Wednesday, September 15, 2004

the mind out of the jar

Doing some repetitive mailing work in a quiet environment, my thoughts drifted freely, yet in a fairly focused manner. I wondered how long I had been at it. At that moment, Miles Davis's comment on how time passes differently when playing over In a Silent Way or Bitches Brew type grooves. Or, at least, how the perception of time is modified. It seemed to jibe with what I was experiencing toiling away at a far more prosaic task. I wonder if that's how Miles and Wayne Shorter and others felt when playing over open yet regular yet non-strictly (ie. human) repetitive beats: more time to think, ponder, place strategically, layer, develop... or simply float freely and enjoy the space, the quiet, the details. Of course, this vein was already being mined (compare the first, chord-packed, versionof "Milestones" with the two-chord second, Kind of Blue, Shorter's compositions on Miles Smiles and Waterbabies, the ballad form in general...), but there wasn't really a similar warping of the perception of time (the ocean vs. the mountain range, as outlined in the second Mons en Jazz post).