about Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis's ensemble


第2章(最後)The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensemble

Solo without the Vamp - and When the Vamp Changes Shape 



In Berlin on November 7, 1969, the band supports Shorter's solo without any sign of the tune's characteristic vamp. The result is harmonically ambiguous, leaving Shorter the space he needs to build a motivic solo. His solo begins with a four-note phrase drawn from the final moment of Davis's preceding solo (moving steadily upward, Eb - G - Eb, and then down to C). Corea's solo receives a spare treatment from the rhythm section, accompanied by Holland alone. The lack of harmonic expectations allows Corea to build a rapid series of lengthy phrases, sometimes highly pointillistic, drawing heavily from major and minor seconds. When he harmonizes his playing, continuing after the end of his solo, Davis comes in, playing a quiet, lyrical line above these chords, setting a mood that is melancholy and beautiful. 



But When Does the Tune Begin? 



When “Bitches Brew” opened a set, the point at which the tune begins was relatively obvious. “Relatively,” because the sequence of sound events evolved, and showed some flexibility from performance to performance. But since the set list progressed from tune to tune without a break, the question arises nonetheless: How did the band know when and how to make the shift? Enrico Merlin refers to Davis's technique as “coded phrases.” He explored how Miles cued the next tune by inserting a representative musical gesture as the band was playing the current tune. The type of phrase reflected the characteristics of the upcoming tune: if it had a core melodic figure, he would play the “first notes of the tune.” If the core was a bass vamp, “the signal would be a phrase from that vamp; or if there was a core harmonic component, the signal would be 'voicings of the harmonic progressions.'” “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" could be cued either by the bass vamp or by the first notes of the descending trumpet melody. “It’s About That Time” could be cued by alluding to the descending harmonic (chord) progression. In the recorded version of “Spanish Key,” the code was a key change. This approach continued through the mid-1970s. 

「Bitches Brew」のツアーステージで演奏されるそれぞれの曲は、その始まりは比較的ハッキリしている。「比較的」と書いたのは、各曲とも、その音の並び方は本番によって一定ではなく、柔軟性を持たせてあり、ステージを重ねる度にどんどん発展してゆくからだ。だが、全ての曲が切れ目なく演奏されることから、当然疑問が湧いてくる。メンバー達は、次の曲へ行くタイミングとそのキッカケを、どうやって知るのか?その答えを、エンリコ・メルリンはマイルス・デイヴィスの「コードを感じさせるフレーズ」にある、としている。エンリコ・メルリンによれば、マイルス・デイヴィスは、次の演奏曲目の「出の合図」を次のように出している。ある曲を演奏している、その最中に、次の曲の特徴的なフレーズなどを発信するのだ。もし核となるメロディがあれば、マイルス・デイヴィスはその「出だしの音をいくつか」吹いて聞かせる。もしその曲の、ベースが即興的に挟み込む伴奏フレーズに特徴があるなら、「それを元にしたフレーズを、出の合図として聞かせる。あるいは、核となるハーモニーがあるなら、そのコード進行を発信することで、出の合図とする」というものだ。「Miles Runs the Voodoo Down」の場合、出の合図は、ベースの伴奏フレーズか、トランペットが演奏する下降形のメロディの出だしの数音のどちらかだ。「It's About That Time」の場合だと、曲中にでてくる下降形のコード進行を、それとなく演奏すれば良い。「Spanish Key」の録音バージョンでは、コードが鍵となっていた。こういったやり方は、1970年代の中頃行われ続けていた。 


Testing the Waters 



After the autumn 1969 tour, Davis seemed ready to explore a lineup of musicians different from that of the Lost Quintet. The Bitches Brew album would not be released until April 1970. In the months before that, he brought an expanded group of musicians into the studio between November and early February, playing a more groove-driven music (grounded in a cyclical rhythmic pattern suggesting a dancelike feel) and experimenting with the inclusion of Indian instruments. The rhythmic feel was flavored in part by the presence of the pitched Indian drum, the tabla. Guitar-oriented and backbeat-driven sessions began in mid-February, with the recording that resulted in Jack Johnson taking place in early April. 

1969年秋のツアー終了後、マイルス・デイヴィスは、ロスト・クインテットとは異なるメンバー集めの準備を整えた、とされている。アルバム「Bitches Brew」は、翌年1970年4月までリリースはされない。リリースまでの数ヶ月、11月から翌2月までの間、かなりの規模のミュージシャン達を、一団としてスタジオに招集した。そこでは、プレーヤー同士の絡み合いから発生するエネルギーを推進力にして、音楽を作ってゆく手法がとられ(ダンスのような雰囲気を感じさせるような、同じリズムパターンをグルグル繰り返すものを土台にしている)、更には、インドの楽器をいくつか導入することが試みられている。曲全体のリズムの雰囲気は、インドの「タブラ」とよばれる音程差をつけた対の太鼓を使用することで、部分的に変化をつけられている。ギターを中心に据えて、バックビートを推進力とするセションが、2月中旬に相次いで始まった。この際同時に行われたレコーディングは、後にアルバム「Jack Johnson」として同年4月上旬の収録へとつながっていった。 


A Tribute to Jack Johnson was crafted as a film score about the world champion boxer much beloved by Davis. It is here that we first see full blown the trumpeter's fascination with James Brown, maybe heightened by Brown's appearance at the 1969 Newport Jazz Festival. Funk, particularly as championed by Brown and Sly and the Family Stone, would heavily influence Davis's work in 1972-75, but bass lines from their recordings have a strong presence on Jack Johnson and onward. The April 1970 sessions were joined by Steive Wonder's bass player, Michael Henderson, whose creative funk-oriented playing would help tilt the live band in that direction when he replaced Dave Holland the next fall. 

アルバム「A Tribute to Jack Johnson」は、マイルス・デイヴィスも敬愛するボクシングの世界チャンピオンである、ジャック・ジョンソンについてのドキュメンタリー映画サウンドトラックである。まずマイルス・デイヴィスがフルパワーで吹きまくってくるのが、彼がジェームス・ブラウンに魅了された影響を感じさせる。1969年のニューポート・ジャズ・フェスティバルでジェームス・ブラウンが出演した時に、最高に感化されたのであろう。ファンクミュージックといえば、ジェームス・ブラウンやスライ&ザ・ファミリー・ストーンがその代表格だが、マイルス・デイヴィスの1972年から75年にかけての作品に、大きな影響を与えた、と考えられている。もっとも、このレコーディングから聞いて取れるベースラインの数々は、「Jack Johnson」やそれ以降の作品に大きな存在感を示している。1970年4月の各セッションに加わったのが、スティーヴィー・ワンダーのベース奏者であるマイケル・ヘンダーソンだ。彼の創造性豊かなファンクミュージックの演奏は、後に、このバンドの方向性に変化を与え、翌年秋のデイヴ・ホランド交代へと繋がってゆくことになる。 


But also on Davis's mind was the new band of his former  

drummer, Tony Williams. From a young age, Williams was an aficionado not only of the avant-garde and hard-bop approaches already noted, but also of British rock and roll - the music of Eric Clapton and Cream, the Who, and others. His new band, Tony Williams Lifetime, placed the electric guitar way out front, side by side with Williams's own hard-driving drumming and alongside the organ. It was a high-volume power trio akin to Cream or the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Drummer Lenny White observes: 




In 1969, Tony had the idea to take a traditional concept - the standard organ trio - and put it on steroids. He formed Tony Williams Lifetime with John McLaughlin and Larry Young, and it became the new way, the new movement. I saw that group at Slugs when they first started - it was so great and SO LOUD. They were so good Miles wanted to hire Tony's band and call it, “Miles Davis introduces Tony Williams Lifetime.” Tony said no, he didn't want to do that. So Miles went ahead and got Larry and John for Bitches Brew. Tony was not happy with that but I think he had definitely made the decision to go off on his own by then anyway. 

1969年、トニー・ウィリアムスは、従来からあるオルガントリオのコンセプトを元に、更にこれを強化した構想を立ち上げる。彼はジョン・マクラフリンラリー・ヤングらとともにトニー・ウィリアムス・ライフタイムを結成、これが音楽界の新たな手法・動きとなっていった。結成当初の彼らを、私はニューヨークのライブハウス「スラグス」で見かけた。大変素晴らしく、そして大変な大音量であった。彼らの演奏の素晴らしさに、マイルス・デイヴィスはバンドごと丸抱えにし、自分がこのバンドを世に紹介する、と銘打とうとした。トニー・ウィリアムスはこれを拒否、望まないことを言明する。するとマイルス・デイヴィスは、トニー・ウィリアムス以外の2人を「Bitches Brew」制作に召喚する手に出た。トニー・ウィリアムスはこれが不満だったが、いずれにせよ彼は独自のやり方で行く、ということを既にしっかりと心に抱いていたのではないか、と私は考えている。 


With Williams forming Lifetime, Jack DeJohnette became drummer of the Lost Quintet, with Billy Cobham, soon to join McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, playing on Jack Johnson, which was released in 1971. In the meantime, Bitches Brew was newly available to listeners, and Davis was on the road with the Lost Quintet, which expanded to a sextet and then an octet, continuing to present its repertoire. 

トニー・ウィリアムスが「ライフタイム」を結成した頃、ジャック・ディジョネットがロスト・クインテットのドラム奏者となり、ビリー・コブハムジョン・マクラフリンマハヴィシュヌ・オーケストラに参加して「Jack Johnson」(1971年リリース)の収録に関わる。そうしている間に、「Bitches Brew」が新たに音楽ファンに届けられ、マイルス・デイヴィスはロスト・クインテットとともにツアーを敢行、バンドの規模を6人から8人へと拡大し、自らの音楽を発信し続けた。 


Up and Down, In and Out 



As Chick Corea describes the flights of the Lost Quintet: 



We always took the audience on a roller coaster kind of trip. When Miles would play, everything would get very concentrated and to the point, and I'd see the audience come up because there'd be one line of thought being followed: Miles would play a melody, and then another melody that made sense after it, and suddenly a composition was being formed and there was an accompaniment that made sense. It would be happening, and the audience would get into it, and he'd stop playing, and the whole thing would blow up; and the audience would go down and not understand it. 



What Corea means here is that the audience's attention would wax (”come up”) and wane (”go down”) based on how directional and conventional the band's presentation was. When Davis played, his melodic focus, supported with an easier logic, would be easy for concertgoers to follow. But when Wayne Shorter or Corea stepped forward, the solos might follow a more abstract logic, and the rhythm section might go its own direction, juxtaposed to more than supporting the soloist in an obvious way. Audiences expecting a one-to-one correspondence between soloist and accompaniment would cease to follow the logic and could get distracted or even uninterested. 



By “roller coaster,” Corea is describing the general organizing pattern for the music that came about as the new band evolved. What it created was a more extreme version of what had happened in the 1960s quintet. Like the earlier band, the rhythm section developed a pattern of playing simpler, more beat-driven structures during Davis's solos, but would grow freer in his absence. In the previous lineup of musicians, Herbie Hancock recalls Davis complaining as early as 1963 that he wanted to be accompanied in the more complex, freer way that the group backed its saxophonist, George Coleman. The result was what Hancock refers to as “controlled freedom”: “He'd take the inherent structure and leave us room to breathe and create something fresh every night.” 



In the new band, DeJohnette relates: “When Miles played, there was more of a beat to grab hold to, and then when Wayne would play, it would get more abstract, and then when Chick and Dave would play, it would get even more abstract.” There were times when, after a remarkably abstract segment with Davis, the trumpeter could return and play a lyrical, melodic solo line, as if nothing remarkable had happened moments prior. Or as if he were still playing in the previous band. 



Writing in Rolling Stone, Langdon Winner offered a listener's perspective, in the context of his review of Bitches Brew. He compares the recorded Holland-DeJohnette “amorphous rhythmic patterns .... a new way to cook, a way that seems just as natural and just as swinging as anything jazz has ever known,” which supported soloists who “are fully accustomed to this new groove and take one solid solo after another,” with a later, mid-spring 1970 performance of the Corea-Jarrett two-keyboard band, in which “fully one third of the audience at Davis's recent Fillmore West appearances left the hall in stunned silence, too deeply moved to want to stay for the other groups on the bill.”  

ラングドン・ウィナーは、「ローリング・ストーン」誌に寄稿した「Bitches Brew」の書評で、音楽ファンの視点からこの曲を見てゆこうと提案している。彼が比較するのは、一つは、デイヴ・ホランドジャック・ディジョネットによるレコーディングバージョンの、「明確さを避ける伴奏のリズムパターン。リズムの処理としては新しい考え方で、従前のジャズ音楽が経験してきたどんなものと比べても、自然で、ノリが良い。これに支えられるソリスト達は、この新しいグルーヴ感に完全に馴染み、そしてしっかりとしたソロを次々と発信する。」もう一つは、後の1970年春頃のチック・コリアキース・ジャレットというキーボード2人体制のバンドによる演奏で、「これを聞いた最近のマイルス・デイヴィスフィルモアウェストでの公演を聞きに来た聴衆の内、まず1/3は確実に驚いて言葉を失い、深く感銘を受けて、当日の他の出演者の演奏はもう聴きたくない、と思って会場を後にしてしまったほどだ。 


Musical Example 4: Antibes, July 1969 



As an example, in “Directions,” the opening tune played at the Antibes Festival in Juan les Pins, France, on July 25 and 26, 1969, we hear the rhythm section shifting gears when Davis's solo winds down and Shorter's begins. First, DeJohnette's driving drums press Davis's energetic solo forward. As Davis concludes, Corea departs from a more strictly rhythmic accompaniment to reach for a rising, terraced series of chords, preparing for the transition to Shorter. Now, Corea and DeJohnette seem to move in opposite directions - as the drummer pushes rhythmically ahead, Corea plays a series of slower, syncopated, longer sustained chords. The combination of these opposing forces quickly increases tension, which is released a half minute later when Corea speeds up his repetitions and then plays a series of varied chordal ostinati, some multiply repeated and others rising in series. Soon, toward the end of Shorter's solo and into Corea's, it is Holland who gradually changes speeds. The bassist alternates between a walk, sometimes unsteady, a series of rapidly repeated notes, and a groove. 



Holland credits the eclectic approach he adopted to trend-setting bassists and other musicians he was observing: “What I did with Miles was influenced by the things that I heard around me at those times, what Jack Bruce was doing with the Cream, what Jimi was doing with his band and of course there was the influences of James Brown music and a lot of the other things that were going on at that time.” Holland's assessment is extremely modest. The genius in his playing with Davis in 1970 indeed incorporates techniques of his electric peers, but it is equally grounded in the open-improvisational approaches he learned and pioneered during his earlier career in London's free music scene. Thus, the abstraction of the Lost Sextet and Octet of 1970 is due in equal measure to the members of the bands' rhythm section, in which Holland played an integral and decidedly inventive role. 



Who's in Charge?


The adventuresome nature of the rhythm section no doubt pushed the envelope on Miles Davis's musical conception. At Antibes and elsewhere during this period, he often remained onstage only while he played, moving offstage during everyone else's solos. From the perspective of Hancock's experience of Davis's nondirective leadership, the trumpeter's departure from the spotlight would seem to project a message to the band: “Go wherever your collective logic takes you.” Holland explained Davis's leadership mode to Toronto-based drummer and artist John Mars in a 1975 conversation. According to Mars, “Dave said that all Miles would do is just say 'play C' or something, and those were the total instructions. Miles just ambled up onto the stage and started playing at the concerts, and everyone was supposed to just file in and begin” - something that Mars describes as “a baptism by fire.” 



But one wonders whether the rhythm section had gone beyond the bounds of Davis's comfort zone. Shorter recalls that after he'd solo and join Davis offstage, the trumpeter would say to him: “What the fuck is going on out there?” Yet when Corea and Holland left the band, it was at their own choosing, having been urged by Davis to stay on beyond the point when they had given notice. 



There were exceptions to the template of “simple accompaniment for Davis, but then all hell can break loose.” One of many moments of exquisite engagement between players came later, during a March 1970 show at the Fillmore East in New York City. In the midst of a solo by Davis, he and Corea lock “horns” until Davis breaks away to play a rising figure, only to land back in tandem with Corea. The interplay between the two is exhilarating: they take turns, one playing a line that lifts off while the other provides ballast, pulling it back down to earth with an incessantly repeated phrase. Then, as Corea and the rhythm section move into a prelude to the theme of “Directions,” the band is off and running. And this is before Davis leaves the stage to make space for the intense, busy, abstract improvisations within the Corea-Holland-DeJohnette rhythm section, which promptly go their own mercurial way. 



From Davis's perspective, at least in retrospect, as bandleader he was always in charge of organizing the music: 



Sometimes you subtract, take away the rhythm and leave just the right sound. Or take out what you know belongs to somebody else and keep the feeling. I write for my group, for something I know Jack can do, or Chick. Or would want to do. What they've got to do is extend themselves beyond what they think they can do. And they've got to be quick. A soloist comes in when he feels like it. Anyway that's what he's being paid for. If it's not working out I just shut them up. How? I set up obstacles, barriers like they have in the streets but with my horn. I curve them, change their directions. 




Chick Corea acknowledges this: 



Miles had quite a lot of direction in what he did. It wasn't a free-for-all. When we were touring on the road, he would very often let the musicians play and play longer, because he knew that they were stretching out and experimenting. But, he knew what he wanted and he knew when the music was getting a little bit too self-indulgent and when it needed some form. He would walk back up to the stage and put some form back into the music redirecting the course of it with his horn. In the studio, he was very aware of what he was trying to get. 



From this perspective, Davis was comfortable when accompanied in the style he desired for his own solos, yet he allowed the band to play more abstractly when it didn't inhibit his own playing. As Dave Holland recalls: “Miles liked things to be kept fairly clear behind him. He liked the groove to be kept consistently, not messing with the groove or making it too elastic. And also, he adhered to the form of songs. Obviously there's a lot of freedom in his playing, but Wayne by contrast was just ready for anything to happen. We sensed that, and it gave us a sense of a little more freedom with Wayne in the music.” 




There were times when Davis reined in his band members. Holland remembers Miles offering a constructive “reality check” on the young bassist's approach to his instrument. Within a year in the band, Holland began “feeling like I could do what I wanted to do. I started to maybe take too many liberties with the music as a bass player. So Miles just came over to me at the end of the concert and said to me, 'Hey Dave, you know you are a bass player.' That kind of gave me a reality check.” This intervention led him to consider “how to maintain control of the bass and free it up somewhat so that it can have a freer role and a more interactive role with the band.” 




Clearly, the music could be complex and volcanic. Corea remembers finding it difficult at times to find a role for his piano in what could be a dense morass - what he later referred to as “out in the ozone, but happily so.” “Sometimes Wayne would be taking his solo and Jack and Dave's playing would become so vigorous that playing the piano wouldn't make much sense to me. So I'd jump on the drums, and Jack and I would both go at it, making all kinds of wild rhythms, creating even more energy. Jack and I had some fun with that for a few gigs, and Miles seemed to let it go for a while - he was willing to let anything go for a while - then he said, “That's enough.” 



We can see the two drummers, Jack DeJohnette and Chick Corea, playing during Wayne Shorter's solo and then moving into a drums duet, starting around seven and a half minutes into the filmed performance of “Bitches Brew” in the second set at Salle Pleyel in Paris on November 3, 1969. The duet leads into a driving but highly abstract electric piano and drums duet when Corea returns to his usual station. The activity calms substantially a minute later, when Davis enters with a somber muted trumpet, eventually returning to hints of the tune's opening section and building toward a brilliant, virtuosic, more linear trumpet solo. Following Shorter's solo on “It’s About That Time,” Jack DeJohnette takes a solo on the Fender Rhodes, accompanied only by Corea on drums. He begins simply but builds into a construction no less complex and abstract than what Corea might have played. 

1969年11月3日の、パリのサル・プレイエルでの2回目の公演の「Bitches Brew」の映像を見ると、演奏開始後7分半程のところで、ドラムがジャック・ディジョネットチック・コリアの2人になり、ウェイン・ショーターのソロの間中それで演奏している。ソロが終わると、ドラムのデュエットになるのがわかる。この2人の演奏は、チック・コリアが自身の電子ピアノに席を戻した時、推進力がありつつも相当に明確さを潜ませた演奏になっている。1分後、一気に演奏は穏やかになり、マイルス・デイヴィスが陰鬱でミュートを用いたトランペットを演奏し始める。最終的のは、曲の冒頭で提示された各動機へと戻り、やがてきらびやかで技を駆使した、明快でわかりやすいトランペットのソロへと繋がってゆく。ウェイン・ショーターの「It's About That Time」のソロに続いて、ジャック・ディジョネットフェンダー・ローズでソロを弾く。これにはチック・コリアがドラムで伴奏をつけるのみだ。ジャック・ディジョネットのソロは無駄のない内容だが、チック・コリアが弾いたとしてもそれより複雑さや表現の抽象性は、一歩も引けを取らないフレーズの構築を進めてゆく。 


Continuous Evolution 



As the quintet matured as an ensemble, its performances began to explore more fully the implications of the “new directions” promised by the studio recording Bitches Brew. This would include bringing the electronic - rather than simply electric - sonic exploration into live performances, and reconciling the central role of the beat in light of open form. In the band's first year, Davis had begun to consider how to square his conception of a beat-centered music with a highly exploratory group of musicians. Yet just as his interest in the beat was continuing to grow, so also was the band's interest in the freer elements. His test for the next year was how to reconcile the challenges of a beat-centered music with sonic and improvisatory complexity. This would remain an issue throughout Davis's work until his first retirement in 1975. 

ロスト・クインテットが合奏体として成熟度を増してくると、「Bitches Brew」の収録で確たるものとなった「新たな方向性の数々」が見いだせないか、バンドの演奏が模索し始めた。これには、電子的な音響の掘り下げ(単に「エレキ」楽器群を導入するだけでなく)をすすめて、これをライブ演奏にも取り入れられないか、そうなった時に、オープン形式の演奏という観点から、拍感の持つ役割を中心に据えようという動きにもなってくる。ロスト・クインテット1年目に、マイルス・デイヴィスはすでに、探究心旺盛なミュージシャン達で構成されるバンドを手兵として、拍感を中心に据えた演奏に対する自らのコンセプトの構築を模索し始めていた。マイルス・デイヴィス自身がそうする一方、バンド自体の興味関心は、より自由な素材の使い方へと膨らんでゆく。2年目は、拍感を軸とした音楽作りと、音響面やインプロヴィゼーション面での複雑さを求めてゆくこととの両立を図った。このことは、1975年にマイルス・デイヴィスが1回目の引退をしてゆくときまで、ずっと解決できなかった。 


The premise of this book is that Miles Davis's Lost Quintet, even as it expanded in personnel, did not operate within a vacuum. It increasingly embraced but was not limited by the jazz, rock, and funk worlds. Its members were highly conscious of their more experimental predecessors and contemporaries. Then, during the height of the band's free-form and electric excursions, Chick Corea's and Dave Holland's more exploratory interests were heightened when they encountered a future collaborator, Anthony Braxton. さて、本書が是とする所は、マイルス・デイヴィスのロスト・クインテットは、人数が拡大しても、他との関連性を絶った状態で機能していたわけではない、ということだ。ジャズやロック、そしてファンクミュージックの世界については、これを包括するも足かせとはならなかった。メンバー達は、自分達よりも実験心旺盛なミュージシャン達が、当時もそれ以前も存在することを良く認識していた。そして、このバンドがフリー形式や電子音楽関連に対する模索が、その極みに達した頃、チック・コリアにせよデイヴ・ホランドにせよ、彼らの探究心は、その後共に音楽作りをすることとなるアンソニー・ブラクストンとの出会いによって、更に高められてゆくことになる。