Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Miles Live in Europe

Volume two of Columbia's Miles Davis Bootleg Series is this Live in Europe 1969. Recorded in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm, this set features one of Miles' greatest bands: Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. 1969 was the year of Davis' Bitches Brew, and although that recording features different personnel, listeners familiar with that recording will have an idea what to expect: bold, impovisatory jazz that was thrilling in its freedom and intensity, and that remains challenging and untamed forty years later. This is modern art, anxious to break with the past, frustrate expectations, challenge all assumptions, willing to question what jazz or even music ultimately is. If you're into free jazz, or any of the later Miles stuff, this is wonderful and exhilerating music. If tradition, swing and melody are your thing, proceed with caution. (includes a DVD of a concert in Germany)

Dwight Yoakum

Dwight's newest CD, his first in seven years, is 3 Pears, and is a fine offering for admirers of his neo- traditional hard country. This record makes more obvious what Yoakum fans have known for awhile, though: Dwight's music owes as much to rock as country, and is ultimately just good music. Dwight's written or co-written everything here except the classic country raveup Dim Lights,Thick Smoke and his songwriting has never been better. This is country, for sure, but not the watered-down pop white bread country many people find so cloying. Dwight's music is fresh and soulful and weaves strands of classic rock, soul and country into a very satisfying blend that anyone who likes good songwriting and electrified Americana should enjoy.