The Jazz Universe Inside My Head

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dark Star?

I was just listening, or actually still am, to a classic "Dark Star" from Copenhagen, Denmark that was recorded on 4/14/72, which made me think of how deep the Dead were, are and will forever be...and on and on.

Have you ever spent the time to understand "Dark Star"? It's something special...jazzy and spaced out...I'll be back in a little bit to give a break-down of a few faves.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Thinking About the Beginning…For Me

Miles Davis
In a Silent Way
Year: 1969
Label: Columbia

You know, I was just thinking back to the day that I first “heard” jazz…it’s cemented forever as a golden moment. I was probably in the 4th grade, maybe 5th, when my father gave me a record player, receiver and some old speakers.

(I remember distinctly tapping into a Cleveland station, somehow gettin’ to listen to the Cavs for a few nights on the radio with Price and all them…Nance, Hot Rod, Daugherty, Ehlo…my second fave to the Celts. Someone turned that knob enough to never touchdown again!) What a blast!

I went through my parent’s records and took what I thought would be cool…some Doors…CSNY…Black Sabbath’s Paranoid…shit, a bunch of classic, heard-a-thousand times material (that’s not a bad thing Ma and Pa). Along with all that, I grabbed Miles’ In a Silent Way, only because his name was in household terminology, even in West Brookfield, MA. It was my Ma’s by the way.

I put it on one night, late…like I should have been sleepin’ already...a long time ago. It was the perfect soundtrack for a hyperactive boy’s bedtime. It reminded me of a bright blue sky with puffy clouds moving unhurried. It was beautiful, long, not anything what I expected Davis to sound like…and I don’t mean that in a bad sense. It’s just that when you’re a kid, you get this stereotype of what jazz “is.” It blew my mind!

Another aspect of the discovery was the album cover itself. I mean, what the hell is a kid supposed to think when he sees Miles’ paranoid eyes beaming up to his own name and album title. Not to mention he was sporting the same turtleneck that I was going to wear to school the next day. I sat and stared at it…never forget that.

To this day it’s my favorite album of all-time (or at least most significant – a contender for most adored) and I appreciate the fact that it was found at such a young age. So, thanks Ma and of course much love to Miles and the rest of the crew that opened the doors to the jazz world in such a celebrated fashion.

Here's What Has Been In Heavy Rotation:

Gabor Szabo Spellbinder
Lonnie Smith Think
Alice Coltrane Lord of Lords
Larry Young Lawrence of Newark
Keith Jarrett The Survivor's Suite