Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Forever Miles.

* Painting is by Heavyweight

I was just reading journalist Mike Doherty’s article entitled “Too many Miles” inquiring “At what point does the constant paying of tribute turn into fixation? And furthermore, is there a danger that in looking back at the career of someone who was always looking forward, the jazz world is ignoring the innovation of a younger generation?”

It’s not a fixation: it’s recognition of greatness. In a world where lightweights à la Diana Kralls are considered Jazz artists: the recognition is primordial.

We continue to celebrate Miles Davis the same way we still celebrate Bach, Basquiat, Van Gogh or Warhol. Their genius was never to be duplicated and that is to be cherished and commemorated.

I’m eternally grateful to my parents for the education they gave me. Part of the education included Art appreciation. My father was adamant about submerging my brother and me in all types of musical genres. Thankfully, Miles Davis was part of the curriculum. As I grew older, I got to understand, if only a tad, Davis’ prose. I also understood that Miles Davis was never meant to be overanalyzed by old men who find refuge in radio booths. Miles Davis has to be lived. Period.

To say my life changed the day I listened to his soundtrack for Louis Malle's French classic film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud is not an exaggeration. I also understood at that moment that Jazz is essential to Live, to Learn and to Love.

There is indeed a new generation of Jazz artists that deserve much praise but Miles Davis is a religion. Let us pray.

Here, the track Générique, from the Ascenseur pour l’échafaud soundtrack. Simply delicious.

Also, if you missed it in Paris, Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts will present the “We Want Miles” exhibit in 2010.

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