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Monday, July 19, 2004

Heretical Thoughts (No. 2 in a series)

What's so great about Miles Davis?

This thug's tuneless noodling has obsessed jazzophiles for far too long.

Davis wasn't a bad sideman in the 50's. But when he began fronting his own groups he really lost it. Davis superglued a mute into his horn sometime around 1959 and spent the rest of his career emitting an relentless cacaphony of weedy, wheezy, strangled blats, burps and squeaks. Seriously, raise your hand if you've ever listened to Bitches Brew more than once. Four sides of repetitive, boring pretentious musical masturbation and not one memorable cut. And, speaking as a bass player, I hold Davis personally responsible for popularizing ostinado bass lines. We spent decades raising the bass to be a full member of the orchestra, playing strong, sinuous, striking bass lines. Now all we get to do is play the same 5 notes over and over while the wankers^H^H^H^H trumpet players have all the fun.

What's the point of cool jazz, anyway? It's boring and repetitive. All Blues is all blah.
It's one step removed from elevator music.

And another thing.

Worst. Intonation. Ever.

Davis couldn't hit a pitch if Roger Clemens lobbed it over the plate underhand.

Freddie Hubbard has a wonderful sense of pitch. Dizzy Gillespie does amazing things with bends and microtones. Davis just plain can't play in tune.


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