On this date in 1969, jazz giant Miles Davis released one of his most important and integral albums, In A Silent Way.
Marking the beginning of Davis’s electric/fusion period, the record angered jazz purists who weren’t thrilled with the direction Miles was going in with this album, yet it gained accolades from journalists who appreciated the unpredictable, uncharted territory he was heading into.
Featuring the talents of renowned musicians like saxophone player Wayne Shorter, guitarist John McLaughlin and keyboardist Herbie Hancock, In A Silent Way is now regarded as a milestone in Davis’s career and has spawned a multi-disc box set chronicling the recording sessions for this superb album (although all the sessions for the record were recorded throughout one single day in February of 1969).
Previously unreleased live album by electric bass genius Jaco Pastorius and the
Word of Mouth Big Band featuring special guest, harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans
Recorded at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC on June 27, 1982, as part of George Wein’s Kool Jazz Festival
First official release authorized by the Jaco Pastorius Estate, Warner Music Group and NPR Music of the entire concert from start to finish, including over 40 minutes of material
not aired on the original NPR Jazz Alive! broadcast
Includes a massive 100-Page book full of rare photos and essays by Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, producer Zev Feldman, Jaco Pastorius authority Bill Milkowski, original recording engineer Paul Blakemore; plus interviews with Jaco’s son John Pastorius, musicians Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker and more.
Deluxe limited edition 3-LP boxed set available for Record Store Day on April 22, 2017, & deluxe 2-CD set and digital editions available May 26, 2017.
1. Invitation (13:04)
2. Soul Intro/The Chicken (9:10)
3. Donna Lee (13:18)
4. Three Views to a Secret (6:38)
5. Liberty City (10:10)
6. Sophisticated Lady (7:43)
7. Bluesette (5:31)
1. I Shot the Sheriff (6:55)
2. Okonkolé y Trompa (15:07)
3. Reza/Giant Steps (Medley) (10:19)
4. Mr. Fonebone (10:37)
5. Bass and Drum Improvisation (14:05)
6. Twins (2:53)
7. Fannie Mae (5:55)
I am enthused that John McLaughlin is planning a tour for late next year 2017 that will encompass the music of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Having seen The Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1973 and enjoying their seminal jazz fusion recordings lo these many decades I can’t wait to witness that music performed live by the master.
There are strong hints about special guest stars appearing during this tour. I wonder if they will include Billy Cobham, Jan Hammer or other Mahavishnu Orchestra members. Carlos Santana is a devout fan of John McLaughlin and I can visualize him playing Mahavishnu Orchestra selections. Well we have 13+ months before this tour commences so stay tuned.
Press Release – In a career that spans more than five decades, John McLaughlin has honed a personal vision that transcends all boundaries, becoming one of improvised music’s most influential guitarists, composers, and bandleaders. McLaughlin will be joined by the remarkable Jimmy Herring, who has been in the creative forefront of the thriving American rock-jam band movement for 25 years, for what has been dubbed The Meeting of the Spirits tour. Highlighting this musical adventure, will be John McLaughlin revisiting the pioneering music he introduced with his deeply influential, genre-defying Mahavishnu Orchestra. McLaughlin will be backed by his current band, the 4th Dimension – Ranjit Barot (drums), Gary Husband (keyboards, drums), and Etienne M’Bappé (bass) – each an established composer and recording artist in his own right.
Jimmy Herring, best known for his inspired contributions to the Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic, The Dead, and others, will be co-headlining each show with his own band. “Herring possesses the heart and soul of a rocker, the chops and harmonic awareness of a jazz artist, and the simpatico personality of a jam-band player,” according to Guitar Player magazine. 2017 also marks the return of Jimmy Herring as a bandleader since touring after his widely acclaimed “Lifeboat” (2008) and “Subject to Change without Notice” (2012).
On The Meeting of the Spiritstour, separate sets by Herring and McLaughlin will be followed by the two joining forces for an expansive closing jam based on classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material. The tour will feature the first extended collaborations between two of world’s foremost improvising guitarists. Expect special surprise guests to be added when available.
“The music of Mahavishnu is part of my personal and musical history, and as such it is inseparable from me,” McLaughlin reflects. “To return to these pieces with the experience I’ve had for the past 45 years, since the majority of those pieces were played all those years ago, is very exciting.”
Herring adds, “John’s influence on me is far-reaching. When first hearing him, I was struck by the raw emotion and technical prowess he has. If you listen to John long enough, the layers of all the things that make him unique will reveal themselves…Inner Mounting Flame changed my life and the way I heard music. By the time I heard it in 1980, John had long since moved on and recreated himself, as he has done many times throughout his career. It is an honor and a privilege to do this tour with John and the 4th Dimension.”
McLaughlin’s first extensive U.S. tour in seven years, The Meeting of the Spirits also marks his first extended exploration of the Mahavishnu Orchestra material from seminal albums such as Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Between Nothingness and Eternity, Visions of the Emerald Beyond and more since the band’s original heyday in the 1970s.
“To play the music of Mahavishnu is not for the faint-hearted,” says McLaughlin, who celebrates his 75th birthday in 2017. “In fact, among the only people I know who have succeeded in interpreting Mahavishnu music are my two all-time favorite guitarists: Jimmy Herring and Jeff Beck. Jimmy is simply a great guitar player, and since we see so eye to eye in music, I know we will have some extraordinary musical experiences touring together.”
McLaughlin strongly feels that this will be his last American performances. He is hoping that all of his friends who have supported him over the years can come out to celebrate this tour with him. After all, it was in America that he met Miles Davis and Tony Williams and played on such trailblazing albums as In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. America was the true birthplace of the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension will be releasing a new album, Black Light this September, 2015.
I have explored ways in music and recorded them with happiness. ‘Black Light’ has opened a portal that is neither Jazz nor Rock, nor Indian nor Blues, and yet all of these: it’s an open door. – John McLaughlin
Black Light includes 8 original John McLaughlin compositions, including a heartfelt homage to his departed colleague, collaborator, and friend Paco De Lucia with whom John McLaughlin had intended to compose an album’s worth of new material just before De Lucia’s untimely passing. McLaughlin has returned to acoustic guitar for a tribute to his friend, entitled “El Hombre Que Sabia” and brings forth from the instrument a depth of sadness and admiration beyond words.
Otherwise electric, Black Light features the 4th Dimension – “my three favorite musicians,” in McLaughlin’s word – in full flight, with their empathy and precision honed on stage and in the studio. The 4th Dimension is composed of the remarkable multi-instrumentalist Gary Husband on keyboards and drums, Etienne Mbappe’s nimble, effervescent electric bass, and the powerhouse drumming of Ranjit Barot.
Following the international release of Black Light, McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension will set out on a world tour, continuing to explore and elaborate upon the album’s genre-defying material.
There was a period of time (1977-1981) where I would take the Metro North train into New York City for an all day record shopping excursion. Armed with my proverbial list of recordings I sought the albums I had to have in my collection. I was heavily influenced by music journalists from the New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine, the Village Voice and Downbeat. They helped shape my listening tastes. I was exposed to sounds and textures I would never have discovered on my own.
The greatest treasure I purchased during that time period was “Dancing In Your Head” by Ornette Coleman. I was transfigured by the energy of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time nucleus. Little did I realize until recently that William S. Burroughs was in the studio when this recording took place.
Ornette Coleman celebrated his 85th birthday on Monday March 9th. We are blessed to have him among us.
We are students of Miles. Miles Davis, mentor would have been 88 years old this day, Monday May 26, 2014. What a true Memorial Day it is for jazz fans everywhere!
It is right and just that Miles Davis should have a street named after him in New York City on his 88th Birthday. After all he lived and created his extemporaneous genius at 312 West 77th Street. From this day forward we will know this street as Miles Davis Way.
The digital music technologist in me honored Miles legacy today by listening to various Miles Davis full album recordings in HQ via YouTube over the InterWeb.
The technology configuration I streamed Miles music through:
1. The Google Chromecast* USB attached to the back of a Sony HDTV 61″ LCD display. The television screen displayed the various covers and other images which is cool. (*Aided and abetted by the Google Chrome Browser extension on a MacBook Pro I7 with Mac OS/X 10.9.3)
2. I also connected to Optimum Cablevision Internet via a NetGear 802.11ac Wireless Router. Chromecast was then secured over that Wireless Access Point (WAP)
3. The sound was represented by a Sony Blu-Ray Home Theater 7.1 Surround Sound system.
John McLaughlin states, “From time to time, a live record is made that has everything: great collective playing, a terrific audience, fantastic recorded sound, and a wonderful atmosphere. In the new recording of our concert you’ll find all of the above. I’m really happy about this recording.”
This stellar recording will be available on March 18, 2014.
This was the Electric Miles era that introduced the rock audience to jazz fusion through the epic recording, Bitches Brew.
The 1970 band comprised Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Airto Moreira, and Steve Grossman.
Carlos Santana’s love, respect and friendship with Miles Davis has fine tuned me into Miles Davis with a focused intensity I love experiencing. Even today, Santana remains awestruck by Davis’ psychedelic proto-funk, as is made clear in his liner notes to a significant restoration of the old live album “Miles Davis at Fillmore”
“You can hear that anger and darkness and the craziness of everything that was still in the air from the ’60s when this music was made,” says the guitarist Carlos Santana, a Fillmore regular and witness to the eruption of the electric Miles Davis. “If ever there was a time when a rock audience was willing to open their ears and hear some great modern jazz like the kind Miles was creating, it was at the Fillmore.”
The extras included with the box set differ based upon your point of purchase. Order your copy of the box set at MilesDavis.com and get the exclusive poster below with your purchase!
There are three added bonus tracks that add another 35 minutes of music, released here for the first time, recorded in April 1970,(right after Bitches Brew was released) at the Fillmore West in San Francisco (where Bill Graham put Miles and band on a bill with the Grateful Dead and Stone The Crows). That live evening will be included with your purchase, everywhere.
I dig Pat Metheny. He is a creative musician who composes and performs rich, textured music that I love to get lost inside. I was informed this past week that the Pat Metheny Unity Group will be releasing a new album, KIN (←→).
My affinity for vinyl prompted me to pre-order the German pressed 140-gram 2 LP set that includes a complete CD and an exclusive print of the cover art signed by Pat himself 😉
I love the graphics design for the album cover.
“The core quartet of Chris, Ben, Antonio and I played over 100 concerts over the year that followed the release of our Unity Band record. Over the course of that period, the band became one of those rare combinations of players where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – it gelled in every way, and that just seemed to beg for expansion and further research. Concurrently, I had been kind of itching to write more in the style that I had developed over the years with my regular groups and projects where there is a lush and more orchestrated kind of compositional conception that went beyond the sonic limits of what a straight ahead quartet might invoke. But I really didn’t want to lose the energy, focus and intensity of what this band had developed. I wanted to take it further. If the first Unity Band record was a thoughtful, black and white documentary of four musicians in a recording studio playing, this record is more like the Technicolor, IMAX version of what a band like this could be—but with that hardcore thing still sitting right in the middle of it all.” ~ Pat Metheny
The Pat Metheny Unity Group consists of Pat Metheny (Guitar), Chris Potter (Sax), Antonio Sanchez (Drums), Ben Williams (Bass), and Giulio Carmassi (Multi-Instrumentalist).
I see that the Pat Metheny Unity Group has announced a world tour and that a concert is taking place at the Quick Center for the Arts on the Fairfield University campus on March 25th, 2014. I plan to make that our first concert ticket buy for 2014 😉
The music of our heart from a Father and Son point of view reflects on 1969 and the recording Hot Rats.
Hot Rats is the second solo album by Frank Zappa, released in October 1969. It was Zappa’s first recording project after the dissolution of the original Mothers of Invention. In his original sleeve notes Zappa described the album as “a movie for your ears.”