Thankful for Trumpeters IV

Detail of some of the art in the vinyl album
Some artwork from the Miles Davis album “Bitches Brew”

Sometimes it takes a long time to sound like yourself.
~Miles Davis
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Want to learn more about the best ways to practice? Get an e-mail with a discount code when The Practice of Practice by Jonathan Harnum is published (June, 2014). To learn more about the book, check out a sample from The Practice of Practice.

As an awkward middle-school kid in a small Alaskan town, trying to understand the trumpet and how to play jazz, I thought, Maybe I should find some jazz recordings. I’ve heard of this guy named Miles Davis. I’ll order one of his albums. That was smart, but in the days before the Internet, there was no way to tell what I was getting, so I just ordered the album that was most popular at the time. It turned out to be Bitches Brew, a progressive fusion album that was way out there to my unaccustomed ears. I remember thinking, man, if this is jazz, I’m not so sure I like it. Fortunately, I persisted and came to love jazz, Miles, and even the fusion. Here are a few incarnations of Miles, including some Bitches Brew stuff.

The man was notoriously tight-lipped, misogynistic and clearly willing to speak his mind, like the famous quip to first lady Nancy Reagan. Even if his personal conduct might not be worth emulating, you can’t deny the beauty of his music and the range of styles he influenced and created. Here are some of the incarnations of Miles. I’m thankful to him and everyone who helped for all of them.

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Modal Miles (recordings of So What, other Miles recordings)

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And now for something completely different from the 2nd Great Quintet (1964-68). Check out Wayne Shorter’s sax solo!

(music from this quintet: boxed set, studio recordings, complete Plugged Nickel performance, Plugged Nickel highlights, Cookin’ at the Plugged Nickel)

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And now for something completely differenter: here’s some of Bitches Brew (albumComplete Columbia Recordings)

Want to learn more about the best ways to practice? Get an e-mail with a discount code when The Practice of Practice by Jonathan Harnum is published (June, 2014). To learn more about the book, check out a sample from The Practice of Practice.

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