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  #1  
Old 11-24-2010, 06:11 PM
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Default JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

Here's a great discussion about Miles with Stanly Crouch and James Mtume.

Wassup with that?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OLqid9RABs
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

"When the sun goes down, that's it." Mtume will take your damn life! That's amazing. I've never understood the criticism that Miles "sold out" in the 70's- like those 20-minute polyphonic Afro-mayhem pieces go over really well with 12 year old white girls. I'm also a little surprised Crouch is still arguing that 80's Wyntonesque thing about jazz/not-jazz.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

I was surprised to find out that Crouch has a column now in the Daily News, that semi-tabloid NYC newspaper that is good for lining the bottom of your puppy box. He comes off looking a bit owned in this video, and it maybe just because he's tired of hammering that line about the white bird that couldn't sing.

I don't really know how valid the century old argument about the progress of music is any more; but whatever Miles did, he's Miles, one of the great minds in jazz. I guess we should take it seriously. Whereas Crouch was suppossedly the worst jazz drummer in town when he came to seek fame and fortune. He swung squeaky and crooked like the gate on a picket fence.

I still like a lot of that music and what came after: Chick, Herbie, Weather Report, McLaughin, Williams and Cobham. I think its a shame more people don't go back and seek it out; but I can't imagine that there are not a lot of young musicians who are always going to love that music.
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:24 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

Let the music of Miles speak for itself.....

At least one of the people on this stage in these 2 clips has something of clear true value to share in that regard.


I love it.... "you know what they say about people who can't play but have the most to say about the music". Enough said........

Mtume take bow........

Oh here's some great electric Miles from 70. Pretty heavy stuff {pretty heavy Jack for sure}. For those without "bias" swabs stuck in their ears it speak volumes on the subject in my view:

Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBTM6blPbUQ

Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgnQJ...eature=related

Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JlO_...eature=related

Part 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1QtO...eature=related
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:51 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

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Let the music of Miles speak for itself.....
Thanks for that- I hadn't seen that before. This is just one of the greatest bands ever. It's funny to see Dejohnette using that funky old Speed King...
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:58 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

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Thanks for that- I hadn't seen that before. This is just one of the greatest bands ever. It's funny to see Dejohnette using that funky old Speed King...
You're welcome Todd...maybe Stanley can tell us everything that's "wrong" with it :}
What a bag of hot air......

Yes what a hoot seeing Jack playing what I suspect to be that backline kit {cym./drums} for that amazing set at the Isle of Wight back in 1970.

Still laughing over that onstage debate.... a serious passionate musician about the music of Miles versus a bag of wind....who wins folks? LOL!.....made my day :}
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

I think that's also on the DVD The Electric Miles. Crouch is on that as well, talking about Miles' hair. One of the things that I like about this concert is hearing Airto playing whistle and other percussion and it sounding like it just fit in so right.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

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I think that's also on the DVD The Electric Miles. Crouch is on that as well, talking about Miles' hair. One of the things that I like about this concert is hearing Airto playing whistle and other percussion and it sounding like it just fit in so right.
Thanks for the evenings comic relief Ken by the way :}

Check out Airto's musical contributions in the Isle of Wight footage Ken....wonderful sound and film image quality!
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

It's kind of funny now thinking about it the number of bands that came out of this concert. You had RTF with Airto and Chick, Gateway with Holland and De Johnette, later of course, Jarrett and De Johnette did something, and Crouch is saying this music went nowhere. Everyone in this band went on to stellar careers. This was the last time Jarrett played electric keyboard, I think as well.

Some more great stuff for youngsters who may not be familiar with this music:

Return to Forever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lObVilGPjHc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdVzAD3f4_E

Weather Report

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnQ7oszKZ60&feature=fvw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwU6mdf7MxM
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

There's no mystery at all that in the sixties Miles Davis was one burnt out guy, and who can blame him? He'd been carrying modern jazz on his shoulders for a couple of decades and to him jazz had become "the music of the museum." Those are his own words.

There's also no mystery that he wanted a piece of the action that he saw Jimi Hendrix, James Brown and Sly Stone getting.

Yes, "Bitches Brew" is an album of edited-together tunes that came from jam sessions, a great record that Teo Macero is largely responsible for, and yes, Miles just wasn't the least bit interested in playing the old changes anymore. He wanted to be a rock star. He himself admitted it. And yes, there were times when he made himself appear ridiculous.

But what he did was remarkable. As he had done several times before in his career he introduced a whole new paradigm, a new direction, and look at what happened as the result, and that result is still with us today. Was it jazz? Who cares?

Now Stanley Crouch has many, many chips on his shoulder. I think he wrong-headedly sees himself as a lone crusader for "real" jazz, hence his teenaged-girlish endorsement of all things Wynton Marsalis.

I saw Miles Davis several times during the eighties and the music was dreadful. It was crass, it was loud and sloppy and it was shamelessly playing to the adoring crowd who only wanted to see "Miles."

I'll give him that. I'll give him anything. This is a man who told us how jazz could sound and he did it over and over again. You can't touch him. You can't take anything away from Miles Davis.

And Stanley Crouch knows that. That's what makes him so pathetic.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

I saw this a while back and it always cracks me up.

Mtume is the son of saxophone great Jimmy Heath and a remarkable /to say nothing of articulate/ percussionist. Stanley Crouch by his own admission gave up music because he had failed as /get this/ a free drummer.

Soon after Crouch and poet Albert Murray became the intellectual and spiritual advisors of Wynton Marsalis respectively. In fact Crouch was supposedly the one who goaded Wynton on to the stage trumpet in hand, at the 1986 Vancouver Jazz Festival... when Miles' band was onstage performing a concert. So there was Miles in the middle of his act hearing a kid in a three piece suit whisper into his ear that he was invited to play. Miles obviously stopped the show and told him to get out of there, as it was a very disrespectful thing to do. After that Crouch had this grudge that he's yanked out of his pocket any time he felt the urge, becoming especially brave after Miles' death in 1991.

Crouch is actually a well spoken man regarding numerous issues outside of jazz. However this Miles stuff is merely about his getting his hand slapped in public after being involved in something he knew he was wrong about. The Wynton part of it...well all that has been discussed before.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

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I saw this a while back and it always cracks me up.

Mtume is the son of saxophone great Jimmy Heath and a remarkable /to say nothing of articulate/ percussionist. Stanley Crouch by his own admission gave up music because he had failed as /get this/ a free drummer.

Soon after Crouch and poet Albert Murray became the intellectual and spiritual advisors of Wynton Marsalis respectively. In fact Crouch was supposedly the one who goaded Wynton on to the stage trumpet in hand, at the 1986 Vancouver Jazz Festival... when Miles' band was onstage performing a concert. So there was Miles in the middle of his act hearing a kid in a three piece suit whisper into his ear that he was invited to play. Miles obviously stopped the show and told him to get out of there, as it was a very disrespectful thing to do. After that Crouch had this grudge that he's yanked out of his pocket any time he felt the urge, becoming especially brave after Miles' death in 1991.

Crouch is actually a well spoken man regarding numerous issues outside of jazz. However this Miles stuff is merely about his getting his hand slapped in public after being involved in something he knew he was wrong about. The Wynton part of it...well all that has been discussed before.
It was during Expo 86 which was part of our very first series of Vancouver International Jazz Festival concert presentations Matt. I know the full story and what Miles really whispered into his ear on the stage that day before he shut down the band which cannot be printed on this forum or any other with certain forum rules and their parameters in place :}.

Totally sad endeavor back then masterminded by an equally sad individual....clever words his forte regardless in my view.

Mtume nailed him to the wall at that debate as you can hear from the reactions in the audience in the clips.....about time somebody did.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

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Mtume nailed him to the wall at that debate as you can hear from the reactions in the audience in the clips.....about time somebody did.
However, Stanley Crouch seemed staunch in his opinions. Later in part two he repeated a point that James Mtume had previously dismantled. He's running on pride rather than logic.

After reading what Matt said it seems what we have is a conservative who became hard-boiled after being dissed by cooler people (ditto Wynton M). You see that dynamic in other types of work as well.

Great thread. Fascinating info and insights.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

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Yes, "Bitches Brew" is an album of edited-together tunes that came from jam sessions, a great record that Teo Macero is largely responsible for, and yes, Miles just wasn't the least bit interested in playing the old changes anymore. He wanted to be a rock star. He himself admitted it. And yes, there were times when he made himself appear ridiculous.
I'm not a real big BB fan; but have found that when you are the only jazz act on the bill, you set up to it a lot.

It would seem to me that it was really in jazz rock fusion that the formalistic aspect of jazz took on a new sense of sophistication with large openings that repeated throughout the piece and sections that were introduced within the piece. As such, it is closer to the classical ideal that Ellington had in mind when he was writing those jazz suites and orchestrating jazz versions of Grieg and Tchaikovsky, you know, an American music that knew no borders. Chick Corea has come closer to that ideal, as has Dave Brubeck, closer than Marsalis ever will. There has to be some irony in the criticism fusion garners from that perspective.

That being said, I always liked Marsalis cultural criticism, and think he did have something to say. I just never agreed with him on certain musical points. He was the guy who introduced me to African Nationalism, which was a big part of Miles electric period. There has to be some irony in that, as well.

IN the end it becomes all about the dress. I am a jeans and t shirt kind of guy. If I get dressed up I put on a hoodie. Really dressed up and I'll pull over a sweater. But even I can see that there is something to having an image. Look at Duke. He certainly knew how to dress. There must be some irony in that as well.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

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IIt would seem to me that it was really in jazz rock fusion that the formalistic aspect of jazz took on a new sense of sophistication with large openings that repeated throughout the piece and sections that were introduced within the piece. As such, it is closer to the classical ideal that Ellington had in mind when he was writing those jazz suites and orchestrating jazz versions of Grieg and Tchaikovsky, you know, an American music that knew no borders. Chick Corea has come closer to that ideal, as has Dave Brubeck, closer than Marsalis ever will. There has to be some irony in the criticism fusion garners from that perspective.
As a less educated jazz listener, I find there are passage of BB period Miles that reminds me of the improv passages in Henry Cow (or vice versa) ... Chick's synth and Airto's percussion could create some pretty spacey sounds.

I found BB and early RTF much more flowing than what came later. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm guessing that MO played a major role in setting the fusion agenda. Of course, John McL came from Miles ...
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

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As a less educated jazz listener, I find there are passage of BB period Miles that reminds me of the improv passages in Henry Cow (or vice versa) ... Chick's synth and Airto's percussion could create some pretty spacey sounds.

I found BB and early RTF much more flowing than what came later. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm guessing that MO played a major role in setting the fusion agenda. Of course, John McL came from Miles ...
Your reference to Crouch in your previous post reminded me of this guy I was talking to on Black Friday. I bet Crouch is a guy like this guy. His young son was playing all the drum kits in the store and he pulled me over and complimented my playing. He talked to me about trivialities like "Did you know Keith Moon named Led Zeppelin?" Then five minutes into the conversation, he started telling me stories that I had told him five minutes earlier like it was all news to me.

BB was an influential album. Henry Cow as well as Crimson got their inspiration there. A lot of groups did. Mclaughlin had come to Miles. tony williams brought him over from London. He even payed his fare. He played with Tony William's LIfetime, which had Larry Young on organ but also some tracks with Jack Bruce sitting in. I think he also sings one or two tracks. Talk about a super group. Mclaughlin had played with Bruce with the Graham Bond Organization, which was also another early fusion precursor with Ginger Baker. I don't know if you knew all that. I don't want to burden you with trivialities like that guy in the store.

The Mahavishnu Orchestra was huge, breaking the top 20 in the states and I would assume that was why Chick got a guitar player to join RTF and went electric. There is a some really nice MO on you tube now. The albums sometimes lack the best performances. But you can hear how tight this band was live. Everyone says they were way loud live; but you can hear some of the quietest playing as well, even in the drumming. They should really make this stuff commercially available.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P-EBcF1u9Y
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

Man this video was great. Funny and interesting.
Crouch just was ripped apart by that first guest in the part 2.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

I've never had much use for Crouch but he used to be very effective at stirring the pot and creating controversy, which was probably at least symptomatically good for the music (publicity is publicity). At this point, he seems to have tired of even that. He's not as inflammatory and he's not as good at "getting the goat" of his rivals as he used to be.

There's a jazz forum that I've frequented for the last 15 years and he and Wynton were the most debated and polarizing figures anyone talked about by far. I'm so sick of talking about him that I don't even pay attention to him anymore.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: JStanley Crouch Debate about Miles Davis

In my opinion you can not "sell out" in the jazz world. It evolves and it satifies. Miles knew he needed a change and being ever youthful saw Sly and the Family Stone perform at Newport, he decided he wanted to stay relavent in the times and viola; we have Bitch's Brew" The only thing that counts is that we bought his records and dug the music. We signed his pay cheque not the critics. he also unleashed all of those wonderful musicians on us that were fermenting in his groups. One last thing, just before the passing on of Jimi Hendrix he and Miles were cooking something up at Ladyland Studios, I have not heard any of these and not sure if there are any recordings kicking around but would they have not been an interesting duo. I generally feel this way now about any musician who has the guts to persue it as a career and stays in love with it.
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