Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What's the difference between Miles Davis and Miles Davis?

About 10 years it seems....

I've never been a big Jazz fan. The only jazz album I've ever owned until recently is Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, which by any standard is probably one of the best ever recorded. Sketches from Spain is another I bought around the same time, but that has always sounded more like an orchestral piece to me so I don't really count that. But I fell in love with Kind of Blue the first time I heard it. The music and the playing on it are just amazing.

Well it's been on the iPod a lot in the studio lately, and it led me to search out some more from Miles. So after downloading a couple of 'Best of' albums ('The Real Miles Davis' is a great one) I finally went and bought Bitches Brew. None of the tracks on this album tend to feature on any of the 'Best Of' albums, and yet it is routinely cited as one of the top three Miles Davis albums (Kind of Blue is always in the list too). And if you listen to it you can see why.

There is only 10 years between them (Kind of Blue was released in 1959 and Bitches Brew in 1969) but the difference in style and sound is unreal and could be measured in light years! There is something primal about the tracks on Bitches Brew,  it's like music in free fall, made up on the spot, and sounds nothing like the beautiful, melodic music of Kind of Blue. But it's a brilliant album too, it just gets in on you and is great music to work to. And it's by Miles Davis - the same guy that made Kind of Blue!

It's been on non-stop in the studio for the last month. I'm not sure if it's having any influence on the new paintings I've been working on, but you'll have a chance to see the results at my upcoming exhibition, Family Album, which opens in Dublin at Dun Laoghaire Art Gallery on April 3rd. There's still plenty of work to be done before then but here is  sneak preview of one of the new ones...
'Family'  Oil on Canvas, 50x50cms