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Eno on Miles Davis

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  • reidtama
    Anyone remember that article by Brian Eno on Miles Davis? I don t know if I read an excerpt or the complete article, (I read it at another message board.) but
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 14, 2002
      Anyone remember that article by Brian Eno on Miles Davis? I don't
      know if I read an excerpt or the complete article, (I read it at
      another message board.) but Eno seemed to be saying that the level of
      artistry in Miles Davis had more to do with his skillful manipulation
      of extra-musical factors (i.e. fashion, personal aura, etc.) than
      musical ones. I think he makes good points about how a musician's
      aura and image can influence listening, but I think he goes a bit too
      far, especially regarding Miles Davis.
    • Kraig Grady
      ... kinda like asking percy grainger about Cecil taylor! I remember Miles pissing off more people than any concession to Fashion. Unless you accept that all
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 15, 2002
        > Eno on Miles?

        kinda like asking percy grainger about Cecil taylor!
        I remember Miles pissing off more people than any concession to Fashion. Unless you accept that all press, even if bad is good press.
        His back to the audience.
        leaving the dick cavett show before dick could get him to talk
        I saw him one time when he came out and yelled " I 'm not playin for these white mother f**kers" (there is more to this story but can't say it here).
        Asked by the LA times if he had 15 minutes left what he would like to be doing
        "strangin the neck of a white person"
        it was despite all this, his playing is what did it. many of us grabbing his stuff a bit later when it hit the 99 cent bin. which the later 70s electric did!
        It seems more Eno who went the route that he describes , which has little in the way of holding power.




        >
        > From: "reidtama" <reidtama@...>
        > Subject: Eno on Miles Davis
        >
        > Anyone remember that article by Brian Eno on Miles Davis? I don't
        > know if I read an excerpt or the complete article, (I read it at
        > another message board.) but Eno seemed to be saying that the level of
        > artistry in Miles Davis had more to do with his skillful manipulation
        > of extra-musical factors (i.e. fashion, personal aura, etc.) than
        > musical ones. I think he makes good points about how a musician's
        > aura and image can influence listening, but I think he goes a bit too
        > far, especially regarding Miles Davis.
        >

        -- Kraig Grady
        North American Embassy of Anaphoria island
        http://www.anaphoria.com

        The Wandering Medicine Show
        Wed. 8-9 KXLU 88.9 fm
      • jodi of lexiconoclast
        ... It s not reprinted in full, but there s a passage or two of it in John Szwed s forthcoming book on Miles, called SO WHAT: THE LIFE OF MILES DAVIS. It s a
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 16, 2002
          > > Anyone remember that article by Brian Eno on Miles Davis? I don't
          > > know if I read an excerpt or the complete article, (I read it at
          > > another message board.) but Eno seemed to be saying that the level of
          > > artistry in Miles Davis had more to do with his skillful manipulation
          > > of extra-musical factors (i.e. fashion, personal aura, etc.) than
          > > musical ones. I think he makes good points about how a musician's
          > > aura and image can influence listening, but I think he goes a bit too
          > > far, especially regarding Miles Davis.

          It's not reprinted in full, but there's a passage or two of it in
          John Szwed's forthcoming book on Miles, called SO WHAT: THE LIFE OF
          MILES DAVIS.

          It's a fantastic book, BTW.

          - jodi

          -------
          Jodi Shapiro
          jodi@...
          http://www.lexiconoclast.com
        • James Henderson
          Here s the passage from The Wire Dec./Jan. 1993] When you listen to Miles Davis, how much of what you hear is music, and how much is context? Another way of
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 16, 2002
            Here's the passage from The Wire Dec./Jan. 1993]

            When you listen to Miles Davis, how much of what you hear is music, and how
            much is context? Another way of saying that is, 'What would you be hearing
            if you didn't know you were listening to Miles Davis?' I think of context as
            everything that isn't physically contained in the grooves of the record, and
            in his case that seems quite a lot. It includes your knowledge, first of
            all, that everyone else says he's great: that must modify the way you hear
            him. But it also includes a host of other strands: that he was a handsome
            and imposing man, a member of a romantic minority, that he played with
            Charlie Parker, that he spans generations, that he underwent various
            addictions, that he married Cicely Tyson, that he dressed well, that
            Jean-Luc Godard liked him, that he wore shades and was very cool, that he
            himself said little about his work, and so on. Surely all that affects how
            you hear him: I mean, could it possibly have felt the same if he'd been an
            overweight heating engineer from Oslo? When you listen to music, Aren't you
            also 'listening' to all the stuff around it, too? How important is that to
            the experience you' re having, and is it differently important with
            different musics, different artists?

            Miles was an intelligent man, by all accounts, and must have become
            increasingly aware of the power of his personal charisma, especially in the
            later years as he watched his reputation grow over his declining trumpeting
            skills. Perhaps he said to himself: 'These people are hearing a lot more
            context than music, so perhaps I accept that I am now primarily a context
            maker. My art is not just what comes out of the end of my trumpet or appears
            on a record, but a larger experience which is intimately connected to who I
            appear to be, to my life and charisma, to the Miles Davis story." In that
            scenario, the 'music', the sonic bit, could end up being quite a small part
            of the whole experience. Developing the context- the package, the delivery
            system, the buzz, the spin, the story - might itself become the art. Like
            perfume...

            Professional critics in particular find such suggestions objectionable. They
            have invested heavily in the idea that music itself offers intrinsic,
            objective, self contained criteria that allow you to make judgments of
            worthiness. In the pursuit of True Value and other things with capital
            letters, they reject as immoral the idea that an artist could be
            'manipulative' in this way. It seems to them cynical: they want to believe:
            to be certain that this was The Truth, a pure expression of spirit wrought
            in sound. They want it to 'out there', 'real', but now they're getting the
            message that what its worth is sort of connected with how much they're
            prepared to take part in the fabrication of a story about it. Awful! To
            discover that you're actually a co-conspirator in the creation of value,
            caught in the act of make-believe. 'How can it be worth anything if I did it
            myself?'

            I remember seeing a thing on TV years ago. An Indonesian shaman was treating
            sick people by apparently reaching into their bodies and pulling out bloody
            rags which he claimed were the cause of their disease. It all took place in
            dim light, in smoky huts, after intense incantations. A Western team filmed
            him with infrared cameras and, of course, were able to show that he was
            performing a conjuring trick. He wasn't taking anything out of their bodies
            after all. So he was a fake, no? Well, maybe-- but his patients kept getting
            better. He was healing by context-- making a psychological space where
            people somehow got themselves well. The rag was just a prop. Was Miles, with
            a trumpet as a prop, making a place where we, in our collective
            imaginations, could somehow have great musical experiences? I think so.
            Thanks, Miles, and thanks everyone else who took part, too.

            BRIAN ENO

            -----Original Message-----
            From: jodi of lexiconoclast [mailto:jodi@...]
            Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 1:51 PM
            To: thewire@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [thewire] Eno on Miles Davis


            > > Anyone remember that article by Brian Eno on Miles Davis? I don't
            > > know if I read an excerpt or the complete article, (I read it at
            > > another message board.) but Eno seemed to be saying that the level of
            > > artistry in Miles Davis had more to do with his skillful manipulation
            > > of extra-musical factors (i.e. fashion, personal aura, etc.) than
            > > musical ones. I think he makes good points about how a musician's
            > > aura and image can influence listening, but I think he goes a bit too
            > > far, especially regarding Miles Davis.

            It's not reprinted in full, but there's a passage or two of it in
            John Szwed's forthcoming book on Miles, called SO WHAT: THE LIFE OF
            MILES DAVIS.

            It's a fantastic book, BTW.

            - jodi

            -------
            Jodi Shapiro
            jodi@...
            http://www.lexiconoclast.com


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          • Simon Fay
            Message: 10 Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 14:28:15 -0400 From: James Henderson Subject: RE: Eno on Miles Davis Here s the passage from The
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 16, 2002
              Message: 10
              Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 14:28:15 -0400
              From: James Henderson <jhenderson@...>
              Subject: RE: Eno on Miles Davis

              Here's the passage from The Wire Dec./Jan. 1993]


              Thanks for reproducing the passage, James - I vaguely
              recollected details and its overall thrust.

              This view of MD came up for discussion on a Miles list
              a few years back and got pretty soundly thrashed by
              jazz-crit Howard Mandel. Miles Davis's twattishness
              notwithstanding, HM made powerful case that there was
              'something' in the Miles recordings other than Brian's
              cultural-management furniture-arranging contingencies,
              something that could reach into people in a way BE
              appears oblivious of. "I think he (Eno) is projecting
              his own values and practices".

              Brian of course has his glory days long behind him,
              his share price dipping alarmingly in the last 3
              months when, having sold off his genuinely-ace
              pre-computers career, a leaked memo from an external
              auditor damned him as "just a smug bald-headed bastard
              who flits from lecture theatre to multi-media studio,
              using the word 'culture' a lot, and who hasn't done
              anything worth shit in years"

              SF




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            • David Beardsley
              ... From: James Henderson To: Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 2:28 PM Subject: RE: [thewire] Eno on Miles
              Message 6 of 7 , Aug 16, 2002
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "James Henderson" <jhenderson@...>
                To: <thewire@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 2:28 PM
                Subject: RE: [thewire] Eno on Miles Davis


                > Here's the passage from The Wire Dec./Jan. 1993]
                >
                > Surely all that affects how
                > you hear him: I mean, could it possibly have felt the same if he'd been an
                > overweight heating engineer from Oslo?

                He'd probably be on ECM then...


                * David Beardsley
                * http://biink.com
                * http://mp3.com/davidbeardsley
              • stevolende
                ... Space is THe Place The Sun Ra book by him was pretty good too. If its as good as that was it should be a reccommendation Perfect Sound Forever has an
                Message 7 of 7 , Aug 31, 2002
                  --- In thewire@y..., jodi of lexiconoclast <jodi@l...> wrote:
                  >>
                  > It's not reprinted in full, but there's a passage or two of it in
                  > John Szwed's forthcoming book on Miles, called SO WHAT: THE LIFE OF
                  > MILES DAVIS.
                  >
                  > It's a fantastic book, BTW.
                  >
                  > - jodi
                  >
                  Space is THe Place The Sun Ra book by him was pretty good too.
                  If its as good as that was it should be a reccommendation
                  Perfect Sound Forever has an interview with Szwed up in its
                  interview archives from when that book came out.

                  www.furious.com/perfect
                  Theres a new issue out bTW

                  +then i get to see my Savage REpublic thing in the next one.
                  stevo
                  Np Howard Tate You're looking good
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