Cary Kilner's Picks: Volume 29
Miles Davis--Somewhere My Prince Will Come.
This is the unreleased outtake of the recording. I inadvertently gave you the same link as the original recording in my last (#28) column. I wanted those of you who may revere this historic performance to be able to compare versions. Note the sax player is not Coltrane as I reported but rather Hank Mobley.
Miles—Seven Steps to Heaven
This is the original version with George Coleman on sax and Ron Carter and Tony Williams having newly joined Miles. He was auditioning pianists and this is Herbie Hancock on piano. But Victor Feldman also plays some great piano on some other cuts on this classic album.
This is an outtake from that album; it’s a little slower. Note how Ron stops playing for a moment at the beginning of the tenor solo.
Dave Brubeck Quartet–Someday My Prince Will Come
I’m told that Miles got this tune from Dave Brubeck, who discovered it on one of his daughter's little yellow plastic records that kids used to have. Note they go to playing 4/4 over ¾ (or 6/8, depending upon where you put the bar lines) during Dave’s solo. This is something they do a lot on other tunes on other albums. Explanation: the ¾ becomes 12/8, and the 4/4 comes from emphasizing every third beat of the 12/8 rhythm pattern.
Herbie, Ron, Tony, Freddie, Joe—Cantaloupe Island
This is a newer live version of this well-known Herbie tune however, I cannot find the date. For me as a player, this tune is played out. But Herbie moves it into a new direction as he always does. Joe Henderson on tenor is a nice addition to the original Blue Note quartet. But Freddie--damn! This shows why he is THE man! Of course, he goes a bit over the top as he builds up the energy, but always stays completely musical! Me thinks there are huge lessons for trumpet players here.
Big band traditionally carries five saxophones (2 alto, 2 tenor and a baritone). And four trumpets; the “jazz” player does the solos and the “lead” player has the high notes, sometimes called “screech trumpet." Also including four trombones (3 tenor and one bass trombone), with a piano trio in the rhythm section (sometimes adding vibraphone, guitar and/or additional percussion). A great big band, like the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis BB I gave you back in Column #6, along with three other BBs, can sound like a small group when the arrangement is well-written and the playing is tight, and given competence of the players and sufficient rehearsal and/or performance time. (I gave you other exemplary BBs in Columns #15, 16, &18 & 20.)
Here is another.
Michael Dease Big Band—Little Lucas
This link begins gently, and then KILLS. Great alto player! Long solo, then a great Dease solo on trombone. Soon thereafter the ensemble fun begins. Who the hell orchestrated this? Great lead trumpet player! What a tight band. Great swing and drive! Ya gotta play this LOUD through big speakers to really appreciate it.
Nancy Wilson—Like Someone in Love & Getting to Know You
Here are a couple of classic performances, from one of my favorite mainstream jazz female vocalists, with Billy May having arranged the big band for the recording. And note both cuts are only about 2:25 long! Dig how the BB almost sounds like a single instrument it’s so tight! And what a beautiful arrangement for Nancy. Note the French horns right at the beginning. If you like her, check out the wonderful Cannonball Adderley quintet album featuring Nancy.
We need one more cut from this excellent fusion band. This is an absolutely gorgeous tune – very pensive in nature.
I haven’t given you much solo piano so how about some Art Tatum to end off? This is a gorgeous tune, not well known, and he really kills it! Nice clean recording and not overly indulgent playing – he lets the song sell itself through his intricate exposition. And for the pianists in the readership, you’ll see a transcription of the tune as it plays.
Here are three additional treats you may want to check out on YouTube Music for historical context and interesting musical theory.
Ramsey Lewis hosts Legends of Jazz, and he features some interesting folks on the show. This episode is just an example and you may not want to stick it out. They talk for a while, then some nondescript stuff, finally getting into some interesting playing at about 18:50. It has George Duke, Marcus Miller, Lee Ritenhour, and Vinnie Colaiuta (although Vinnie is not on the interview panel). In this episode, the panelists are discussing the evolution of smooth jazz from mainstream jazz with Ramsey.
The Picasso of Sound—The Man who Changed Modern Music.
Rick Beato has an interesting series that honors particular artists on some shows. On other shows, he explains something about harmony, demonstrating by usually using guitar, bass guitar, or piano, all of which he plays very well. Or he provides instruction on how particular effects are created on various instruments, either demonstrating live or with recorded examples. I particularly enjoy the good energy he brings to each presentation. Here is an example about Miles that segues nicely from my first three links above. It is entitled:
I had forgotten about this particular period, having been sort of stuck in the more advanced '70s band with Herbie, Ron, Tony and Wayne. Hang in there for Rick's discussion of rhythm changes at the beginning. Then starting around 4:50 he really digs into the Miles recording. I had forgotten how BAAAAD this version of Oleo is with Miles, Coltrane, Red Garland, Philly-Joe Jones, and Paul Chambers! Each player makes a completely unique contribution. I never really liked Red Garland as a trio player—not much left-hand harmony, but, boy, he sure kills it here with his right-hand line-construction! Beato does a great job of dissecting the performance for the viewer —he does exactly what I do when I'm hipping someone to a particular piece of music. Although, at ~15:30 I would have mentioned that Paul was using "contrary motion" on bass as a musical device—I would have given the concept Beato was explaining its explicit name. I've still got Relaxin,' Workin,' Steamin,' and Cookin,' the four albums from this session, in my closet but alas – no turntable on which to play them.