Miles & Miles

To mark what would have been his 90th birthday, the first track from the first Miles Davis album I fell in love with. My copy of “Porgy & Bess” was a scratched and battered LP discovered at a jumble sale when I was about nineteen.  The moment I heard “The Buzzard Song” I was hooked. It wasn’t the first Miles record I’d heard. That was “Big Fun”, which I borrowed from my local library a couple of years earlier and sat through glumly. It has much the same effect on me now, as do most of the fusion experiments from the 1970s. Then, a couple of years later, at university, a friend of a friend tried to turn me on to the 60s quintet with Herbie Hancock, without much success. I still prefer the line-up with Wynton Kelly or Red Garland. The next album I heard, I think, was the wonderful “In A Silent Way” – which I’ve always thought a lot more interesting than the noisier, trendier “Bitches Brew” – followed by the Jack Johnson soundtrack, which I bought mainly on the strength of its cover. I listening to it for thirty minutes or so and wondering when something was going to happen. “Kind of Blue” somehow didn’t get onto my record player until a while later, which seems odd in retrospect. How did I miss it before?

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