Marc Myers, the proprietor of the blog called JazzWax, audited one of the polymath Mr. Kirchner’s classes at the New School and filed a report that begins:
Bill’s two-hour class took his 40 students through Miles Davis’ bio and recordings, complete with 13 prime audio examples. The sound system in the New School’s fifth floor “performance space” is sensational. Each digital recording was vivid and exciting and rich with warm sonic detail. In between tracks, Bill filled in the blanks with authoritative notes:
Marc’s piece includes Kirchner’s list of recordings used in the class and appends video of a latterday Davis performance when Miles was well into his electronic period. To see his report, click here. I’m not ready to agree that Davis’s performance is a work of art, particularly in comparison with the other tracks on Bill’s list, but it is worth seeing and hearing. Once.
If you missed the saga that began with Kirchner’s list of big band recordings since 1955, see the Rifftides exhibit two below this one. It will link you to the previous installments.
Bill Kirchner says
FYI, the live CD version of “Human Nature” that I play in class is about 13 minutes long (chosen by Davis keyboardist Adam Holzman from gig tapes)–much longer (and darker) than the video. Done about three years later–seemingly after Miles had fully decided what he wanted to do with the tune–it’s climaxed by a Kenny Garrett alto saxophone solo that always leaves the students on the edges of their seats. One of the spring semester’s “greatest hits”.