In the second half of the 1960s, Miles Davis put together what’d be known as his second great quintet: pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums. As this group recorded seminal albums like E.S.P., Miles Smiles or Miles in the Sky, Davis’ music began shifting away from strict jazz.

Throughout his career, Davis was always shifting away from the jazz mainstream. He turned down a gig with Duke Ellington while putting together the nonet that’d record The Birth of the Cool, revolutionizing jazz from stuffy big band arrangements into a compact form: a tightly-knit group that would alternate solos between arranged sections of music. Just listen to Move, a song with a composed head, room for soloing and a finish, with everything crammed into a frantic three minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by M.

June 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

A Jazz fusion guide to the NBA finals

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One of my favorite basketball clichés is that ‘basketball is jazz’. It’s an especially apt one for middle-aged sportswriters to make since both seem to involve improvisation on top of a structured bottom; what good would Kind of Blue been if Miles Davis hadn’t just come off the more structured Porgy and Bess?

Like all clichés, there is a kernel of truth. So let’s take that cliché and bust it out to the breaking point – what albums correspond to the major players in this NBA Finals?

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Written by M.

June 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm