Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Report #63 - Miles - the Autobiography by Mies Davis and Quincy Troupe

Part of the reason I've not posted in months is that I made a plunge back into music.

When I was in my teens and 20's my stereo was my pride and joy and it really was the best equipment I ever owned.  I made up my mind that I wanted to rebuild that stereo.  I won't go into the details of that quest but I've cobbled together a vintage stereo from eBay, friends and family.

What I really liked about the book was the journey from jazz being the popular music of the day to the birth of rock, funk and soul.

You see, I was born in 1965, just when the world was coming apart at the seams, with race riots, assassinations, an out of control Cold War and the birth of FM Radio.

It was in the 60's that music really exploded into the genres we know to day.  It was 1975 when I started listening music for my own enjoyment - Rock was the default music style that I grew up with.

I started buying music in 1978.  I was never a 'record guy' but I loved listening to them and would do so for hours.  In my later years I've moved from Rock into Jazz back to Rock back to Jazz to the Blues to Rock, again to Jazz and recently Blues plus a bit of 70's Soul.

Miles Davis has always been a touchstone for me when I've been in a Jazz phase.  One of the things that perplexed me was at just how varied his music was; I didn't really understand him.

I loved his old stuff from the 40's and 50's but his later stuff confused me.

What first struck me was how the narrative sounded like conversations were transcribed, verbatim, from taped interviews.  I also had to get over his continuous use of the word motherfucker, but it really didn't take long go get over it and to understand his tone.

Although I was most interested in reading about Miles Davis, who was both a musical genius and drug addicted fuck-up, I was also learning about the birth of the styles of music I've come to take for granted.

While reading I was also buying music; as Davis was explaining certain recording session, I'd buy the album and listen to it.  It's not often you get a sound track with a book, what fun it is when you do!

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