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The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-68 (Oxford Studies in Recorded Jazz) Paperback – March 16, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review


"A welcome addition to the growing number of scholarly publications about jazz. While Waters approaches the topic multilaterally and comprehensively, the scope of his study is remarkable, the analytical tools innovative and penetrating, and the conclusions reflecting points of view of a fine scholar with insightful analytical prowess and a thorough understanding of extremely challenging musical repertory...[A] monumental study." --Association for Recorded Sound Collections


"Session by session, composition by composition, what was once a profound mystery destined for eternal analytical purgatory has been freed...within this text are the keys to immediate and future musicological discoveries and exciting individual artistic developmental possibilities." --Bob Belden, composer and producer


"A major book. For serious listeners, it's a gold mine of information and analysis concerning one of the most important musical ensembles of the 20th century." --Bill Kirchner, musician, producer, historian, educator, and editor of The Oxford Companion to Jazz


"Waters' writing is impeccably clear and avoids needless jargon...This title is part of Oxford University Press' new series of book-length discussions of classic jazz albums (another is Brian Harker's Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings). In this era of audio downloads, such serious studies that dig into the significance of the records that have shaped our world are always welcome." --Downbeat, Editor's Pick


"An excellent resource...Highly recommended." --Choice


"A detailed exploration of those recordings, with interviews, musical analysis and critical
response for both the scholar and fan." --New York City Jazz Record


"Advances the field of jazz analysis through its thporoughness and analytical insight, applying creative approaches to explain music that has often seemed structurally opaque and mysterious and that has often been discussed only in superlatives. The study has few counterparts for comparison and stands in a rather lonely position in the world of contemporary jazz analysis." --Journal of Jazz Studies


"Every music library should have a copy of Keith Waters' new book. It goes beyond a
purely descriptive analysis of the workings of the great Miles Davis Quintet of the mid-
1960s, providing technical analysis that includes in-depth notated musical transcriptions
of solos and accompaniments...This is the first book-length account devoted entirely to
unearthing the nitty gritty in this remarkable band's music. Bravo for Waters!" --Mark C. Gridley, Notes


"Systematic and thorough, Waters not only reveals the richness and complexity of the inner workings of the 1960s Davis quintet, he also placing them in relationship to the music of their time and explores their legacy to generations of jazz musicians to come after them." --ARSC Journal


"A wonderful, always enlightening, and frequently brilliant book...A landmark in the history
of jazz scholarship." --American Music


"A new seminal work in Davis scholarship." --American Music Review


About the Author

Keith Waters is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and author of Jazz: The First Hundred Years, co-authored with Henry Martin (Schirmer, 2001; Second edition 2006); Essential Jazz: The First Hundred Years, co-authored with Henry Martin (Schirmer, 2005; Second edition 2008); and, Rhythmic and Contrapuntal Structures in the Music of Arthur Honegger (Ashgate, 2002).
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Studies in Recorded Jazz
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195393848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195393842
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By W. Joness on April 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chances are if you have made it this far you are already aquatinted with Miles' second quintet, and you are a musician with at least some knowledge in thoery. And that is really all it takes to appreciate this book! The author has renewed my fascination for this music and helped me hear things I had not previously realized, despite countless listens.

The following is part of an email from the author that identifies specifically which parts of the recordings are analyzed:

"The book chapters are keyed to the individual studio recordings. The E.S.P. chapter deals with "Iris" (composition and Shorter solo), "Little One" (composition and Davis solo), "E.S.P." (composition and Hancock solo), and "Agitation" (composition and a portion of Shorter's solo). The Miles Smiles album examines "Dolores" (composition, Davis solo, and beginning of Shorter solo), "Orbits" (comp, end of Davis solo, Shorter solo, and beginning of Hancock solo), "Circle" (composition and portion of Hancock solo), "Ginger Bread Boy" (Carter accompaniment), and "Freedom Jazz Dance.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By msticdrumr on May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is especially useful for musicians seeking some measure of understanding in the creative process and evolution of America's greatest cultural contribution to the world. The focus is on, in my opinion, the most intriguingly creative, consistently adventurous, and intrepid quintet Miles ever engaged in.

To read about the mechanics of creative processes in each of these most amazing musicians and how they coalesce into a single ever-changing musical entity with Miles navigating their journey into uncharted zones is insightful enough, but to then play the various tunes in the background or looped for closer comparison as you read about those tunes is an adventure.

It is technical and challenging to get through but, if you are really interested in getting inside the heads of these true geniuses, this is as close as it gets. It is a study in how five dynamic leaders, in their own rights, converged to make music history and magic that transcends time and space. I'm glad somebody took the time and effort to shine a light on this stellar quintet and the years they shone in the studio and in live performances during Miles Davis's incredible career!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Steven Chall on May 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best analysis I've seen of any of Miles's music so far. The author seems to have an excellent ear and superhuman diligence. It's not an easy book, but it's not an easy subject, and I've found my own persistence richly rewarded. To the limits of my understanding the musical transcriptions are completely accurate (a rare phenomenon, especially in light of the complexity of this music) and the author's reflections on them are consistently penetrating and enlightening, even if the language occasionally seems a bit academic for the subject matter. I suppose that's not unreasonable considering the likely audience. Besides, how else do you talk about this stuff, if you're going to talk about it at all? And I'm glad he's talking about it.

Thanks to this book I'm hearing new things in pieces I've been listening to for decades. Just one example: Wayne Shorter's "Iris" has a structure during the head that's augmented in the solo sections with the head structure appended at double speed, so that a solo chorus is 1-1/2 times the length of a head chorus. Shorter ends his solo, not where a solo chorus would end, but where the head would have ended, leaving Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter dangling. For the next several bars, they're not clear on whether they're starting over at the beginning of a new solo chorus or finishing the previous one first. I never realized this was happening, despite hundreds of listens, until I read this book.

What's even more remarkable, and a testimonial to the superb musicianship of the players in this group, is that it still sounds good anyway. And that's the ultimate value of this book for me, that the author's admirable scholarship is enlisted in the service of deepening our understanding and enjoyment of this magnificent ensemble.
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