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Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Mauro Di Nisio, Oct 24, 2018.
I’ve been working on this head also, with somewhat different fingering. So much “bebop information” in the head to Donna Lee!
Great playing, thanks for sharing!
Can I be that guy and point out that Donna Lee was actually composed by Miles?
Or so he claimed.
Well, I think there's some evidence for it being pretty "square" compared to other Bird contrafacts. Here's DONNA LEE
even in his solo he's got a lot more rhythmic displacement and harmonic alteration than the new "melody" on INDIANA.
And here's his line on EMBRACEABLE YOU, called QUASIMODO
There is supposed to be a citation in a Gil Evans Bio (maybe "Out of the Cool"?) which says he was looking for permission to make an arrangement of Donna Lee for Claude Thornhill. He went to Bird first, but, as the story goes, Bird told him that Miles wrote the tune.
Personally, I always thought it was a Bird tune, but this is persuasive evidence, if it's accurate.
That's a fair example, but to my ears "Donna Lee" sounds far more Bird-like than Miles-like. Not to say that Miles couldn't try to write something more in Bird's style.
But knowing a little something of Miles' temperament, I find it inconceivable that he would keep quiet and refuse credit or royalties all those years if he had actually composed "Donna Lee." When he mentions it in his autobiography, he is very nonchalant about it; but at the same time, he talks about how "hurt" he was when people started giving Bill Evans credit for "Blue in Green."
Miles has quite a history of claiming authorship for tunes he didn't write.