Breakfast Blend: Miles Davis, “Right Off”

This is Miles and his septet at their best defining jazz/rock fusion. With John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Billy Cobham, Sonny Sharock, and Michael Henderson, Davis and his band totally kick the shit out of this instrumental that was produced as the soundtrack for an animated film on the life of boxer Jack Johnson.

Perhaps this is why Miles is in the R’n’R HOF, although it is ridiculous to consider who is in and out of that stupid museum, although I actually I do want to go there: I just don’t care who is in much anymore.

To the point, Deep Purple is in on the strength of two hits and a so-so album. This cut from Miles, along with the back side (a track called “Yesternow”) is better than anything Deep Purple ever imagined.

Add in Bitches Brew to the cartel of fusion Miles did, not to mention his incredible albums, Kind of Blue, and In a Silent Way and it is pretty easy to see why Miles et al are so highly thought of by all who love brainy music.

6 thoughts on “Breakfast Blend: Miles Davis, “Right Off”

  1. Right Off, along with Yesternow, is the score for a movie called A Tribute to Jack Johnson. And an album of the same name.

    One correction. A Tribute to Jack Johnson was a documentary, not animated as best I can tell (though I wasn’t able to find it online). In any case, while the movie may have been cast aside, this music is among the most ambitious and powerful of Miles Davis’s career.

    I did find this clip, which is electrifying.

    One other thing: When Davis took this commission on he said he was going to put together the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band the world had ever heard.

  2. I bought my album when it was just called “Jack Johnson,” It was re-issued a bit later as “A Tribute to…” I never could find the movie, but my album said featuring the voice of Brock Peters and the cover had cartoon (real life, but drawings) so i just assumed.

    Steve, that is a classic false equivalency. Maybe if you had asked “does Jim Brown deserve a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?” that would have been a valid analogy/question.

    a narrow view never gets anyone anywhere.

  3. No, my analogy includes music and sports. In music, rock is a kind of music, as is jazz. Miles Davis was clearly jazz. In sports, baseball is a sport, as is football. Jim Brown was clearly a football player.

    And I’m sure there are times when a narrow view works best.

  4. Well, if you are going to generalize, we might as well say all humans qualify for everything cos we are all humans. I think Brown is to football and acting what Miles is to jazz and rock makes a pretty solid analogy. Maybe not enough to be an HOF’er, but in a world where Deep Purple is, there is little meaning anyway.

    I think narrow does work as a solution on occasion, but most of the time only as a short term solution. The nature of things is to grow and evolve, and that is a force contrary to narrow as i see it.

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