about Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis's ensemble


第4章(4)The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensemble

Meanwhile, Downstairs in Corea's and Holland's Lofts ...  



The jam sessions in Dave Liebman's loft overlapped in time with Chick Corea and Dave Holland's duets in Corea's loft downstairs. At the same time, Miles Davis - in the studio without Corea or Holland - was increasingly exploring vamp-and beat-driven music (some of it appears on Big Fun, Circle in the Round, and A Tribute to Jack Johnson). As the music of the Lost Quintet/Sextet/Septet grew more and more abstract in its March-June 1970 concerts, Corea's loft became the launching pad for his equally abstract, yet budding acoustic trio with Holland and Barry Altschul. 

デイヴ・リーブマンのロフトで、数々のジャムセッションが繰り広げられていた頃、オーバーラップするかのように、チック・コリアデイヴ・ホランドのデュエットも、下の階で自身の取り組みを積み重ねていた。この時期に、スタジオからチック・コリアデイヴ・ホランドがいなくなったマイルス・デイヴィスは、といえば、即興で伴奏を行い、頭拍を強調することで、曲に推進力を与える音楽作りを、更に加速して模索し続けていた(この成果が、Big Fun、Circle in the Round、そしてA Tribute to Jack Jacksonなどである)。「ロスト」の各編成によるバンド(5,6,7人)の音楽が、1970年の3月から7月にかけて行われた各コンサートで見られたように、抽象的かつ難解になっていった一方で、同じように、チック・コリアのロフトは、彼独自の抽象的かつ難解で、それでも徐々に認知度を上げてゆく、デイヴ・ホランドとバリー・アルトシュルらによるトリオのパフォーマンスを世に発信する基地となった。 


Beyond Corea and Liebman's occasional private sessions, however, there was little or no overlap between Free Life and the new trio. Aesthetically, their goals differed. While Coltrane had been an important inspiration for both sets of musicians, the intensity sought by Corea and company could be found in low-volume close listening, not in the thick-density juxtapositions of either Free Life jams or, ultimately, the high-voltage electric band of Miles Davis. The trio, particularly after expanding to become the quartet Circle, indeed journeyed into intensely complex thickets of small-group collective improvisation; but as we shall see, these moments of highly charged interplay could quickly lead to contrasting passages of simplicity and transparency. 



But there were no purists among these musicians. Only one day separated the trio's April 1970 recording of The Song of Singing from Corea's and Holland's performances with Davis at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. Liebman's open collective improvisations coincided with his performances with the jazz-rock ensemble Ten Wheel Drive. After the demise of Circle in 1971, Corea moved to Latin-inflected Return to Forever, while Holland and Altschul continued to pursue musical directions informed, in part, by the AACM, with Sam Rivers and Anthony Braxton. 

だが彼らは、誰一人として、純粋主義のミュージシャンなどではなかった。サンフランシスコのフィルモア・ウェストで、マイルス・デイヴィスチック・コリアデイヴ・ホランドが数々のパフォーマンスを繰り広げていたところから、1970年4月のある日行われた、「The Song of Singing」のレコーディングをこのトリオが行ったことにより、袂を分かつことになったのである。リーブマンのオープンな集団としてのインプロヴィゼーションは、彼がジャズ・ロックアンサンブルの「テン・ホイール・ドライブ」と共演した際にも導入された。「サークル」が1971年に閉じた後、チック・コリアは、ラテン音楽系の「リターン・トゥ・フォーエヴァー」へ移籍、一方デイヴ・ホランドとバリー・アルトシュルは、サム・リヴァースやアンソニー・ブラクストンらとともに、AACMから一部情報提供を受けつつ、様々な音楽の方向性を追求した。 


Toward the New Trio 



Corea and Holland declared their intent to leave Miles's band in late 1969, but agreed to stay on for a few final months following the release of Bitches Brew. Holland told Melody Maker's Richard Williams in June 1970: 

チック・コリアデイヴ・ホランドは、1969年末にマイルス・デイヴィスのバンドを離脱する旨伝えていたものの、「Bitches Brew」のリリースを控えていた残り数ヶ月は留まることで合意した。デイヴ・ホランドは1970年6月の、「メロディーメイカ」誌のリチャード・ウィリアムズの取材に際し、次のように述べている。 



Chick Corea and I are planning to leave in October, after we've done six or eight weeks in California with the [Miles Davis] band, and we're going to form a trio with a drummer called Barry Altschul, who's been working with Paul Bley for three or four years. We're going to come to London and live and work there for one or two months, and then we'll be off to live in Europe. I'm hoping that Ronnie Scott will give us a couple of weeks in the club at that time ... We had a recording session with Miles this morning, for the next album, and he asked us both to stay, at least until the end of the year, because the group is more popular than ever and he wants to keep it together. So we may stay till the end of this year, but it's doubtful because we've done so much planning for the trio, and we've thought such a long way in advance, that it's difficult to back out of that now. 


「6週間、あるいは8週間だったか、カリフォルニアでマイルス・デイヴィスのバンドとの契約を終えて、10月には、チック・コリアと2人で脱退する予定だ。そしてトリオを結成する。ドラム奏者に迎えるのは、バリー・アルトシュルという。ポール・ブレイと3、4年ほど一緒にやっていた男だ。まずロンドンへ行き、そこを1、2ヶ月生活と仕事の拠点として、その後ヨーロッパ大陸の方へ進出する。その時は、ロニー・スコットが2、3週間クラブでやらせてくれたら良いな、と思っている。… 今朝はマイルスと、次のアルバムの収録があった。彼から頼まれたのは、我々2人には、少なくとも年末までは居てほしい。というのは、グループとしてはこれまでになく人気が出てきており、これを保ちたいという。そんなわけで、今年の年末までは残るだろうが、ハッキリはしない。というのは、我々もこのトリオの立ち上げに向けて、相当練ってきている。事前準備はかなり進んでいて、今更引き返せと言われても、難しいところだ。」 


Even though the music in Davis's band was quite free spirited, Holland and Corea had actively discussed the idea of forming their own group. In remarks that begin this chapter, Corea recalls that this process occurred organically. It made sense, as Holland told Bill Smith in 1973: “We both wanted to leave the group. I didn't feel that there was anything more to be done with Miles, for my own taste, for what I wanted to do.” The first recording of the new group was made in early April, right before the Davis band's appearances at the Fillmore West. 



Holland articulated aloud some of his frustrations with the Davis band while he was still a member. After complimenting the bandleader - “Miles's music is very strong and has a fantastic dynamic quality plus a certain amount of magic which isn't really magic. It's just that he's such a strong person and has such a clear idea about his direction that he can draw people into it” - he added: “But playing as a sideman in that band is, for me, a little inhibiting. The premise on which Miles's music is built is still largely the old-fashioned one of a soloist and a rhythm section, which is valid and can still be very beautiful,” but clearly not what Holland personally had in mind. He wished for “more of a group participation thing with each player concentrating on producing music that doesn't pinpoint one instrument, so that there's never a 'soloist' in the accepted sense of the term.” He added that in his own music, he didn't see his role as “having the specific function of being the group's bassist. I prefer to feel like an independent voice, and the reason I'm leaving is just that I want more breathing space.” He concluded that Davis's “direction at the moment is one way and mine is another.” 



The distinction between the soloist-accompanist model and one that is more collective was an idea also taking hold within fellow Miles Davis alumnus Herbie Hancock's sextet. As it transformed into the Mwandishi band in the fall of 1970, the combination of a new chemistry between the players and the permissive attitude of their leader (a quality learned from Davis) contributed to an organic quality to their improvisations. As pianist Billy Childs characterized it: “They functioned almost like a chamber group, entirely dependent upon each other, but free from each other. They were free to do whatever, but what one person did affected the whole organism. It was like a living, breathing organism, like a representation of real life.” The desire for this kind of band is understandable. 



Chick Corea: “Dave and I warned Miles that we would be leaving, and after that there was a transition period of some months. Miles did ask Dave and me to stay in the band and be part of the more steady, funky rhythm direction that he was moving into, but he saw that it wasn't our desire. Dave and I wanted to play free music. It was a very natural parting of ways. I sometimes regret leaving the band, but it still seems like it was the right thing to do.” 



The trio in question was to be distinctively acoustic. Corea and Holland had been rethinking their interest in electric music. Holland told a critic: “The electric instruments we've been using destroy a large number of subtleties in the music.” Playing acoustically was becoming more satisfying and refreshing for them. When Corea returned to electric - and then electronic - instruments a few years later, it was with a simpler, more straightforward sonic and rhythmic conception. For Holland, there were stylistic concerns as well. Although he was part of a rhythm section that pushed the envelope toward open improvisation, he expressed the frustration that “Miles needs to control the band, he needs to mold us and give us roles to play so that all the music comes out as his conception. It's still very strong, but depersonalizing it in that way that stops it reaching its real peak.” 



Holland sensed that Miles couldn't have it both ways: beat driven and disciplined, and freewheeling and substantially unpredictable. In 2012, he reflected on the internal process that should guide a close-knit ensemble that performs without a preset structure: 




Nothing can be creative without some structural integrity. You have to just create it as you go ... You shape it and you use your instincts and experience to try and make a coherent musical statement ... What makes it work for me is that communication. You know, musicians playing in their own isolated spaces doesn't make a group for me. When I'm playing open-form music, I am still playing harmony, I am still playing rhythm. I think open-form playing presents a great challenge to the musician to really take responsibility for the entirety of the whole thing, the structure, the form. There needs to be a shared vocabulary. When you improvise with someone on the open form, you know you have to have some points of reference. For instance, what you share with the other musicians, those reference points are what you use to build the form of the music from. 




Eventually, Davis indeed chose a more unified path by replacing Holland with the more funk-oriented bassist Michael Henderson (no relationship to Studio WIS). In the meantime, Holland explored a middle ground between an electric bass with a wah-wah funk sound and his more open tendencies. 



The roots of Corea and Holland's joint departure may be connected to their desire for greater experimentalism and a return to acoustic instruments. But the organic connection between the two players was apparent by the late July 1969 shows in Antibes, France, and as witnessed in our discussion of their moments as a duo during other performances. And their private duets at Corea's loft built on that partnership.