Nels on Miles

A cool new podcast just posted over at with Nels Cline talking about his introduction to Miles, the electric years with John McLaughlin, and it’s lasting influence on his own playing. Always great to hear artists talking about artists. Especially when it’s one of my favorite guitar players talking about my favorite Miles period.

And that reminded me of a post from awhile back that Dave wrote on the Complete Cellar Door recordings — one of my favorite of the Artist Thoughts posts. The archives of this blog have 5 years worth of these great posts. It’s been on my list of things to do to go through and repost some of these. Here’s a start anyway.

Illuminations on the Cellar Door
April 25th, 2006 | Author: Dave Douglas

I was listening to Miles Davis’ 1970 recordings from the Cellar Door, a space in Washington, DC. These recordings went into making the album Live Evil in 1970. It is an absolute classic of an album, and yet it falls in that controversial zone that separates lovers of early Miles from those entranced by the second half of his recorded tenure, the electric years.

Much has been said about Miles Davis and his music. Sometimes too much, and for that reason I have hesitated to jump in. But in the words of trombonist George Lewis, music doesn’t speak for itself. We have to talk about it because it doesn’t talk. I imagine Miles having the last laugh because like it or not everyone is still talking about his music. I’ll at least try to be concise.

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