Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by KevinP, Jan 16, 2008.
I know you meant “Laswell”
Damn autocorrect is Beatles-obsessed!!
I for one would like to hear Laswell's Silver Hammer
To me, it sounds like the recording itself is pretty bad and a remix might not help. That's just my guess though.
I like this lineup, and I like 'In Concert', despite it being something of a runt of the litter of the 70's live albums.
Henderson & Foster gel completely and keep the groove going in a way they never really repeated in the later Cosey bands - very minimal, relentless, trancelike. The tabla/sitar elements are a real plus.
It needs lots of volume to overcome the limitations of the recording, though things improve in the second half. Miles plays almost continuously throughout and there are some wonderful passages if you dig for them.
A while back on another thread I mentioned that the studio output of this lineup could have made a great (short) LP - Chieftain / Rated X / Turnaround (Agharta Prelude) / Billy Preston. I would certainly suggest listening to those tunes in tandem with 'In Concert' for a full immersion into this uniquely grooveworthy Miles lineup.
Miles' car accident disrupted the development of this specific band - greater things were to come but a few things were lost too.
Listened to In Concert yesterday. At first I thought «oh no, not the same percussive groove again» but from the moment they take it down a notch and allows some space I liked it quite a bit. Decent version of Black Satin as well.
Interesting that that's how it works for you, but I never have a problem knowing what my opinion on music is.
Eh, I never EVER have a problem knowing what my opinion is, man.
But if you get too set in your ways and nobody ever makes you question your choices and the reasoning behind then I would say that you have started to get old. I prefer to grow, both as a listener and as a human being. In that way I can end up actually discovering music that didn't fit the person I was 10 or 20 years ago. More power to me.
I never stop discovering music. I figured out how to explore when I was a kid and I've been doing it for 50 years. It's just that I don't have any problem knowing what my opinion is, and no discussion is going to change it, really, especially because it's not anything anyone can be right or wrong about.
It's also not that my opinion never changes (although it never really changes "to the negative"--there's nothing that I used to like that I don't still like), but that has to happen simply because I give something repeated listens and start to feel differently about it.
Anyway, I've been wanting to participate in this thread. Wish I'd been around since the beginning. So In Concert, the Philharmonic Hall, September 29, 1972 show. Good ole "Foot Fooler" and "Slickaphonics".
First, the sound isn't that great on this one. It sounds kind of like a good bootleg. I try to "listen through" sound quality problems though.
I like the band a lot, by the way. I think this particular combo works well together, and they give the impression of suppressing egos in the service of Miles' overall vision. Musically, this might actually be one of my favorite Miles albums of this period. It works best in my opinion if you have the time and are in the mood to relax and absorb it all in one go. It's good for traveling for that reason. Just mellow out and enjoy the ride while you listen.
I get a kick out of how Miles wanted everything to be distorted and wah-wahed. I'm almost surprised he didn't give the house mixer a Big Muff and a wah-wah pedal, and then tell him to put the whole band through it and go to town.
"Rated X" - the polyrhythmic suggestions are interesting. The clave pattern seems to be in 11/16 at first, but it turns out that we're really just in a rhythmically contrapuntal 4/4--maybe this is what was meant by being a "Foot Fooler" haha--you're tapping your foot along as if it's 11/16, but it tricked you! Builds nicely--when Michael Henderson finally hits a lower sustained note on his bass it has a lot of impact. And then the busy groove after that, a little over halfway through, is very intense.
"Honky Tonk" - Ah, Miles' take on Bill Doggett. ;-) Pretty Zappaish at the start, actually. I expect to hear Flo & Eddie doing some slidey "Ahhhhs" and "Woooos" like they're on a tilt-a-whirl. Well, or I expect it to segue into the "Be-Bop Tango" . . . ayway, fun tune, especially when it turns out that the more abstract stuff at the start was like a three and a half minute cubist intro to a funky, quaalude-fueled-walk-through-molasses 12/8 blues. Slight premonitions of "Star People" once the groove gets going.
"Theme from Jack Johnson" - Love the opening riff, love the driving groove, and love the way it's accented by those very outside, distorted bell tones. And then it's really cool how it segues into kind of a boogie shuffle. The sequencing of these tunes is really nice to this point because of the contrast/variety in tempos and moods. Some really nice sax work from Carlos Garnett on this track. The breakdown section towards the end has a lot of impact, too. It's interesting how these tunes are structured/contoured in a more traditional way that some of Miles fusion material from this period--even though the content on a more fine-grained level is anything but traditional.
"Black Satin/The Theme" - Again, another really effective tempo/groove change. I like the implied half-time/double-time feel of the riff, and the fact that the percussionists are not at all playing that. Al Foster's looseness over the riff is great--it's like he's floating over it while still laying down a solid half-jazz, half-funk-rock beat. Another killer breakdown in this one, too, this time in the middle. The melodic motif running through it is pretty catchy, actually--and kind of ambient and eerie at times, which is nice. It's almost like some plaintive cry in the distance at times. The percussion-section-only breakdown near the end is cool, too.
"Ife" - Cool, laid-back, slick riff and groove, and again something that suggests both double-time and half-time, although simultaneously in this case rather than alternatively. Those outside, sustained organ chords remind me a bit of Pink Floyd during this era. Between those organ chords and Miles' sustained tones at the start, there's also an element of dark ambient to this again, too. The slow build is nice and almost minimalist a la Reich, Glass et al's initial idea of letting changes gradually wash over, gradually sneak up on you. And I'm getting repetitive, but there's are a couple more really good breakdown in this one. That could have been the name of this album, Really Good Breakdown. I like when Michael Henderson plays upper-register variations on the riff in the middle.
"Right Off/The Theme" - back to the boogie. Nice sax work on this one. I like how everything builds to a frenzy.
I wonder if there were people who went to see Miles during this period who expected that he'd maybe be playing "So What", "Someday My Prince Will Come", etc.
I wish so, too, ever since having read your great post.
Listened again to the redbook layer of the MOFI On the Corner today, on headphones, and thoroughly enjoyed it once again.
Before I turn again to Big Fun and In Concert, I'm taking a step back to listen to disc 4 of The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: At Newport 1955-75. This was recorded Oct. 21, 1971, with a very interesting, somewhat transitional band featuring Gary Bartz, Keith Jarrett, Michael Henderson, Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, Don Alias, and Mtume. Well worth hearing for the proto-funk grooves and Jarrett, who was effectively held over from the 1970 band. I know we'll discuss this one more when we get to this Bootleg Series release, but it's interesting to compare and contrast with the band on In Concert.
Finally arrived today. Someday My Prince Will Come and 'Round About Midnight both blew me away.
But your opinion only changes because you decide that it is time for it to do so? Never because you get input from another person, a book or a website that help you put the music in question in a different contex or light? I find that somewhat hard to believe, but I guess I'll just have to trust you.
On the other hand I found the way that you seemed ever so slyly imply that I was easily persuaded by other peoples opinion maybe more than a little condescending.
But maybe this was not your point
I like that band a lot, even if Jarrett was frustrated in it. I think of it more as the Live-Evil/Cellar Door band minus DeJohnette and Airto, although it is true that there are some "free" avant garde bits in the Cellar Door while there are basically none in the 71 tour, except for Jarrett's unaccompanied solo.
The first part of "Rated X", before the bass vamp comes in, is actually a separate tune. The studio version is titled "Chieftain" on the Complete On The Corner box set. But that was not known until the box set appeared.
I learned to explore in my late teens 40 years ago. I have no problems knowing my opinion although I can't always explain why I like or don't like something.
My opinion rarely changes due to online discussion, especially negative comments. It does occasionally change due to positive comments which makes me give something another chance. Positive discussion also helps with stuff I’ve never heard especially genres I’m not familiar with
Bartz still takes his solos 'out there' quite a bit in '71. I also think of that band as closer to 70 than 72. It's a crazily well documented tour with some great sounding shows, but I don't really find Chancler's playing convincing. It's never solid enough to really groove with Henderson, he was still half trying to follow the busyness of DeJohnette. A difficult position for a young musician, he must have learned a lot from the experience.
The 'In Concert' band developed a more grounded rhythmic conception that was taken forward into the Cosey era, though of course the music became more streamlined as a result.
Agree on your and the previous poster's points - the late '71 band is essentially the Live Evil/Cellar Door band.
Miles was never happy with Chandler's drumming; he was only a touring replacement for Jack, who resumed drumming duties when the band returned to the US.
The In Concert band was really the start of the next era.
There's that one recorded Lincoln Center show with Jack back in the band after the Euro 71 tour was over, unfortunately awful sound - if only it sounded like most of those Euro shows!
Yes, that's all we have . It's hard to judge or enjoy the performance based on that rough tape.
There's a slightly cleaned up version doing the rounds of that which, while not great, is definitely a solid improvement!
As I remember they're all from the vinyl source - the tape itself never showed up?
I actually think I like Round About Midnight better than Kind of Blue.
Correct. An old 70s boot - I have a copy. Any eq'd versions would be from that source.
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