The year 1968 saw rock musicians everywhere playing blues and jazz. The wasn't necessarily a good thing, as every skinny kid from Hoboken was suddenly in a blues band.
But it did result in a diverse explosion of playing styles and creative moments, as bands like (the pre-weenie) Fleetwood Mac's tasteful guitarist Peter Green, Canned Heat's creative bassist Larry Taylor, and Cream's interchange between bassist Jack Bruce and guitarist Eric Clapton, opened musical doors for the world.
I'll close out the show with extended performances by Frank Zappa [left] & his Mothers of Invention and Miles Davis, that helped extend our attention spans beyond the 2 1/2 minutes of most pop records.
Click this link to what you'll be hearing.
Be sure to listen in this Monday at 2 as Just Plain Jazz chats with Donald Lacy, Jr., writer/actor/voice for The Miles Davis Experience, the multi-media show featuring Blue Note recording artist Ambrose Akinmusire that explores the music and times of Miles Davis from 1949 to 1959.
The Miles Davis Experience, an immersive performance that follows Miles' musical development as well as the challenges in post WW II-America for a black artist, kicks off its national tour on September 29 at the Englert Theater in Iowa City with a show co-sponsored by KRUU FM.
Mr. Lacy is renowned as an actor ("Jack" directed by Francis Ford Coppola, many TV shows, award-winning stage performances), comedian (HBO's "Def Comedy Jam" and his own CD's) and writer with a number of plays under his belt. He's also a longtime radio broadcaster since 1979.
Will we get around to playing some of Miles' music from Birth of the Cool up to Kind of Blue? You should know better than to even ask...
This Memorial Day, JPJ concludes our 2-part exploration of the music (and influence) of Miles Dewey Davis III a day after what would have been his 82nd birthday. We'll stroll through a few of the wings of the mansion that is Miles' music, pausing to examine some of his work with Gil Evans, his groundbreaking work with electric instruments (see "fusion"), straight ahead tracks like "Somethin' Else" with Cannonball Adderly and, of course, a taste or two from his touchstone album "Kind of Blue".
Alongside his own music, we'll give a listen not only to music that would have been unthinkable (unplayable?) without Miles' own trail-blazing efforts, but samples of some of the sounds that influenced him (look for sneaky, non-jazz appearances by James Brown and Jimi Hendrix).
Whether your Memorial Day plans include trancing out to repetitive, free-form funk grooves, snapping your fingers to stylish post-bop improvisations or introspective musing to lush, orchestral arrangements - there'll be something for everyone on JPJ this week!
May 25th (or May 26th) will mark what would have been Miles Davis's 82nd birthday and rather than be a day late and/or a dollar short, JPJ will kick off the festivities a little early and encourage all y'all to listen to a little (or a lot) of Miles' music all week long until the "real" birthday comes around.
Tune in as we not only celebrate a small part of his ground-breaking work across the decades, but also feature work from the wealth of musicians who worked with him over the years- from Cannonball Adderly to Tony Williams, John Coltrane to Shirley Horn, Ron Carter to Bill Evans. And the musicians we'll be hearing alongside him! The best that jazz music has to offer...sigh. You know, I don't think 2 hours is going to be nearly enough time! Let's finish up our celebration of Miles' music next Monday, same time, same place, shall we?