Sunday, April 15, 2007

Good line

"Jazz is sometimes seen as a history of great individual voices, instrumental soloists whose sound has the indelible singularity of a fingerprint."

From "It's About That Time: Miles Davis On and Off Record," by Richard Cook, who gets around having written yet-another Miles' biography by viewing Davis' life through the prism of Cook's picks for his seminal albums. I'm early into it at this point and not certain how well that works.

I think great jazz groups can have a fingerprint-like sound as well, whether driven by their leaders or the players in the ensemble, for instance Miles Davis' two great quintets, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Coltrane's classic quartet, any group Mingus led and the orchestras of Ellington and Basie.

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