Sunday, February 2, 2020

Arlene Corwin writes

 A Film About Miles Davis 

Last night saw a film on Miles.
Naturally, I found myself beguiled by Miles;
Learning some, earning much
About a damaged individual who touched the world;
Who burned for music
(Seemed to me that  girls and women were his muse,
He, who reigned, 
But they, the ‘bucker-uppers of a plagued, tormented genius).

Oh yes, learned, confirmed:
Treating gigs as practice,
Performance as a wormhole
To lose the blues that come from fear:
Ways to hear
Bad intonation, phrases weak, 
Shut one’s ears to chairs that squeak,
Grand piano with bad touch; much more…
Aware of sound through speaker, mike too far, too near…
Most of all, to love the public that sits there
To see, to listen and to share,  
Who look upon me as a copybook.
I feel loved before a note! 
Within his greatness lay the hubris.
But within, as said, the genius.
Flaws of distrust, paranoia, dormant/ triggered
                                                             by annoyance;
Introversion’s muted horn.
He, the frightened, corned lion.
And those women!

Most of all I came away with honesty;
The weediness of middle ground
Of which, I know are sides of me:
A waste of time and energy.
One needs to be more ballsy,
Even if one is a graceful ‘she’.

Oh, sad Miles,
Even when you altered styles,
Hard, demanding all the while;
Cars and clothing, pot, cocaine - even then
The core of you,
The red line constant - running through 
Was puzzlingly robust and true.
Falling down, then standing up,
You’d come back new, a boxer pup!

Life catches up. Miles had a stroke.
Sixty-five’s no age to go,
We all were left a ‘kind of blue’.
Fast Ferraris, razzmatazz
Flashy flesh…   jazz’ed was not worth…
Jazz’ed did not last.
Post image
Miles Davis -- PhunkyPickles

1 comment:

  1. Miles Davis dropped out of the Institute of Musical Arts (now the Juilliard School) and began playing trumpet professionally. In 1945 he replaced Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker's bebop quintet but quit in 1948 to head a nonet, which recorded until 1950 though the records were not released until 1957's "Birth of the Cool." But his increasing use of drugs began to impair his playing and he adopted a hustler's lifestyle to support his habit. After going somewhat straight he formed a quintet and abandoned bebop in favor of hard bop, which was slower and less radical in harmony and melody and had a harder beat than cool jazz. In 1958 recordings with Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane he developed an interest in modal jazz. At the same time he began making jazz-inflected classical music with Gil Evans. "Kind of Blue" was released in 1959 and became the best-selling jazz album of all kind. After leading a number of combos he started moving toward jazz fusion in 1960s, and then "space music" in the 1970s, influenced by the avant-garde compositions of Karlheinz Stockhausen. He briefly incorporated Indian instrumentation and then experimented with ambient music. Suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and health problems, as well as tumultuous relations with his colleagues and the public, he stopped performing for several years and became a recluse. His 1st post-hiatus studio appearance took place on May 1, 1980 (a day later he was hospitalized due to a leg infection) and returned to the stage in June 1981 in a 10-minute guest solo. In January 1982 he suffered a stroke but was able to resume touring in May. In 1985 he managed to endure a 5-hour performance in London and recorded a number of covers of pop songs; he also worked with British post-punk/new wave groups and began using programmed synthesizers, sampling, and drum loops. The hiphop-influenced "Doo-Bop" was posthumously released. His final live performance was at the hollywood Bowl on 25 August 1991; in early September he checked into a hospital in Santa Monica, California, where an argument with his doctors led to an intercerebral hemorrhage and a coma. He died at 65 on 28 September after life support was turned off. He was known as the Picasso of Jazz but also the Prince of Darkness.


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