Miles Davis Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue
Miles Davis’ performance before 600,000 screaming rock fans at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival was the culmination of a remarkable journey. A giant of jazz, Davis started to look in new musical directions by the late sixties; challenged by what he heard in the streets and on the radio—and especially by Jimi Hendrix’s music—he began to add electric pianos and guitars to his ensembles, incorporating rock and funk rhythms with jazz improvisations. This fusion resulted in masterworks such as In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew.
It also resulted in controversy every bit as fierce as Dylan going electric, as musicians, critics, and fans argued over the future of jazz. Murray Lerner was there, and in Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue he has brilliantly captured this amazing transitional moment in American music, adding contemporary reminiscences by musicians who were at Davis’s side (Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland, Gary Bartz, etc.) as well as others profoundly affected by his innovations (Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell).