Tag Archives: Charles Mingus

Miles Davis Blind Listening Test

This is a really interesting interview with a typically frank and pugnacious Miles Davis (via Noise Made Me Do It)

Down Beat Magazine interviewed Miles Davis in 1964 and asked him for his opinion on some music via a blind listening test, and checked his ability to pick out other musicians based on the way they played.

Now, Miles Davis wasn’t known for listening to just about anything – he was very selective in what he spent his time listening to, so he’s definitely got some opinions.

On Les McCann-Jazz Crusaders“All Blues” (Wayne Henderson, trombone; Wilton Felder, tenor saxophone; Joe Sample, piano; McCann, electric piano; Miles Davis, composer):

What’s that supposed to be? That ain’t nothin’. They don’t know what to do with it – you either play it bluesy or you play on the scale. You don’t just play flat notes. I didn’t write it to play flat notes on – you know, like minor thirds. Either you play a whole chord against it, or else . . . but don’t try to play it like you’d play, ah, Walkin’ the Dog. You know what I mean?

That trombone player – trombone ain’t supposed to sound like that. This is 1964, not 1924. Maybe if the piano player had played it by himself, something would have happened.

Rate it? How can I rate that?

On Terry Clark“Cielito Lindo” (Clark Terry: trumpet; Hank Jones, piano; Kenny Burrell, guitar):

Clark Terry, right? You know, I’ve always liked Clark. But this is a sad record. Why do they make records like that? With the guitar in the way, and that sad fucking piano player. He didn’t do nothing for the rhythm section – didn’t you hear it get jumbled up? All they needed was a bass and Terry.

That’s what’s fucking up music, you know. Record companies. They make too many sad records, man.

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Mingus on Creativity

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus