First posted on Mark Is Cranky:
Today I'm here to wish a happy belated birthday to the late great Miles Davis.
Miles put out so many great and groundbreaking recordings that it's tough to pick a 'best'. Heck, you have to spend some time deciding on one of the genres first. Is it Hard Bop? Cool? Post-Bop? Modal? Fusion? Funk?
Well, I'm not picking a 'best' as it's basically a useless exercise. The easy choice would be the seminal modal album Kind of Blue but, let's face it, rivers of text have been written on that particular record. Instead, I've chosen Dark Magus. I guess you could call it 'fusion', with the fused elements being jazz, rock and funk. This is frenetic and difficult stuff. It shows off Miles' talent for weaving his trumpet into the most dense soundscapes imaginable. It also shows off his incredible taste in bandmates: David Liebman (tenor and soprano), Azar Lawrence (tenor), Michael Henderson (bass), Al Foster (drums), James Mtume (percussion), and the heavy three guitar attack of Dominique Gaumont, Reggie Lucas and Pete Cosey.
If Miles were alive yesterday, he would have turned 79 years old, and probably would still be annoying the crap outa the jazz traditionalists by wearing inappropriate gold lame outfits and blowing out equally 'inappropriate' skronkitudes.
We still miss ya, Miles.