Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Miles Davis and Sam Rivers in Tokyo

One joy of doing a blog like this for several years is that I am often amazed at what I had to say.  Sometimes I said something stupid, but other times I emphatically agree with myself.  In Feb. of last year I did a post on Miles Davis and Tony Williams.  I mentioned a book by Christopher Meeder, only because cherished reader Andr√© posted a chunk of it in the comments to an earlier post.  The book was Jazz: the Basics.  

Mr. Meeder left a comment on that post which I failed to responded to.  I don't know if I missed it or just didn't get around to it.  I feel a bit guilty about that.  Here is Meeder's comment:
 Heh. I haven't Googled myself in a while. Thanks for the nod to my book. Did you ever get it? Did anyone?

The theoretical comparison of Rivers and Shorter is very nice, but not entirely necessary... You can hear Rivers with the 2nd quintet rhythm section and Miles on the 1964 Tokyo concert on Columbia. I haven't heard the album in about seven centuries and can't really comment about what I think about it anymore. 
I happened upon this old post because last night I happened to download the very album he mentions.  I chanced upon it on eMusic.  I have wanted to get to know Sam Rivers better, and I vaguely remembered that he played with Davis for a bit, just before Wayne Shorter came aboard.  I had just enough eMusic credits to nail the album, so I did.  

It was worth it.  I just plain love what Miles was doing in this period.  I think that one could learn a lot by comparing Sam Rivers playing with what Shorter does, say on ESP.  I even enjoyed the one credit introduction.  Sam Reevers, Run Catta...  I don't know exactly what it was about Rivers that Miles didn't like, but he is good here.  Here is a sample:
Miles Davis/My Funny Valentine/Miles in Tokyo
And Christopher: if you are Googling yourself again, I am ordering your book


  1. Thanks for that.

    There have been some great recordings of this tune over the years - Bill Evans/Jim Hall spring to mind - but this one by Miles must be one of the greatest.

  2. Thank you, Norman. I am very fond of the version by Miles First Quintet on Cookin' But this is a good one.