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My dad turned me on to Miles Davis when I was very young. He was more of a “Kind of Blue” or “Sketches of Spain” fan, but electric Miles struck a chord with me. I especially love his early and mid-1970s recordings. The influences of James Brown, Stockhausen, and Sun Ra along with idea that we should just hook any instrument possible to a wah-wah peddle made for some intense listening. Here’s a 1973 concert:

I slightly exaggerate Miles hooking up practically instrument to wah-wah peddles, but he certainly figured out how to hook up his trumpet to one. The sounds he was producing at the time were almost otherworldly. Oh, and he was starting to experiment with electronic keyboards a bit, if memory serves. The music fit the times – dark, jaded, with the world seemingly in a downward spiral. Wait – that could be today as well.

Enjoy the gig. I’ve found plenty of live bootlegs from his 1970s septet era over the years. Sometimes I’d play pieces off those on my radio show, back when college radio was still a thing.


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