Friday, June 1, 2007

Mario and Miles

I got seriously into Miles Davis about 6 years ago. I started with the stuff he did with Coltrane but I also was very curious to hear the post-Bitches Brew albums. 1974's Get Up With It was an early purchase and it remains one of my favorite albums. One of the two main tracks, a half-an-hour-plus 50-megaton funk workout called "Calypso Frelimo" is based on a bass figure played by Michael Henderson. Someone at Nintendo must have been a Miles fan when he wrote this tune (taken from Super Mario).

At just after the 10 minute mark in the song, the band lays out and Henderson plays a slowed-down version of the figure. Coincidence or shameless ripoff? (Though this would explain why Miles was wearing that Mario shirt during the 1991 show in Montreux...)

Good listening day: another listen to Beethoven's Op. 59, No. 1 quartet, this time from the Alban Berg quartet (from their first Beethoven cycle). They play like they have personal rocketpacks on. Also listened to Kubelik conduct Mahler's First - who wouldn't like a symphony that instructs the horn players to actually stand up during the last movement. And to top it off, Haitink's recording of Bruckner's Fifth. I'd have written more about these but finding that Mario clip was a real pain in the ass.)

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