Sunday, July 26, 2009
MILES DAVIS on SOCIAL MUSIC (1982)
BRYANT GUMBEL: But for the most part jazz has, over the years, avoided the mainstream of American music.
MILES DAVIS: I don't like that word "jazz."
BG: You don't? What would you call it?
MD: I think social music. All the social melodies out in the air. There's no jazz anymore.
BG: I'm curious, what do you think of most popular music, or what passes for popular music today?
MD: That's the social music I'm talkin' about!
BG: You think it's good.
MD: Yeah! You take out what you want, and leave what you don't like. You know, like food.
BG: [busts out laughing]
MD: [chuckling back] You know what I'm sayin'! I mean, it's no big thing. It's just the mind that picks it up...
ARSENIO HALL: You have an autobiography coming out soon.
MILES DAVIS: Yes.
AH: What is it called?
MD: Miles. Davis.
Arsenio isn't quite the interviewer that even Bryant Gumbel is, but watch the whole thing, he gets some funky stuff out of him about hip-hop (it needs a beat inside the beat) and spitting black-eyed peas for his embouchre.
I always think I'm going to end up loving his music from the 80s and 90s... not as much as the 60s and 70s, of course... maybe almost as much as the 50s... but it is some hard music to love, with an unforgivingly-80s diamond-sharp pop-funk texture that not even Dave Keenan's "hypnagogic pop" scene would dare touch... I am getting just a little closer to appreciation, and the "social music" concept is helping... I was already way into his icy-sweet take on Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time":
But man, it's so hard to really commit to the icy-sweet 1980s when I can always go back to the cold soft sprinkling of winter rain in dangerous tropics that is 1973...
(Actually, this 4-part Danish documentary on the making of the Aura album (1985) is pretty bad ass, and the music sounds kinda 70s... is this considered one of the best of the decade?)
Posted by Larry at 7:30 PM
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