Thursday, February 9, 2012
Miles Live at the Plugged Nickel
Miles Davis' Plugged Nickel recording might represent his most profound statement on the avant garde idea. I wouldn't call the recording avant garde, but that is precisely the point. Miles explored the avant garde idea while remaining just barely within the hard bop tradition.
Miles' second great quintet included Wayne Shorter on tenor, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and the brilliant Tony Williams on drums. They play a series of standards, many of them from the earlier quintet, but what a difference! They cut up and dissect each part of a melody, squeezing out all the juice and laying out all the veins and organs.
I am playing two consecutive numbers: 'Round Midnight' and 'Milestones.' Both are brilliant club jazz documents. This is a superb box set, a monumental statement at the center of modern jazz.