Miles Davis

(from a Brick’s Picks in the LA Weekly, 2010)

Miles Davis. Maybe you’ve heard of him. Colombia Records is just making sure.  They’ve repackaged everything He did for them, then repackaged the repackages, finally they stuck all the repackages into a trumpet case and are selling it for a jillion dollars. One of those way limited editions that millionaire jazz fans just have to have. Not even critics get that thing. They’d probably just sell it to Amoeba anyway. Critics do get invited to the fancy release parties though. Free food, free booze, free respect. Colombia and the Miles Davis Estate do these things up good. The Bitches Brew one was atop a fancy Beverly Hills hotel. Rooftop, baby. Look at all those rich people way down there. They had live Miles projected on the side of a building and he was like a dozen feet tall. A giant, huge Miles. A young hippie-ish Chick Corea was mad on the keys, and Wayne Shorter was so rad. If you stood just right the light reflected on the glass wall surrounding the roof and a gigantic mega-Wayne Shorter loomed over the Hollywood Hills, blowing crazy saxophone. A sky god. Unstoned, it looked cool. It might have been terrifying stoned. The thing is, though, that Wayne does not loom vast over the city. Not even Miles does.  That’s why they were throwing this big bash. So we’d tell you about this new Bitches Brew reissue that we’ve had in the changer here now for weeks. It’s a good one, people. Real real good. But we wish this stuff did loom over American culture like that giant Wayne Shorter. And that music meant as much to people nowadays as it did a generation ago. Oh well. Those were different times. The poets, they studied rules of verse, and the ladies, they rolled their eyes.

[Yes, the last couple lines there were copped from Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane”….]

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