Wednesday, March 15, 2006

hof, hof and away

Miles Davis's entry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has been eliciting a wide range of reactions, from indifference to glee to denial to outrage. I'm so much in the yawn camp that I can't even really be bothered to form an opinion about it. But I can be bothered to draw up a list of links! Such are the mysteries of life.

Ben Ratliff is nonplussed: "This seems provocative for a second, and then a little meaningless." (the article can also be found here for posterity)

The Bad Plus give a level-headed breakdown, which is surprisingly negative on his 70s work: "He was never that interested in being a trumpet star, but instead just wanted the band to sound good... During the ‘70’s, he seemed to lose interest in having the best bands and instead concentrated on becoming a rock star personality."

Stanley Crouch finds solace in Miles's 1964 Valentine: "The notes had points on them; they were slurred and bent suggestively or painfully; a tone could disappear into a sigh or begin as a pitchless whisper and tellingly work its way up into a note. This delicacy could ascend through sudden moans to yelps or descend to dark growls devoid of vibrato that were nearly embarrassing in their exposure."
I'm forced to agree with Crouch that that solo is absolutely mind-blowing: Miles sculpts every single note with incredible precision, range and imagination. I part ways with Crouch's reduction of Miles to a romantic, however fierce.

Steven V Funk is combative: "But did he ever play 'rock and roll' music? Is his inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame an honor, or an insult?"

Jazz Corner debates every which way.

Riff Raff tries to find the real scandal.