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Grateful Dead - the Most Overrated Band Ever?


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3 hours ago, Jud said:

The friend I'd gone with and I were completely blown away by Miles, to the point where, when Herbie took the stage and started playing, we silently nodded to each other and left.  Herbie's music just wasn't in the same league.

Boy, Herbie must have been having a really bad night. He's such a talented musician and composer. Never thought of him as not in the same league.

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7 hours ago, firedog said:

Boy, Herbie must have been having a really bad night. He's such a talented musician and composer. Never thought of him as not in the same league.

 

Nope, he wasn't having a bad night. I like a bunch of Herbie Hancock's music, and I had never thought of him as not being in the same league either.

 

It's just that *nobody* was really in the same league as Miles. He was exploring the unknown and blowing the tops of our heads off doing it, while Herbie was playing music. Doing a fine job of it, but in that moment, the contrast coming right after Miles made playing music seem kind of, well, boring.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

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Great stuff re. Miles.  Reminded me of my second year of graduate school when I heard the news of his death and grieved.  Still comes out now.  I am jealous of @Jud in this regard, though I hadn't been terribly interested in his later years' output and didn't seek him out.  A mistake..

 

The autobiography that @bluesman noted is highly, highly recommended.

 

Re. substance use, oy.  From 1949-1954 it was heroin and he dropped completely out of sight.  Behavior was terrible, even did some pimping.  He went cold turkey at his father's house, locking himself in an upstairs room.  The Prestige label gave him a chance, thus his output on that label (concluding with Walkin', Workin', Steaming, Relaxing, Cookin', all recorded in a couple of days to fulfill his contract so that he could "step up" to Columbia).

 

In the late 70s before his return in the early 80s I think it was cocaine.

 

Re. technique, I too think he was decent, not great.  Doesn't matter; what he said speaks directly to my soul.  Also, he was tolerant of "mistakes" in his recordings, what he had to say more important to him.  This contrasts with Dizzy who I think was a virtuoso, but I don't enjoy listening to him nearly as much. 

 

When Miles joined Charlie Parker (talk about a virtuoso!!) and began recording on the Savoy label, you can hear his youth, "finding his way," searching for his voice.  He was in the studio playing with Parker in the session in which "Ko-Ko" was recorded, a bellwether tune in the history of jazz.  Dizzy played piano.  My impression is that Dizzy played on this track as the trumpet part was beyond Miles' technique.  Though I have read some counter opinions I still think it is unmistakably Dizzy.

 

If you have never heard "Koko" please check it out.  Essential for anyone interested in jazz and its history.  There was a nice story on it that gives a nice synopsis on NPR that is very worthwhile:

 

https://www.npr.org/2000/08/27/1081208/-i-ko-ko-i

 

Finally, a last idea that I have always found interesting.  Miles was tough, brash, didn't take shit off of anybody, etc. but played the most tenderly beautiful music.  Coltrane instead was the most gentle soul (my son says he was "an angel sent down to us'"), but suffered a reputation as sounding "angry," an "angry tenor."  Once you get "inside" (as I describe it) his music, though, you hear and understand that it definitely wasn't the case.

 

Bill

Labels assigned by CA members: "Cogley's ML sock-puppet," "weaponizer of psychology," "ethically-challenged," "professionally dubious," "machismo," "lover of old westerns," "shill," "expert on ducks and imposters," "Janitor in Chief," "expert in Karate," "ML fanboi or employee," "Alabama Trump supporter with an NRA decal on the windshield of his car," sycophant

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45 minutes ago, Jud said:

Doing a fine job of it, but in that moment, the contrast coming right after Miles made playing music seem kind of, well, boring.

 

I use of different word in my head when faced with this.  After delving deep into one of my classical listening phases or the most-important-to-me jazz phases, other music can feel to me "silly" for a time.  It passes, then I can enjoy my classic R&B, funk, etc. again. :)

 

Bill

 

P.S. Though I would have had to stay for Herbie :).  Though was this in his electric, I think more simple phase?  I suspect so.  You aren't that old :).

Labels assigned by CA members: "Cogley's ML sock-puppet," "weaponizer of psychology," "ethically-challenged," "professionally dubious," "machismo," "lover of old westerns," "shill," "expert on ducks and imposters," "Janitor in Chief," "expert in Karate," "ML fanboi or employee," "Alabama Trump supporter with an NRA decal on the windshield of his car," sycophant

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2 hours ago, Bill Brown said:

Though I would have had to stay for Herbie :).  Though was this in his electric, I think more simple phase?  I suspect so.  You aren't that old :).


This would have been approximately Fall 1974 or Winter 1975.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

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Interesting, so maybe after Head Hunters and before V.S.O.P.

 

And Miles' "electric period."

Labels assigned by CA members: "Cogley's ML sock-puppet," "weaponizer of psychology," "ethically-challenged," "professionally dubious," "machismo," "lover of old westerns," "shill," "expert on ducks and imposters," "Janitor in Chief," "expert in Karate," "ML fanboi or employee," "Alabama Trump supporter with an NRA decal on the windshield of his car," sycophant

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18 hours ago, bluesman said:

As a person, Miles was a perpetual mess.  Read his autobiography (the one co-authored by Quincy Troupe)

One of my favorite books about jazz! I said here twice recently - If my choice of music was to be based on the personality of a musician I'd probably have no Miles music in my library at all.. I OTOH would highly recommend the book 'Kind Of Blue: The Making Of The Miles Davis Masterpiece' by Ashley Kahn and Jimmy Cobb, in particular if you like the album. An extremely interesting stuff!

 

18 hours ago, bluesman said:

movie Miles Ahead, which is well worth seeing

I actually didn't like it that much, with biography like Miles' there is IMO no need to create fiction for a movie, the very facts from his life are amazing, amusing and ..everything in between and outside these two - in short - absolutely enough.!

 

18 hours ago, bluesman said:

An apocryphal story's been published so many times that it's probably true.  In 1982, when Musician Magazine asked what he did between '75 and '81, Miles answered: “Nothin’. Gettin’ high. I didn’t feel like playing the trumpet, didn’t feel like listening to music. Didn’t want to hear it, see it, smell it, nothin’ about it… I didn’t come out of the house for about four years… But then Dizzy came around and said, ‘What the f**k are you doing? You were put here to play music!’ So I started back.”

There is a recording of a phone interview with MD from this period by a college radio guy. The interview begins like this - the radio program host is calling Miles, after a couple of beeps Miles pickups the phone (he probably forgot about the interview) and not knowing who's calling he says in aggressive, harsh voice - 'What do you want.?!'. That's simply his way of starting a phone conversation.! The program host just freezes..x-D

 

18 hours ago, bluesman said:

He was notoriously unfaithful to his wives

Yeah, he definitely was son of a gun with women!

 

18 hours ago, bluesman said:

Miles never really achieved peace, equanimity, or true joy in life.

Maybe that is what he tried to realize when he took up painting in his later years. He was a much better musician than painter though, that's for sure.

 

17 hours ago, Jud said:

It really wasn't so much his trumpet playing at all (though he did have a talent for saying a lot with a few notes

That's absolutely true! IMO this is an example of transforming one's weakness (e.g. playing technique) into strength - something that is musically fascinating and resonates with audience's emotions. 

 

17 hours ago, Jud said:

I don't know that there has ever been another jazz musician in the vanguard of three revolutions in jazz: Be-bop (as sideman to Charlie Parker along with Dizzy); cool jazz; and fusion.

You forgot to mention his 'free' period 1964-69, which BTW was very different free form from eg Coleman's or Coltrane's - in particular as far as the rhythm section was regarded - it was still disciplined and.. my god T.Williams drumming - just amazing, how old was he when he joined the band - 16.? I remember Miles mentioning instances of 'smuggling' Tony into the clubs while he was still too young to be there in accordance with the law..

 

5 hours ago, Jud said:

I like a bunch of Herbie Hancock's music, and I had never thought of him as not being in the same league either.

Same here.

 

5 hours ago, Bill Brown said:

Re. technique, I too think he was decent, not great.  Doesn't matter; what he said speaks directly to my soul.

And not only too yours I guess! Well, if I had to describe the basic characteristics of his his tone I'd probably say that it's kind of blue (B|) and lonely, BTW someone (I don't remember who at the moment) said that no-one in music has explored the phenomenon of loneliness in a way Miles did.

 

5 hours ago, Bill Brown said:

Finally, a last idea that I have always found interesting.  Miles was tough, brash, didn't take shit off of anybody, etc. but played the most tenderly beautiful music.

Agree on that! Although it's difficult of course to call eg Agharta, Pangaea or Live in Tokyo 'tender' albums..

5 hours ago, Bill Brown said:

Coltrane instead was the most gentle soul (my son says he was "an angel sent down to us'"), but suffered a reputation as sounding "angry," an "angry tenor." 

Definitely not based on 'Ballads' or the Hartman album..

Anyway: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_(psychology)

As for creative process itself AFAIK it often comes out of neurosis:

Does Neuroticism Breed Creativity? Study Says 'Yes'

 

Well, Miles has at least been on stage for a couple of decades, in case of Trane, his solo career covers a period of about a decade, in case of Hendrix it was even shorter, can't help but wonder what would the later two do next... (yeah, I know the question isn't particularly original!) :)

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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7 minutes ago, sphinxsix said:

Agree on that! Although it's difficult of course to call eg Agharta, Pangaea or Live in Tokyo 'tender' albums..

 

True(!), though I have to admit my favorites are from the Prestige and Columbia years up to when he started using electric instruments in the band.

 

8 minutes ago, sphinxsix said:

Definitely not based on 'Ballads' or the Hartman album..

Anyway: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_(psychology)

As for creative process itself AFAIK it often comes out of neurosis:

Does Neuroticism Breed Creativity? Study Says 'Yes'

 

Definitely.  When I (rarely) try and introduce someone to him, I start with Ballads, then, based on the response, progress very slowly.  I have to admit, though, that while he may be my #1, I can't get into/understand him post-1965.  With every other album aside the obviously accessible, my first reaction was "WTH is this."  Some phrase or something would grab me though, so I would re-listen, re-listen, then AHHH!

 

He died of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer), I suspect from Hepatitis B he might have contracted when he was using IV in the mid-late 50s (I haven't seen anything official on this, just speculating).  Sometimes I wonder if liver disease was affecting his playing towards the end, but it may simply (perhaps probably) be that his liver hung in there until the "rug was pulled out from under him," this not uncommon if his liver was able to remain compensated despite some degree of cirrhosis before the cancer.

 

Nice links.

 

"Suffering for your art?"  Certainly not all, but many.

 

Bill

Labels assigned by CA members: "Cogley's ML sock-puppet," "weaponizer of psychology," "ethically-challenged," "professionally dubious," "machismo," "lover of old westerns," "shill," "expert on ducks and imposters," "Janitor in Chief," "expert in Karate," "ML fanboi or employee," "Alabama Trump supporter with an NRA decal on the windshield of his car," sycophant

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1 hour ago, Bill Brown said:

"Suffering for your art?"  Certainly not all, but many.

Actually some artists who are aware of this are afraid or simply refuse psychotherapy fearing they might stop being creative after (while being maybe a little more happy)! AFAIK it's also sometimes not an easy challenge for therapists - to help a human being with his problems while not killing the artist within him.. 

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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Yes, it was still called that until the early 90s when identified and named (so couldn’t be detected in the blood supply before then, as of course you know). 
 

I was rounding with residents once who wanted to transfuse a post-partum patient. I reminded them of prior blood-borne illness disasters. “But we can test for those now.”  I explained that early in my training we thought we could test for everything also, that they didn’t know what they didn’t know. “What about a future hep G or H” I said. HHV-6 has been added to the list since then. 
 

I wonder about the epidemiologic data re. the incidence of B and C historically (though not knowing what it was would of course make it difficult). My impression of the incidence of Hep C is much higher than the number of cases who were previously diagnosed as Non-A/non-B, though of course we are looking for it more aggressively now (it was essentially all baby boomers, but the age where testing is recommended has come down, and of course people transfused before identification and IV drug abusers). 
 

The new treatments for hepatitis C are astoundingly good, and I am cynical on “revolutions” in medicine. So far everyone I have been involved in the care of, regardless of disease stage has sustained undetectable viral loads. 
 

I was just about to note that this thread has wandered, now catapulted off-topic, then chuckled to myself that maybe it isn’t......

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41 minutes ago, Bill Brown said:

I was just about to note that this thread has wandered, now catapulted off-topic, then chuckled to myself that maybe it isn’t......

I personally have no problem with that.

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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@sphinxsix and others--- I don't agree with what you say but will defend to my death your right to say it!(Patrick Henry/Voltaire). That said (and I said it before) ONLY those who grew up in the 60's amid the chaos of wars killings of JFK RFK MLK riots protests have the RIGHT and PRIVILEGE to comment on quality 'overratedness'  etc of the DEAD Dylan EC and others-- they are OURS to critique, like or hate. For me the last time I remember really being 'happy' was 1963--everything changed after that and these musicians tried to correct " it was the best of times, the worst of times--it was spring/summer of hope-- the winter of our discontent"(that has lasted 'till now). Just how many of above can claim to be of that generation-- I could be wrong but not many I would guess.

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13 minutes ago, bobbmd said:

I don't agree with what you say but will defend to my death your right to say it!(Patrick Henry/Voltaire). That said (and I said it before) ONLY those who grew up in the 60's amid the chaos of wars killings of JFK RFK MLK riots protests have the RIGHT and PRIVILEGE to comment on quality 'overratedness'  etc of the DEAD Dylan EC and others-- they are OURS to critique, like or hate.

 

Think you need to be more clear - do I have the right to say it or judge them or no.? :)

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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1 hour ago, sphinxsix said:

 

Think you need to be more clear - do I have the right to say it or judge them or no.? :)

 

I think everyone needs to judge any historical figure(s) in the context of when they lived (and performed).  

 

Of course on a personal note you can judge The Dead strictly on the merits of their music but without context you lose who and what they were and just how much influence their music had. 

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Guys, some time ago I started the thread 'The Greatest Guitarist of All Time'. I strongly tend to agree with most (I strongly believe) critics and music lovers that according to the criteria mentioned by me (no jazz or classical guitar players) the most important, revolutionary and the greatest one ever was Jimi Hendrix. From my point of view everyone whose guitarists shortlist didn't begin with his name was in fact saying - Hendrix is overrated. And there were tens of people who preferred some other guitarist as their candidate for the 'greatest' one (some also claiming Jerry Garcia was their personal no 1), just tens of them. I didn't take none of these posts personally, I also don't have a notebook with nicks of all of the authors of these posts written in it and obviously I  don't remember them, haven't been interested in cultivating these memories. I wasn't personally offended by none of these posts. We are all different, we value different music and it's natural. 

My attitude to GD had been expressed in short in the very first post of this thread. In a blunt, maybe even provocative way (I know there are many fans of the band here), that's the way I am. Sometimes. Sometimes I consciously provoke to stir things a little, that's right, I think that some know it already.

I said in my first post 'I expect the discussion may be quite hot.'

I also said 'Let's stay relaxed..'

IMO some here really take the whole thing too personally. I would never express emotions in a way some here did if someone said that 2 performers whom I regard as the most important performers in the late 60's and early 70's - Hendrix and Led Zeppelin  were overrated or the most overrated ones. That's you, that's your music taste, there is IMO no (or at least should be no) music taste totalitarianism. Or any other for that matter.

However I wouldn't like to instigate feelings and conflicts like that here and if someone thinks his feelings have been hurt by this thread or whatever I said here and thinks it'd be better if this thread was closed - I give him hereby the right to simply ask @The Computer Audiophile to close the thread and I'm personally asking Chris to respect that. Simple as that. :)

Happy Easter everybody (regardless of his music taste)! :)

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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@sphinxsixJust when we were starting to have fun? I hope not!

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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On 3/23/2021 at 11:07 PM, firedog said:

A couple off the top of my head from the same era: The Moody Blues, Love. Love put out a few OK albums, IMO, and gets put on the lists of best albums of all time. There are lots of others.

 

Vanilla Sludge

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1 hour ago, cab33 said:

 

Vanilla Sludge

Wrong thread, I believe B|

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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1 hour ago, bluesman said:

I can’t tell you how unhappy that makes me - and on so many levels.  That’s so profoundly sad that I won’t denigrate it with humor.  I’m very sorry if that’s really true.

 

One of two saddest things I've heard in my entire life, the other one being somebody's confession that he has never had a friend.

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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