March 12, 2011

The Personal Side Of Music

It's 4:30 AM Saturday morning. I'm on these hours because it's my new job. I think some people are trying to tell me I don't like this, but I'm up to over 8000 words on the piece "Edwin Musick Falls Apart" I showed everybody the other day and though I don't know where it's going (I never have an outline or a plan or something IMPORTANT to say) I like it a lot. I've already forgotten the two years work on "Think Fast" and can hardly recall what it's about even. So I think anybody who assumes I don't like this schedule, this magnificent isolation on the weekends, I think they don't know me very well.

I've been cruising around the net, going in and out of the writing, hooked up to my iPod all night, even had a couple glasses of absinthe. And I'm into music now.

I've told you regulars a million times that I saw Miles Davis' last performance in Chicago before he died but I simply can't shake it. Every time it comes up on my iPod I can see the whole thing all over again. So if you've heard this one before, sorry - move along.

Though he'd recorded this particular ditty and it was available all along, the way he started it - alone on stage right in a spotlight with all the other musicians silent / fiddling around in an intro that at first had nothing to do with the tune to follow - reaching, experimenting, free form, going after it from another place - I will still never forget the audible gasp that passed over the heads of the audience when we all recognized what he was playing.

I've heard live recordings of it from a couple different sources and none of them are worth spit. In fact most are perfectly awful. What Miles did that night in my Chicago, however, was not recorded and surpassed everything. We were all following whatever he was into, and the intro lasted possibly a whole minute and a half before he brought us in to what he was doing.

The best recording is the studio one. Imagine a long, virtuoso, meandering walk into it followed by what's recognizable to you. I tell you true - it was strangely awesome, if only because nobody in the audience saw it coming.



I know there's no way I can explain it, or get anybody to relive what happened that night. But I'm doing my best.

But you see how it is. You want to have everybody enjoy something that happened to you and there's just no way. And I know there's some kind of strange code or standard or whatevertheFarco about what constitutes fine music or not and some people are downright snob pigs about it if it isn't cool enough. But when I hummed a nursery rhyme tune to my grand daughter when she was just six months old and I took care of her for an evening like Mr Mom that was the best music there ever was. So screw that noise.

3 comments:

sybil law said...

Anyone who's a musical snob and can't appreciate the genius of Miles Davis is a fricking poseur.
The only reason I ever wanted to have a boy was so I could name him Miles. Well, one of his names, anyway. Because of Miles Davis.

B.E. Earl said...

Sadly, I've got a serious jazz deficiency problem. I like it when I see/hear it live...but I hardly every see/hear it live. :(

Gino said...

i'm that way with blues. couldnt care less about jazz, though.