From Mosaic: “The Complete Bee Hive Sessions, Hank Mobley in Europe: 1968-70, What Miles Davis Means to Sixteen Musicians”

Mosaic is a truly important resource

April 22, 2018

We Will Be Repressing This Set

Last week we notified you that we are currently out of stock and cannot afford to repress the set without a substantial number of advance orders for it. Thank you very much for your strong response and we expect to be repressing and shipping this set in June.

Last Chance to place an order will be this Wednesday. The set will then be removed from the site and no additional orders will be able to be filled.

The Complete Bee Hive Sessions (MD12-161), is a marvelous collection of superb hard bop albums recorded between 1977 and 1984 with artist like Curtis Fuller, Clifford Jordan, Sal Nistico, Dizzy Reece, Nick Brignola Junior Mance and Johnny Hartman among others.

Hank Mobley in Europe: 1968-70

Steven Cerra has seen fit to reprint Simon Spillett’s extensive and detailed essay on Hank Mobley in the late ’60s, especially his years in Europe [sorry, no link provided.].

It first appeared in the January 2004 issue of Jazz Journal International and it is essential reading for those (and they are plentiful) who love Hank’s music. His life was a sad and unfulfilled as his music was rich and celebratory. -Michael Cuscuna -Michael Cuscuna

What Miles Davis Means to Sixteen Musicians

Miles Davis January 1955 Express Newspapers Getty Image

Miles Davis means many things to many people. This June 2005 piece in The Fader polled 16 diverse artists from Reggie Lucas to Madlib to John Legend on what his allure and influence was for them. -Michael Cuscuna

16 Musicians On The Everlasting Influence Of Miles Davis

In this piece from our June 2005 Photo Issue, David Banner, John Legend, Damon Albarn, DJ Premier, and more share the impact Davis’s music had on them.

BRIAN CHASE (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs): I took private drum lessons when I was young and my teacher introduced me to the jazz tradition and Miles. I transcribed all of Milestones and he had be transcribing Tony Williams’s part on Miles Smiles. So my relationship with Miles is a very technical one, as a student of the jazz tradition.

I think of Miles as someone who was definitely not avant-garde, but he was cutting edge. For all his cutting edge-ness, Miles never challenged the traditional principles of jazz. But his bands redefined the repertoire of jazz music — instead of having the blues, like Gershwin-based song form, you have more complex harmonies and more complex melodies. More complex solo forms. A lot of that is Wayne Shorter’s doing.

As far as fashion is concerned, I sense that Miles had a fear of being ugly. Anything mundane or lowbrow would offend him.. Mr. Slick Urbanite. It relates to his music too, this fear of ugliness. Ornette or Cecil Taylor’s music is so far left of Miles that it can be unattractive to anyone in the middle. But he’s different from people on the right side too — people like Lee Morgan or Jimmy Smith, who rely on blues-isms in their solos. That style never suited Miles. He had that hipper, intellectual quality to his music rather than something so down home and fundamental.

MOS DEF: The first Miles song I thought of was “Little Church.” It’s not an original, which is one of the things that makes it special — it’s his interpretation of someone else’s material. Everything that Miles did bears his mark, but “Little Church” is simple but lyrical, it’s majestic but small. But majestic and small make for an exciting balance. It’s delicate and strange and eerie and enchanting. And the thing about “Little Church” is that, it’s not just a big solo — there’s a dominant theme that he repeats over and over.

I miss Miles a lot and I wish he was here. A lot of the time it feels like I’m just here… I miss the creative context Miles might have provided. If anything we just need some new contexts to work in because the ones that are already well-established have been run into the ground. Now you just either subscribe to the existing contexts or you get out and stand outside, you know?

See the full article on Miles here.

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