Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Mr. Herbie Hancock on the piano."

Listened to Miles in Tokyo on the way into work. Herbie, as always, does good stuff on here. Tony Williams can sometimes be too much of a good thing but plays pretty tastefully. Sam Rivers is on sax - this is the only Miles album on which he appears. In 1964, Miles was still searching for a replacement for Coltrane (who'd left 4 years earlier). A lot of good stuff came out of this transitional period -- the Blackhawk recordings with Hank Mobley and the George Coleman albums are great. Rivers was soon replaced by Wayne Shorter. Miles finally had his lineup together and the group would last until 1968.

Miles' tempos got faster and faster in this period -- "So What" really is a different song when compared to its studio version on Kind of Blue since the tempo is about 12 times faster live. Not so much on this album, but in other recordings from the period, you can sense the band's impatience with the head of "Walkin'". They really burn through it so they can start the solos.

I was really in the mood for this album this morning so I think there'll be more jazz on the listening list for the next little while.

I also listened to Beethoven's first Razumovsky quartet (Op. 59, No. 1 in F). Joseph Kerman allows himself to use the word "breathtaking" more than once when talking about the first movement in his book The Beethoven Quartets. The double fugue in the development section is pretty mind-blowing so I'm right there with ya, buddy.

The recording was from the Quartetto Italiano's complete set. It's a great set to learn the works from.

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