The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Before and After #171: Miles Dewey Davis III

Before:


After

9 comments :

Geoff said...

his music experienced a similar progression

Mark said...

You've got an inadvertant new series going. We've named one our meeting rooms at work after Miles Davis. I had earlier commented on a Frank Zappa post indicating that we have a Frank Zappa room there. Add James Burke to your broadcasters series to keep my meeting room series going!

Steve_W said...

I'm currently reading his autobiography, published in 1989 (2 years before his passing) which must be around the time of the latter photo. Fascinating stuff. I'm not a fan of his later efforts but at least he never stopped trying to innovate!

swac said...

Funny, only a couple of days ago, Michael "Don't call me Leon!" Schlesinger sent me a link to this clip of Miles and his 1964 band doing So What on the Steve Allen Show.

Rhys said...

For some reason, all the live takes of So What I've ever heard take it so fast. Supposedly, when Tony Williams (a teenager at the time) joined the group, he would play the tunes really fucking fast. Miles said, "You need to slow down." Tony said, "You need to practice."

Fred said...

How much was due to age and how much to horse?

Tommy O'C said...

Before and after--defined.

How much was due to age and how much to horse?

Horse and blow and booze and bennies and reds and...

Bruno Leicht said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruno Leicht said...

Looks better:

There's only one version of "So What" which reflected almost the atmosphere of "Kind Of Blue". It's from a TV special, broadcast in July 1959, just some months after the 1st session for the album. It's here:

So What -- TV soundtrack, July 1959 (from LP)

John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb -- Miles plays just great, Trane is exploring the impossible as always, and you can hear Gil Evans' trombones playing a groovy background riff to Miles' 2nd chorus.