Blogging here has slowed in the past few days and may not pick up markedly for a few more. The Rifftides staff is on deadline for an historical essay to accompany Bob Belden’s Miles Español film project. The research has had to be deeper, wider and more intense than I imagined when I said yes to the assignment. No regrets, though. A few years ago, William Zinsser wrote an inspirational book called Writing to Learn. I thought I knew a thing or two about the subject at hand, but as I write this, boy, am I learning—about the roots of African, Spanish and Caribbean music, how they intertwined and nourished early jazz, about how those traditions informed what we heard from Miles Davis and Gil Evans and led to much of what we hear today. A bonus: I’ve come to know Jelly Roll Morton even better.
Belden’s Miles Español will result in a compact disc, but it is primarily a video venture. Many of the musicians worked with Miles. A few of the players are Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, Chano Domínguez, John Scofield, Alex Acuña, Ron Carter and Jerry Gonzalez. All 36 are named in the credits of this 10-minute preview.
Hasta la mañana (mas o menos)