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Miles Davis:Jazz at the Plaza

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Boplicity, Apr 17, 2001.

  1. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    A never before released CD of Miles Davis and the same musicians who accompand him on "Kind of Blue" was released today, April 17. Titled "Jazz at the Plaza" because it is a live recording of a 1958 session at Manhattan's Plaza Hotel, it has audience background noise and applause along with the music.

    I listened to segments of it at Amazon.com. That site has segments of "Oleo," "If I Were a Bell," "My Funny Valentine" and "Straight, No Chaser." Though Davis has his "Kind of Blue" crew (Chambers, Evans, Cobbs, Adderly, etc.), the music here is more upbeat. What I love about "Kind of Blue" is the laid back, mellow vibe. This album is much more energetic...and that may be just fine for many jazz fans.

    Those of you who are Miles Davis fans might want to check out this new album. You can hear Real Audio segments at Amazon.com. I decided to pass on this CD, but if any of you do buy it, I'd love to hear your opinions. Maybe I'll change my mind and buy it too.

  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...wow, thanks for the head's-up! I did a search @Tower & I see Live @Newport '58 has also been released 4-17; same line-up as KOB, too.
    Hopefully, the store in-town has 'em...
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Over the Easter weekend, Channel 4 on UK TV had the "Miles Davis Story" - a 2 hours 40 minute documentary on Miles by Ian Carr who is a British Jazz Trumpeter and official biographer - needless to say I now have this on tape and it was a very good programme!

    It covered all of Miles's life with music clips and interviews. They had some great interviews with collaborators and some very depressing ones with wives/girlfriends etc.

    They had several interviews with Jimmy Cobb who is the only surviving member from the "Kind of Blue" lineup. He explained how when they went into the studio for this, Miles "picked up on" Bill Evans' vibe and went with this for the whole session. Jimmy Cobb explained how this was really more Evans than Miles. So it may be that what you like about "Kind of Blue" is going to be found more in Evans music than other Miles.

    I thik the documentary's view was that the Quintet with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams was the quintessential Miles and they had some great footage of this lineup in Germany, as well as interviews with Ron Carter, who agreed but objected to the view that he was the "anchor"! A lot of Jazz critics over here, rate "Live at the Plugged Nickel" by this quintet as the best live album ever or at the very least, the best that Miles ever did!

    The programme went on to all the electric bands, but seemed to promote the view that it was more about the drugs that were about on the bandstand than anything else. But there were some great interviews with Dave Holland and Jack de Johnette about this period! Holland looks younger now than then, when he sported a huge curly afro of light brown hair and full beard, compared with today's "trimmed" appearance" ;)

    They also had some great slots with Marcus Miller who explained a lot of stuff and showed how he developed solo bass slots with Miles and had a great demonstration from a live concert. Also interviews with John Scofield, Dave Liebman and loads of musicians from later Miles bands.

    If you get the chance to see this, I can recommend it highly for the musical stuff, but the parts about his personal life were very depressing.
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Dang, Bruce! You are one lucky fella to have seen what seems like a fascinating documentary! I can only hope our PBS will pick it up. Maybe if I find a way to e-mail them and ask about it, and some miracle takes palce in which they actually read and heed an e-mail, sooner or later we will be able to see the show on this side of the pond.

    By the way...I really admire Marcus Miller. I used to see him on a music series that was run on BET on Jazz on Satillite. It was a David Sanborn series and no matter what many may feel about Sanborn, this was one fine show, featuring musicians in many genres. Miller played bass, Omar Hakim (Spelling?) played drums and another favorite of mine, Phillipe Siasse, played keys. What a dynamic combination? Dang me...if I can't remeber the guitarist's name, because he was killer, too. In fact, I'd call Sanborn the "weakest link" except for the fact that the series was his concept, he hosted it and I give him all the props possible for the hours of entertainment he provided me.

    Back to Miller, there just didn't seem to be any vibe he couldn't play. Sometimes I almost hated him, he was that darned good (making me ffel utterly insifnificant by comparison). He sometimes talked about his experiences with Miles Davis and one could easily see the tremendous respect he has for the jazz icon.

  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...the guitarist in the Sanborn band coulda been Hiram Bullock.
    That Miles Special sounds "special", Bruce; hope to see it here.

    I finally shook the cobwebs outta my head; I already have the Miles' Jazz @The Plaza & Live @Newport '58 on the Complete Columbia Miles/Coltrane box set! D-U-H!
    I also have the Complete Live @The Plugged Nickel box(7 cds worth)...awesome interplay between all the musicians!
    A buddy of mine recently gave me a copy of the OOP "boot" of Miles & Coltrane Live In Stockholm...Miles' chops are at a peak during this time frame. Miles did have some heavy chops!
    Miles In Tokyo, with Sam Rivers on tenor is very happenin'. The set list is very similiar to what's on the Stockholm set...Rivers *IS* the difference, though! Rivers' playing is on the edge here...a little "out" while still "in" enough to work in this sorta Post-Boppish group. If you can find that one, pick it up.
    Also recommended is the Four And More/My Funny Valentine double-live cd; still in-print...it's Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, George Coleman(tenor), & Tony Williams. Tony is "the man"!

    ...if you're really into KOB, check out www.allmusic.com & look into the Bill Evans' records that had Cannonball, Chambers, Coltrane, etc playing as "sidemen". There should be a couple(at least).
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    JimK, Sanborn's guitarist WAS Hiram Bullock!! You hit the nail on the head. What is he doing nowadays? I really admired his work. As I said, all of Sanborn's sidemen were top drawer.

    Thanks for the advice about ALL Music to check more Evans' releases.

    Lastly, I am puzzled buy the fact that "Jazz at the Plaza" was released already in a box set. The publicity I received said that this was a first ever release of the work. Goes to show you can't trust record company press releases.

  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...the liner notes on the Complete Columbia Miles/Coltrane box, though extensive, leave a lot to be desired; also, the discs themselves are NOT marked.
    Anyway, everything in this box that is desiginated with the letter "H" is from a September 9, 1958(Tuesday, 6-7pm) live set in The Persian Room in The Plaza Hotel, NYC.
    Miles, Coltrane, Adderley, Evans, Chambers, & Cobb.
    Set List-
    !)"If I Were A Bell"
    3)"My Funny Valentine"
    4)"Straight, No Chaser"
    ..these are the same 4 tunes you mentioned in your initial post, right?

    The original LP misidentifies the tune, "Straight, No Chaser", As "Jazz At The Plaza", the drummer as Philly Joe Jones, & the location as The Edwardian Room.
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Then the publicity I received was very misleading. They are claiming this was a first time release. Just goes to show, caveat emptor, when it comes to record company publicity.

  9. Moonraker


    Mar 7, 2001
    I also watched the Miles Davis story about 2 weeks ago , it was a very good insight into his life and about his incredible music. Any musician should try and watch this if they get the chance to.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I got the Ashley Kahn book on the making of "Kind of Blue" yesterday - looks to have some interesting photographs of the arrangements, lead sheets and of the sessions, but I haven't had time to read any of it yet. Has this been out first in the US?
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I picked that book up about 2-3 months ago; great stuff! Make sure you check out how much $$$ the sidemen earned for creating a masterpiece...unbelievable.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yeah - $64 - I noticed that amongst the photos - and that 2 of the band were "addicts" when they were making this recording and 2 were ex-junkies!

    You think of drugs in music during the 60s, whereas the Jazz guys were way ahead of the rock/pop musicians in this respect! :rolleyes:

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