Was Miles a good trumpet player?

    • daver89 a dit :...
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    • 27 avr. 2011, 16h17m

    Was Miles a good trumpet player?

    I'm studying jazz as part of my course at uni and have been set an essay to assess the accuracy of Cannonball's assertion that "Miles was not a good trumpet player but a great soloist". I know he said this in about 1959. However the essay is looking at the period of 1965 to 1970, so when he started going electric.

    Just wondered firstly what your opinions on this would be. One solo that is worth condisering would be on My Funny Valentine from 1964. The amount of split notes in that could suggest some deficiencies in techique ability, although some people have argued that this is what gives him appeal; his constant pushing of boundaries.

    Also does anyone know of any articles or books which give an insight into Miles' actual technical ability? Beoing a sax player there's only so much I can say without relying on somebody else for advice so it'd be great if some of you could share your thoughts...

    • sarzin a dit :...
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    • 13 jui. 2014, 16h55m

    Miles as Technician

    It's a valid question. Miles during the 1965-70 period was a visionary musician but, in my opinion, a limited instrumentalist, possibly more limited than he had been earlier in his career. He never had bravura technique and was not a brilliant soloist - ever. He did not have great speed, and his upper register was ordinary not stupendous. Nevertheless, he had wonderful ideas. My Funny Valentine 1964 is one of my favorite albums, and one reason is that his solos were so full of ideas (the other is that George Coleman played some of the most wonderful solos I have ever heard). Miles' sound was beautiful then

    As he moved into the next phase of his career, his sound got bright, consistently, and he didn't have much interesting to say as a player. I think his solos are the least interesting part of a lot of the music from ESP to Jack Johnson. So much of that music was written over vamps. For some players, that was a blank slate, on which you could go anywhere - take Coltrane as the best example. Miles didn't or couldn't make it sound more interesting. The more he slid toward funk, the more limited he sounded. He still had some high notes, but didn't play up very much. His technique was clean, but his tone was not beautiful - probably on purpose.

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