Monday, June 2, 2008

Some Miles for the Morning Miles

I'm so far behind today. Kinda blissfully lost... and it's not weird... and it's a pretty good and really nice thing!

2nd order of business...

Where's the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Hospital?

Perhaps in the hamlet of Montrose in Westchester County, New York, not too far north of the City? That's one FDR Hospital.

Could there be another in a place called Banská Bystrica?


Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.


Pretty cool. I'm not sure why... but pretty cool. On the other hand, is this American colonization? U.S. Out Of Everywhere!!! NOW!!! (???) Should the "evil empire" keep to themselves?

Anyway... I had a great time on the trail this morning!!

Monday Morning Hike...
just over 2½ hours

At 3 in the morning when there's daylight in the sky and you've just woken up, what to do? Wait... if it's 3 in the morning, is it still daylight? Hmmmm... ponder ponder ponder... I s'pose because 24 hours constitutes a day and 3 in the morning is part of the day, then light in the sky at 3 a.m. can surely be daylight... right?

Anyway... METS WIN!!! Great game on ESPN last night/yesterday evening. Immediately after I crashed, just after 8 p.m. and I was sleepin' like a baby. Woke up at like 3 a.m. and thought, Hey, How About A Hike? I mean seriously, just because it's 3 in the morning, why's that a dumb time to go for a hike!? It's not dumb, is it? Perfectly logical... right? Not like it was dark. So I went for a hike.

And a great hike it was. Okay, so it wasn't in the Sierra Nevada or the Rocky Mountains, or even in the Appalachians, but with my boots going one step in front of the other on a trail, it was a pretty good hike!

I love that I've got a trail right down at the end of my road. It's not necessarily in the wilderness since it's right here on the edge of town... and since it's some sort of old, abandoned dirt road, it's not truly a hiking trail... but it meanders across fields of tundra, through stands of trees, along a few streams, up and down a few gentle slopes... and so it works for a hike of a few hours without having to drive anywhere! For me it's practically heaven-sent!

I headed on out for... geez, I forget exactly how long now... at least 2½ hours, upwards of 3 so not that long but not a brief stroll either. Not a soul to be seen and other than my boots on the ground, not an artificial man-made sound to be heard... until I played some music, that is. Big, grand, breathtaking hikes usually mean no music... but with this local trail -- that I've been on a couple hundred times due to not only hiking on it but running on it, too -- music helps make it better. It's nice to be out there to think, to get some fresh air, to get some light exercise... but also nice to enjoy some tunes!


And this album was my
40 minutes of Trail Tunes...
Miles Davis - In A Silent Way [CD cover] (1969)Miles Davis

In A Silent Way


Shhh / Peaceful
In A Silent Way / It's About That Time

I definitely don't listen to jazz enough. I definitely need more Miles Davis in my musical diet! It's just that certain music, like jazz and reggae, is not good for running. But now that it's hiking season, I can have more time to Press Play on great stuff like this.

One of the best aspects to this, at least in this Deadhead's opinion, is how much In A Silent Way resembles Space from a Grateful Dead show. It's no wonder Phil Lesh, or someone in Phil & Friends, decided to incorporate that into a show a time or two (I forget when but I'll make it a point to try to listen to it eventually which means it'll get mentioned here.)

The music throughout these 40 or so minutes is nothing less than great. I could sit for hours with this on Repeat. Since I am not a musician nor do I know much about jazz -- I only know what I like -- I'll let the following review speak volumes about this album...

Recording in February 1969, Miles Davis seemed to pick up the vibe of what was going to go down that crazy summer. It was a tumultuous time as the sixties came to a close. First came the Manson Family, then the murder during the Stones' Altamont show overshadowing the na've utopia of Woodstock. With In a Silent Way Davis seemed to sum up the dying of the light as the war and violence took over from love and peace. Certainly his most somber record since Kind of Blue , it was a reflective record that would bridge the gap from one of the greatest quintets in jazz history to the most controversial era of Miles Davis' work.

In a Silent Way is a foreboding and deeply meditative record that has an almost spiritual quality. Following on his first real plunge into jazz-rock fusion on Filles de Kilimanjaro , the quintet's last record, In a Silent Way was a real head twister. Following Filles' blues- rock-jazz ideology, Davis really pulled together the methods that he began with on the previous release. But the change was the low-lying, almost silent feel. Gone were the funky up-tempo tracks, replaced with two long tracks with sparse arrangements that relied more on atmosphere than any of Miles' earlier records.

Holding onto Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter from the quintet, Miles added future fusion gods Chick Corea and John McLaughlin, as well as Dave Holland (filling Ron Carter's shoes on bass) and organist/pianist/composer Joe Zawinul. In a Silent Way tackles the tone palette of Kind of Blue , setting into an electric fusion. Opening with the subtle and quiet “Shhh/Peaceful,” the record begins a soothing adventure, led by Zawinul's trippy drops of organ. Slowly the track picks up with Williams doing double time on the hi-hat throughout. But McLaughlin is the major soloist, and what would become his signature guitar chops softly intertwine throughout. Finally Miles and Wayne take the stage and fill the holes in with killer solos that rival some their best work from Miles Smiles and Nefertiti. But the B-side with “In a Silent Way/It's About that Time” opens with silence and Williams continuing where he left off - a continuing groove would be played to dreadful bore on On the Corner three years later. The track really shifts as the jam of “It's About that Time” takes off and builds into some classic Davis/Shorter playing that really lays out what is about to come on Bitches Brew. The tracks eases off again and goes back into “In a Silent Way.”

Without hearing this overlooked gem, many fans of jazz have missed out on one of the genre's most original and all-encompassing works. The record has recently gotten the full treatment with Columbia/ Legacy's Complete Sessions box set and it continues to prove how vital it is to the Davis catalogue. The record is an essential piece to understanding Miles and where jazz was heading. Its mix of rock and fusion point to Remembering Jack Johnson (rock) and Bitches Brew (fusion). Two important notes are the emergence of Joe Zawinul and the editing and production of Teo Macero who would both be focal points in the movement of Miles' music. Zawinul's presence on organ gives the record its otherworldly feel, but the groove and layout of the record are credited much to Macero's time at the knobs. His splicing and rearranging would become instrumental in the emergence of Miles' sound especially on Bitches Brew and On the Corner. Building and peaking the long tracks so that their flow was consistent and maintained the ideology of the piece.

In a Silent Way is a one of kind record that mixed the late-'60s pop and underground movement into the jazz realm. On this record Miles began to hook into the late '60s sounds that flowed from the jam bands in San Francisco. No more is that more evident that in the otherworld-like organ of Zawinul. Starting with Filles the groove of Jimi Hendrix really started to take shape in the work that Miles began 1968. This is best shown on disc one of the Complete Sessions. The opener ”Mademoiselle Mabry (Miss Mabry)” has its foundation based on Hendrix's “The Wind Cries Mary.” Through Macero's production and Miles utilizing the same musicians would bare similar but ever- evolving grooves with each release. They would never make a record like it again, an absolutely timeless work that proves that Miles Davis and crew were some of the most innovative thinkers in modern music.

by Trevor MacLaren, All About Jazz

320 kbps mp3 download MUSIC NOTE find a dload @ Jazz Archives 320 kbps mp3 download MUSIC NOTE


Sugarmag said...

Miles Davis while hiking sounds really nice. I am right there with you, Zoooma.

Deadman said...

Got any Bo Diddley/Dead at the Academy of Music downloads?

Sad day...

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated