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Re: anti-looper bigots / Miles & Teo
> earlier in this thread I wrote:
> "In a way, by introducing tape loops on 'In a Silent Way' (neglected as
> the predecessor and I feel, the superior record to the more famous
> "Bitches Brew") he was doing the same thing to the percussionists.
> By introducing a static loop that held down the groove, in essence, the
> percussionists and drummers were free to explore more. "
To this, Andy Butler replied:
"Rev's link does not confirm the methodology for recording
that this suggests."
No, but go read the liner notes of the remastered special edition of "In
A Silent Way"
or just listen carefully to the recordings
themselves................it's very evident
what is looped and what isn't.
What I should have said is that the net effect of hearing the record
made in this way has
a direct line of inspiration to the percussive approaches of, say, the
early Weather Report and their
great percussion/drumming rhythm sections.
Also, you took me to task (by saying I"d had my 2nd espresso of the day)
for talking about the expansion of timbres in percussion that came from
that time period.
I've studied percussion and the introduction of new percussion
modern popular music (and I"ll add jazz and jazz fusion to that list)
since the early 70's
and I did a lot of research into the history of percussive sounds in
in particular back to the 19th century and you can clearly see
that there was an explosion of new percussion textures in jazz, jazz
fusion and popular music
that starts right at this time.
Before this time, so called ethnic influence in jazz had been limited
to very small amounts of traditional West African
music (and usually played on Afro Cuban and NOT African instruments),
(and almost entirely Afro Cuban and Afro Brazilian and NOT the other
strong rhythmic style from the
Caribbean ---Afro Haitian, Antillean, Jamaican, etc.) and a very tiny
amount of Indian and Japanese
Around the time following 'In A Silent Way/Bitches Brew' there was a
virtual explosion of new percussive timbres.
This was way before successful companies like Latin Percussion had
gigantic catalogues filled with
percussion from around the world.
Mind you, it's not that those instruments didn't exist (or the cultures
that they came from weren't vibrant in their own countries)
it's just they were impossible to find physically to purchase and play,
at least in American (maybe the UK was different, but if it
was, it's certainly not born out from the popular music that came from
there at the time). I know because I fanatically searched it out
in every city I visited in the US at that time.
I studied Malinkan rhythms from a fantastic drummer who had learned his
percussion in a state penitentiary and a student of his of all weird
We played for a good two years before we even saw a Djembe. There
were none on the West Coast of the US.
Now every third hippy on the mall has one and they are available for
purchase all over the planet. I remember seeing borrowing a Sufi
and then after I had to return it, I didn't see another one for five
more years, when I finally bought one.
In the late 70's I put together a double Ghanaian Gonkokui Bell and a
Brazillian double Agogo bell using a kluged
stand that used two triangle holders, a hell of a lot of gaffing tape
and a cymbal stand to play four bell Senegales bell
parts for dance classes because there WERE NO percussion stands/
percussion trays/ cowbell footpedal beaters for sale.
In those days, a metal Afuche and a Flexitone were incredibly exotic
One by one, I marked when I'd first hear a new sound or a new drum on a
recording or in a performance.
Things exploded percussively at the beginning of the fusion movement
(which as long as we are talking about it,
has to go to Tony Williams Lifetime 'Emergency' as the first record of
the movement --- a record that Miles most
So, 2nd espresso or no, I stand by my statement that timbre and
texture ramped up considerably around this time
and I think these records had a large part in that.
I also think that "In a Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew" though not
first in this movement, were, nonetheless
vastly more influential on the subsequent history of the movement than
the first records.
I think the trance like qualities of both of those records had a huge
influence on records to come that
the rawer and far less groove oriented drumming of Tony Williams had,
say, in "Emergency".
Show me a single popular recording that sounded like "In a Silent Way"
that precedes it.
I say popular! There may have been more obscure predecessors but
millions of people heard these records
and certainly tens of thousands of musicians.
Miles didn't invent anything really. Modalism existed before him,
Trance music existed, Fusion Existed , blah, blah, blah.
Somebody once said that artists are the antennae of a culture. They
pick up change coming long before the rest of the population
does and they broadcast it.
Miles was certainly an antennae and he most certainly was a popularizer.
He had an enormous influence on modern music and the sound of modern
jazz and I think it's okay
to credit him thusly. You don't have to take a single thing away from
all the musicians you mentioned who also contributed
to say that.