"" bshawise: Miles and Miles

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Miles and Miles

Perhaps the coolest person to ever live is Miles Davis. Steve McQueen is a close second. But Miles is the king. I met him almost 10 years ago via his paramount album Kind of Blue. I forget why (maybe an old Cosby rerun) but I decided it was time to get into jazz. I purchased the compact disc and it melted my brain. It spoke to my bone marrow and for at least a month I went to sleep and woke up listening to it. I didn't know it at the time but it's considered one of, if not the greatest jazz albums. Quincy Jones said in 1999, "I don't know why, but that will always be my music, man. I play Kind of Blue EVERY day - it's my orange juice. It still sounds like it was made yesterday." Perfectly said, Quincy.

I played trumpet in 5th grade. I was awful. I was last chair- behind the smelly girl even. During recitals I'd watch her fingers to see what to play. I never once blew a note. Every individual practice I had with Mr. Keesey would start with him saying, "You didn't practice did you, Brad?" The trumpet was just not cool. I bet if there were baseball cards of jazz legends more kids would be into jazz. I had no idea until it was too late that the trumpet was way cool. Music education needs to do a better job of teaching our children about jazz. The Muppets were on to something and somewhere along the lines we abandoned jazz for singing dinosaurs.

Which is the purpose behind this post. I know it'll go highly ignored by most of you, but allow me to be a jazz evangelist for just a little bit. I promise your life will change for the better if you accept Miles Davis into your heart. So I've assembled the entire Kind of Blue album here (except for the alternate take of Flamenco Sketches). This week, I humbly ask that you let this unbelievable collection play as you go about tasks that could handle some background music i.e. dinner, TPS reports, paper/magazine/novel/short fiction reading, internet surfing, deep conversation with your significant other and/or your god. I'm not asking much here. But I am asking that you give Miles a chance. And if something connects with you on some level try giving the video below a look. The bass line is intoxicating. Watch at the end when Miles walks off and asks for a cigarette while the bassist keeps plucking. Classic cool.


M. said...

On behalf of music educators everywhere, please accept my apology. You should have been exposed to Miles LONG before you discovered him yourself. I am happy to say that students did not leave my classroom without having been introduced to the greats in every genre. Because you're right--once kids find out how cool they all are/were, it changes everything.

shay said...

you're probably in the third group.

bshawise said...

s.hay, what if you spent the rest of june using your Master knowledge of muppets to create a curriculum that taught the world sing? and by "sing" i mean love the jazz. i'll help you write scripts (i'm thinking stoned cats) and design the baseball cards.

Joe said...

Peter O'toole: Also cool.

John Arns said...

Thanks for posting Miles. My former boss at Roadway is a HUGE Miles Davis fan (and of all jazz). I first learned of Miles through him. Good listening to it again.