about Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis's ensemble


<1章(1)>The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles

The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles 

by Bob Gluck(2016) 


Chapter 1 Miles Goes Electric 

第1章 マイルス、エレクトリックに 


For musicians within the world designated “jazz” who sought to expand their horizons, 1969 was ripe with possibilities. An arresting sense of urgency marked both Ornette Coleman's Crisis, symbolized by its album cover image of the Bill of Rights in flames, and Tony Williams Lifetime's searing Emergency, showcasing his new high-volume, high-energy drums, electric guitar, and organ trio. This was but one year after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The night after King's death, at a televised concert in Boston, James Brown soothed an audience that was hurting and angry, and cities burned. Meanwhile, a black cultural renaissance was burgeoning. People were proudly assuming Swahili names and wearing dashikis. Politically, the Black Panther Party was at its height. 



Nineteen sixty-nine was also the year of the first moon landing, a growing antiwar movement, and Woodstock Nation. Musicians mirrored and generated the high level of imaginative possibilities percolating throughout American culture. While this was the era of the concept album, the best examples display a startling depth and breadth of emotional expressivity and sonic variety across a single recording. Among these are the Art Ensemble of Chicago's People in Sorrow, Herbie Hancock's The Prisoner, and Frank Zappa's Uncle Meat, a mash-up of rock and roll, 1950s doo-wop, exploratory improvisation, Stravinskian angularity, and musique concrete. 

1969年と言えば、他にも、初の月面着陸、反戦運動の激化、そして第1回目のウッドストックウッドストック・ネーション)の年であった。ミュージシャン達は、想像力を掻き立て、高いレベルの力を発揮して、それを映し出して作品として生み出してゆく。彼らの作品は、アメリカの文化全体に浸透していった。その最も良い例を示しているがシングルレコードである。「コンセプト・アルバム」の時代と呼ばれていた1969年だが、一方で、シングルレコードに対しては、心の内を表現する深みと懐の大きさに人々は驚き、音作りのバラエティも豊富であった。代表的なところを見てゆこう。シカゴの「People in Sorrow」、ハービー・ハンコックの「The Prisoner」、フランク・ザッパの「Uncle Meat」、ロックンロールにおいては2つの曲を1つにあわせる「マッシュアップ」や、1950年代のドゥワップ、探り合う手法によるインプロヴィゼーションストラヴィンスキー信奉者による厳格主義、そして生活雑音なども演奏とともに取り入れるムジークコンクリート、といったところ。 


Festival programming offered dramatic genre-crossing juxtapositions: In Monterey, the Modern Jazz Quartet and Miles Davis performed alongside Sly and the Family Stone; at Newport, Bill Evans and Freddie Hubbard were paired with James Brown and Led Zeppelin. Even more extreme was the assemblage at Festival Actuel in Amougies, Belgium: an eclectic montage of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sunny Murray, Don Cherry, and Archie Shepp; Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, keyboard whiz Keith Emerson and the Nice; and Musica Elettronica Viva. 



The permeability of musical boundaries was being tested and stretched. It is not by chance that 1969 was the year when Miles Davis recorded two albums that meditated on the wealth of musical influences that defined the 1960s. Each took the vantage point of a jazz recording to look outward and inward. On one hand, the albums balanced rock and funk's rhythmic dynamism with a relatively static aesthetic sensibility. On the other, they sought grounding in Davis's lyrical sensibilities while casting off familiar conventions of musical structure. 



Along with Cecil Taylor, Charles Mingus, and Sun Ra (each of whom had released pivotal albums in 1956), Ornette Coleman had opened a new musical passageway with the 1959 release of The Shape of Jazz to Come and premiere performances of the material at the Five Spot in New York City. A growing number of younger musicians were exploring the possibilities his music suggested. Coleman provided a way out what some, including John Coltrane and Miles Davis, had felt to be the growing tyranny of cyclical chord progressions. In an interview with Martin Williams, Coleman famously remarked: “If I'm going to follow a preset chord sequence, I may as well write out my solo.” What he meant was that the repeated cycle of harmonic movement shaped expectations of note choices based on what is suggested by functional harmony. Within bebop, harmony had expanded to accommodate broader note choices. But Coltrane demonstrated the limitations of this approach. His recording of “Giant Steps” (1959) traversed rapid-fire, cascading chord changes as if to say: “You want chords? I'll give you chords!” An overabundance of chords pointed to the need for new structural principles and the desire to balance freedom of the individual with membership in a collective. 

この10年前の1959年、新たな音楽の道が、既に切り開かれていた。オーネット・コールマンが、セシル・テイラーチャールズ・ミンガス、サン・ラ(3人共1956年に代表作となるアルバムを出している)と共に、「The Shape of Jazz to Come」をリリースし、その初演を、ニューヨークのファイブスポットで行ったのである。彼の音楽が世に示した可能性を、更に追求しようと、多くの若手ミュージシャン達が取り組みを始めた。「循環コード進行は絶対だ」という風潮が高まっている、そう感じていた一部のミュージシャン達(ジョン・コルトレーンマイルス・デイビスもその一人)にとっては、コールマンの示したものは、そこからの脱出路となった。コールマンは、マーチン・ウィリアムスとのインタビューの中で、次のように述べたことは、良く知られている「予め決められたコード進行に沿って演奏しなければいけない、そういうことなら、本番演奏するソロは、前もって楽譜を用意するほうがマシだ。」機能和声を使うことが基本だというなら、彼曰く、循環コードで曲作りをしたら、使う音符なんて限られてしまう。音符を制限せずもっと使えるように、として、コードを広げてみせたのが、ビ・バップである。だが、このやり方には限界がある、ということを示したのが、コルトレーンだ。彼の「Giant Steps」(1959年作)では、コード変化が矢継ぎ早に発生する。それはまるでこう言っているようだ「コードが聞きたい?ほれ、ほれ、ほれ!」そうやってコードを沢山盛り込むことで、曲作りの新しいやり方が必要となっていた状況を解決し、各奏者の自由と集団としてのまとまりとのバランスを取りたいという声に応えたのである。 


Saxophonist Sam Rivers described the new music of the period as “freeform,” a “revitalizing force” in jazz. In place of the detailed intricacies of bebop, the goal was to play with “no preconceived plan,” to “make every performance different, to let your emotions and musical ideas direct the course of the music, to let the sound of the music set up its own impetus, to remember what has been stated so that repetition is intentional, to be responsive to myriads of color, polyrhythms, rise and fall, ebb and flow, thematic variations, etc., etc.” 



Although Davis publicly expressed scorn and, frankly, jealousy toward what he believed to be unwarranted attention given to Coleman, he was clearly listening. 



Davis writes: “I used to go and check them out when I was in town, even sat in with them a couple of times.” His reading of what happened could be viewed as reportage or as braggadocio: “I could play with anybody, in any style ... But Ornette could play only one way back then. I knew that after listening to them a few times, so I just sat in and played what they played.” He caustically adds: “He just came and fucked up everybody. Before long you couldn't buy a seat in the Five Spot ... They were playing music in a way everyone was calling 'free jazz' or 'avant-garde' or 'the new thing' or whatever.” 

デイヴィスはこう記している「街へ繰り出せば、彼らの演奏を見に行ってチェックしたものだった。時には演奏を共にすることも数回あった。」彼が見聞きし感じたことを書いたものを読むと、極めて客観的とも取れるし、一方で、相当自信満々な書き方もしている。「オレは誰とでも、どんな音楽ともやっていける。だが当時のオーネットは、やれるのは一つだけ。数回聴いて、それが分かった。だから、席につけば、あとは彼らのやっている通り演奏するだけだった。」彼は更に、辛辣に続ける「オーネットは来ても全員を引っ掻き回すだけだった。程なく、ファイブスポットのチケットは買えなくなった… 彼らが演奏していた音楽は、いわゆる「フリー・ジャズ」だの「アヴァンギャルド」だの「新しい音楽」だの、そういったものだった。」 


Critic Larry Kart reports Coleman's memories of the encounter, confirming Davis's presence at the Five Spot but adding an ulterior motive: 




Years later Ornette said, “I'm not mentioning names, but I remember one trumpet player who came up to me and said, 'I don't know what you're doing, but I want to let the people see me playing with you. Why don't you play some blues and let me come up and play.' So I said, 'OK,' and we did some song that he had played with Charlie Parker. Then when they asked him what he thought of my music, he said, 'Oh, the guy's all messed up ― you can tell that just by listening to him.' And it wasn't true.” 




Davis commented that he liked Coleman and trumpeter Don Cherry as people but saw them as neither talented nor original and revolutionary. He reserved particular scorn for Cherry: “I didn't like what they were playing, especially Don Cherry on that little horn he had. It just looked to me like he was playing a lot of notes and looking real serious.” Davis challenged not only Coleman's choice of this fellow trumpeter but Coleman's own performance on trumpet and violin, for which he lacked formal training: “[He was disrespecting] all those people who play them well.” But this wasn't the first time Davis had disparaged a musician. Robin D.G. Kelly reports a screaming match Davis had with Thelonious Monk at Monk's house in the early 1950s; while playing one of the pianist's compositions, Davis reportedly told him that he wasn't playing the music correctly. Monk's father asked Davis to leave. 



Davis's rivalry with Coleman seems at least in part generational, as both men were close in age. Coleman's dramatic appearance on a scene where Davis had staked a claim as a central innovator could not have been easy for him. Even with fifteen years of history in New York, he was already contending with the rising star of another contemporary, former sideman John Coltrane. In his autobiography, Davis expresses appreciation for Coltrane's late work, both musically and in terms of its sociopolitical meaning for young black people. But it was Coleman who commanded the attention that had previously been directed Davis's way; rattled by this, he sought to reassert his dominance. Davis's tensions with Coleman can also be viewed with respect to the comparative ease and esteem with which a younger generation of musicians related to Coleman. Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, and drummer Jerome Cooper, all of whom we will meet in this book, were among the many who saw Ornette Coleman as a mentor and generous supporter. 



Despite his complicated feelings toward Coleman, Davis learned from him. Although years later he continued to diminish the import of Coleman's method and execution, he acknowledged the significance of his methodology: “[The group was] just being spontaneous in their playing, playing 'free form,' bouncing off what each other was doing ... it had been done before, only they were doing it with no kind of form or structure ... that's the thing that was important about what they did, not their playing.” And Davis added a respectful postscript: “Now, what Ornette did a few years later was hip, and I told him so.” 

デイヴィスはコールマンに対しては複雑な思いを抱いていたが、同時に彼から多くを学んだ随分あとになってからはコールマンのやり方や演奏については吸収することを減らしていったものの、彼の手法の重要性は、良く分かっていた。「この集団は、自発的な演奏をする。「フリーフォーム」に基づいて演奏し、互いのやっていることに、しっかりと耳を傾ける… 前から行われていたことだが、彼らは既存の形式や仕組みを用いない。それこそが、彼らの取り組み(演奏、ではなく)にとって重要なことだった。」そしてデイヴィスは敬意に満ちたあとがきを添える「そして、オーネットが数年後に取り組んだことは、本当にスゴい。それは彼にも言ってある。」 


The influence of Coleman's approach, his use of intuition to govern improvisation and his application of a democratic principle to guide collectivity, can be heard in Davis's quintet of the 1960s as the band turned toward open forms. By 1965, it was deeply engaged in what Chick Corea calls “that thing of vaporizing themes and just going places.” “Going places” was the result of a collective musical mind at work. Davis's new electric quintet of 1969 was primed to take these principles further. 



The musically democratic principle had gained influence across North America and Europe. In 1964 in New York, a cluster of creative musicians participated in a four-day festival named the October Revolution in Jazz; some of these players later formed the Jazz Composers Guild. The next year in Chicago, black musicians gathered under the banner of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), with sister groups springing up in other parts of the United States. London had its own “free jazz” scene; among its participants were guitarist John McLaughlin and bassist Dave Holland, future musical associates of Miles Davis. 



From where else did Davis draw inspiration during this time? Drummer Tony Williams was an important source of new ideas within Davis's 1960s quintet. His own first two recordings, Lifetime and Spring! anticipate the developing musical abstraction soon to be found within that band. By the late 1950s, when Williams was thirteen years old, he had played with saxophonist Sam Rivers's band and participated with those musicians in the Boston Improvisational Ensemble. 

デイヴィスがこの時期、インスピレーションの源としたところは、他にどこがあるか?彼の重要な知恵袋となったのは、1960年代のデイヴィスのクインテットにあっては、ドラム奏者のトニー・ウィリアムスである。彼自身が関わる2つのアルバム「Life Time」と「Spring!」を聞けば、成長途上にある彼の音楽的観念が感じ取れる。そしてそれは、程なくバンド全体に見いだされるようになるのだ。これに先立つ話だが、1950年代には、ウィリアムスは若干13歳にして、サックス奏者のサム・リヴァースのバンドで演奏し、更にはボストン・インプロヴィゼーショナル・アンサンブルにも参加していた。 


Rivers described the group in this way: “We'd go to museums and we'd play the lines on the paintings, he [an art historian and musician who led the group] would explain the painting, and then we'd play the music like this ... The usual Dada kind of stuff. We'd throw ink splats on the paper, and do the rise-and-fall of this.” He refers here to the way some musicians interpreted graphic scores, translating visual information into sound. 



Three years later, in 1963, following dates with icons of the avant-garde, pianist Cecil Taylor and saxophonist Eric Dolphy, Williams joined saxophonist Jackie McLean's band. He gained Miles Davis's ear, netting an invitation to join his quintet; in 1965, he subbed for Elvin Jones with the John Coltrane Quartet. 



Coltrane's work during this period was of great interest to Davis, Trane's former employer, and to his band. Coltrane's quartet took an expansive approach to the concept of soloist-with-accompaniment, offering the kind of distinct flexibility and adaptability that saxophonist Wayne Shorter could build on with Davis. 



Regarding Davis's influence, trumpeter Wallace Roney, a protege of his, observes: 




This band had participated and assimilated the innovations of The John Coltrane Quartet, Ornette Coleman Quartet, and Miles Second Great Quintet and utilized them freely with the new Pop avant-garde. They were on the front line of these innovations along with individual members of the Second Quintet, and Miles himself! The difference between the Second Quintet and the Lost Quintet was the second Quintet innovations were conceived adjacent to the John Coltrane Quartet and although inspired by the happenings of that Quartet, and by Ornette and Mingus, they were developing their ideas, whereas the lost Quintet was free to use both concepts at any given time. In other words the lost Quintet might play things pioneered by the Second Quintet behind Miles, play something pioneered by the John Coltrane Quartet behind Wayne  

or vice versa or a hybrid behind either one, or play totally abstract. 




As the Miles Davis Quintet evolved during its most exploratory period, 1965-68, Davis sought something akin to what in politics is sometimes called a “third way.” He kept one foot planted in inherited forms and the other in the new order. While seeking musical cohesion in the qualities of sound, he was not yet prepared to depart from song forms. His own playing remained committed to melody and a rootedness in the blues. But his band was also beginning to embrace spontaneous collective invention. By the late 1960s, the idea of weaving sonic fabric from melodic or rhythmic germs ― concepts developed by Coleman, Coltrane, and Taylor ― had worked its way into Davis's creative imagination.