Part 1: Free Jazz and Fusion
Miles Dale Album: E.S.P.
“The music the band produced was very outside the normal realm of traditional jazz; it was free jazz or playing outside.”
Free Jazz and Fusion
In the 1960’s after the Kind of Blue album Miles ventured into a new more free musical style. Miles had been playing with the musicians from the Kind of Blue album for some time and after the group split up Miles was forced to recruit new musicians. He invited Herbie Handcock, Tony Williams, and Wayne Shorter to join his new band. The music the band produced was very outside the normal realm of traditional jazz; it was free jazz or playing outside. The new younger musicians showed Miles the out playing style they were so fond of and Miles adapted his playing style to them. The group produced multiple albums with the most popular being Nefertiti and E.S.P.
In the late 1960’s and 1970’s Miles started using more electric instruments in his music and once again he was inspired by the musicians around him and chose to adapt to the new style. Miles was inspired by the rock artists of the day like Jimi Hendrix. Miles really liked what he was hearing from the rock artists and wanted to incorporate it in his own music. He also began using a wide variety of musicians and instruments, multiple percussionists, electric guitar players, multiple drummers, and keyboard players. Of course Miles caught some bad reviews from other traditional jazz musicians they thought he was diverging from the classic jazz style and his new music was thus inferior. Miles produced many albums during this period but most notable are Bitches Brew, In a Silent Way, and Live Evil.
Miles took a five year break from music in the 1970’s and when he came back produced some pretty good music, mostly more of the jazz rock type stuff and then died in 1991. Miles had a long crazy life filled with highs and lows and he left a powerful musical legacy. Not many artists are able to create an amazing album in a specific genre. Miles was able to produce groundbreaking albums in multiple genres, which shows his ability to change and adapt to changes within music, his willingness to experiment and try new things.