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Miles Beyond: The Electric Explorations of Miles Davis, 1967-1991 Paperback – 1 Sep 2003
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Based on new research, as well as exclusive, first-hand recollections by over 50 musicians, partners, producers and artists, "Miles Beyond" offers hundreds of never-before-revealed facts, insights and revelations about Miles's remarkable artistic and personal life. Readers will discover a new perspective on Miles's working methods, as well as in in-depth, chronological understanding and analysis of the music produced from 1967 to 1991 - a period that's been both neglected and misunderstood.
From the Publisher
The first in-depth exploration and analysis of Miles Davis's controversial electric period, 1967-1991, and his unorthodox working methods. Based on new research as well as first-hand recollections by over 50 musicians, partners, producers, and artists, Miles Beyond offeres hundreds of never-before-revealed facts, insights, and revelations about Miles's remarkable artistic and personal life. Readers will discover new perspectives on Miles's approach to music, his spiritual awareness, his working methods, the impact he had on those around him, and his neglected and misunderstood electric music. Includes, from Miles discographer Enrico Merlin, the most detailed and complete discography compiled on Miles's music from 1967-1991. Features interviews with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Michael Henderson, Dave Liebman, James Mtume, Pete Cosey, Lenny White, Marguerite Eskridge, Marcus Miller, George Duke, Billy Cobham, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Robert Irving, Ricky Wellman, Adam Holzman, Jo Gelbard, and more.
"While reading, I felt so close to the man, that tears came to my eyes: 'My God, what a full life, in all its aspects.' I think Paul Tingen has written a fantastic book, and I'm very pleased by his sensitive and true version of Aura and the Copenhagen sessions." - PALLE MIKKELBORG, trumpeter and composer.
"An extraordinary book, brilliant in its conception and delivery, about one of the great musical geniuses of our times. Highly recommended." - KEN WILBER author of A Brief History of Everything; Sex, Ecology, Spirituality; and One Taste.
"Paul Tingen's engaging and well-researched book at last puts the spotlight on Miles Davis' scandalously neglected post-1970 music, and takes us inside that small group of musicians who changed jazz and pop music forever. Miles Beyond is a real contribution and a pleasure to read." - JOHN SZWED, professor of anthropology, African and African-American studies, music, and American studies at Yale University. Author of Jazz 101 : A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Jazz and Space Is the Place : The Lives and Times of Sun Ra.
"Paul Tingen has done an extraordinary job in filling in the blanks and shedding new light on Miles's working methods during the volatile '70s while providing a detailed, track-by-track analysis of controversial recordings like Agharta, Pangaea, Live-Evil and On The Corner. I was gratified to read an assessment of Miles's most provocative and misunderstood phase by someone who really 'GETS IT.'" - BILL MILKOWSKI, contributor to Jazz Times; author of Jaco: The Extraordinary And Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius and Swing It! An Annotated History of Jive.
About the author:
Dutch-born Paul Tingen is based in California and Scotland. He has worked as a writer and journalist for musicians magazines across the world since 1986, and as a guitarist since the early '80s, initially as an electric player, the last decade writing and playing his own music on acoustic guitar. His debut CD, May The Road Rise To Meet You, was issued in 1997, and his second album, Metamorphosis, in 2001. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Easy to understand & follow apart from a chapter when Tingen discusses the reasons Miles changed to electric, which was a bit of a slog to read (at one point in the chapter he compares Miles to atoms!).
Tingen has level headed options of the music Miles was creating during this period, not to gushing, in fact he considers all of Miles albums from the seventies uneven with as many low as highs.
There is so much information contained in “Miles Beyond” (the amount of research Tingen must have undertaken is staggering) that the book is absolutely essential is you enjoy Miles post sixties works.
The focus is on Davis's music-making and his large, changing cast of band-members. Deeply researched, with extensive quotations from those around Miles, Tingen also gives a profound sense of the man himself and how he stayed at the forefront of musical creativity for so long.
Davis, the extravagant hedonist, was utterly devoted to music to the exclusion of his own ego, allowing him to bring out the best in his large cast of musicians - and also permitting him to discover and to discard so many brilliant young players, very few of whom seem to have resented their ousting. His dictum was to 'play what you know and play above what you know', to listen deeply and to play less.
As Tingen puts it, at his best Davis 'transcended and included' what had gone before so as to create something new. During 1967-1991 Davis pioneered the new sounds of jazz-rock, ambient music, hip-hop and even trance music ... worlds away from the 'cool' jazz and hard jazz which he created in the 1950s and 1960s. His cryptic and Zen-like utterances seem to have profoundly inspired his players, whom he led with an awe-inspiring confident freedom. They learned to play direct from intuition and 'in the moment', largely without rehearsal, even for recording sessions. The importance of Davis's long-time and highly creative producer, Teo Macero, was a revelation to me.
Davis's genius was in his 'group' thinking rather than in composition, drawing on whatever was best out there and on the creative tensions which he fostered in his band, sometimes mischievously. His disks were essentially cuts from a continuous and steadily developing stream of music which emanated from him during his 40 year recording career (1951-1991).
But above all else, Davis was an astonishingly expressive trumpeter, working not with a wide range of notes but with a horn sound which he transformed almost into a human voice. The best part of every track is always where he is playing. As a small girl observed so wisely, his trumpet sounded like 'a little boy looking for his Mum'. Beneath the hard-man exterior was a vulnerable. shy man, sometimes prone to excess and integrated only in his single-minded dedication to music-making at the edge.
Tingen's analysis can be dense, with much cataloguing of who performed in each session and how each person contributed to Davis's magic potions. But his authoritative book is stimulating to read and full of wise insight into twentieth century music as well as the sorcerer who was Miles Davis.
I had previously read Ian Carr's excellent definitive biography of Miles which is a fantastic read and highly recommmended; but didn't cover the period of 1973-75 with Miles' electric funk collective in enough depth for me. This book totally covers that time fantastically and also provides many considered and intelligent insights into the character of the man and his life as well as the astounding and groundbreaking music of this phase of his career. Awesome.
To all of us, who for three centuries now have wondered why an appropriate treatment of the most powerful and dynamic period in the career of Miles Davis have been almost completely suppressed, relief has finally became brought. Because it is to us, who spent the late seventies wondering in despair if Miles was dead, and then – when the occultation finally was broken – realised that he was, to all of us Paul Tingen has dedicated this pioneering piece of work.
It is with a feeling of redress and revenge one reads The True Story as told by the former sidemen of Miles: Jack de Johnette, Herbie Hancock, John Mc Laughlin, Mtume, Joe Zawinul, Pete Cosey, Michael Henderson and Sonny Fortune. History drives close as everyone confesses his particular experience of the sheer magic that adhered to Miles. It is also with deep recognition and satisfaction one reads Tingen’s solid and personal analyses of Miles’ explorations into what contemporary jazz-authorities regarded as cheap rock-business. And it is with brave new ears you again and again will let the timeless flow of that red trumpet reappear from your speakers during reading. And you will find that that particular kind of energy that still keeps you thunderstruck when you’re exposed to Agartha or Pangaea, certainly IS a landmark if not a climax in 20th century western music. Just as you’ve always felt.
The book is a revelation. Get it!
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