Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Miles, Ahead

miles gary bartz jack dejohn
Hey, Miles. Whatcha doing?

“Motherfucker, I’ll throw you off a bridge.”

Mr. Davis.


Mr. Davis, where did your hatred of the white man come from?

“Paying attention.”

Well put.

“Black man who don’t know the white man is the devil is worse than the white man. And nothing’s worse than the white man.”

Your logic may be off there.

“Logic is a white man’s lie.”

And now you’re back to making sense.

“Course I make sense. I invented jazz.”

You didn’t.

“I’ll take your ofay ass to that bridge, boy.”

Fine, fine: you invented jazz.

“And being masculine.”

No. No, you didn’t. And please speak up.


Holy shit, did you just slap me?

“You get the back of the hand next.”

You’re a terrible man.

“Yeah. You gonna turn off my music?”


“So, who wins?”


  1. Grumpy bastard needs to lay off the peanut-butter and anthrax Girl Scout cookies.
    Switch to boxers.
    Put on some John Lee Hooker.

  2. Just curious as there is so much of it that it gets hard to tell. Is the self loathing of the color of your own skin and the “West” real, a put on or somewhere in between?

    • Self-loathing comes naturally to those who choose to be born Mets fans.

      • OUCH. I overlook the fact that my brothers and my Dad are Mets fans. I still love ’em. I’m a Nats fan.

        And growing up we had Dad-Giants, me -Redskins, brother-Cowboys, brother- Broncos.

        Has some real interesting times/fights/screaming matches on Sunday’s.

  3. White men who Miles Davis actually liked:

    1) Gil Evans

    2) Jerry Garcia


    I’m thinking, I’m thinking…

    Can anyone else give me a hand with this list?

  4. “Miles Ahead”? Great pun! I’m still pondering its hidden ramifications.

    Davis made a record by that name, if you haven’t heard.

    I have the LP in mono ;^P

    • I have heard of that record. Not as big a fan of his Second Great Quintet as the earlier stuff or the later stuff, though.

      • Miles Ahead is one of the large-band collaborations with Gil Evans as arranger. There are several of those, including the legendary Birth of the Cool and Sketches of Spain. 1950s era. Sketches might be 1960.
        Quiet Nights is a particular favorite of mine. Sublime music for summertime.

        I like the electric Miles a lot myself, and that’s usually what I’m most inclined to play. I’m still a rocker at heart. I have to be in the right mood to put on the Evans/Davis collaborations. But for that mood, they excel. I prefer to clear sufficient space to concentrate on listening to them, especially Sketches of Spain. It’s like Seastones, in that respect ;^D (o/t: You will never understand Seastones unless you have sufficient bass to fill the room, and get it tidal. If that’s accomplished, it’s glorious. But the waves have to densify the atmosphere to the point where you feel submerged. So headphones won’t work as well. No need for top volume. But bass as low as you can get- which means big speakers, fairly big room, preferably stucco or masonry. Turn out lights, volume sufficient to achieve the effect, but comfortable. Bingo, u r avant-garde… )

        As far as electric Miles, there’s some records I like better than others. Earlier is better. But it’s all at least good and listenable. I like Agartha and Pangaea, which are the most “funk/jam-band” of his records. Just side-long jams, maybe spliced together once or twice. Pete Cosey plays wah-wah electric guitar on there, and he’s a nut. And every once in a while, the entire band stops, and Davis just blasts out a solo passage. He also has an electric keyboard he cues the band with, it’s pretty funny. Isaac Hayes, out beyond the solar system.

        Miles vs. Fela? Depends on the mood. No wailing guitar on Fela records. The atmospherics on the Miles records are very evocative, and American. But Fela is doing tighter music, for me. Tony Alabi is one of the all-time groove drummers, playing that African 3 against 2. And the counterpoint arrangements are out of sight on Fela records, both band and vocal. “Upside Down”, so crazy. The band is so tight that you wonder if the needle got stuck.

        Best electric Miles Davis record not done by Miles Davis: Caravanserai, by Santana. I picked up a copy the other day- hadn’t listened to it in many years. The influence of “In A Silent Way”-era Miles Davis is all over that music, along with Santana’s cosmic psychedelic positivity, or whatever it is (particularly from that era, lol. I definitely recommend Carlos’ autobiograpghy.)
        One of the most historic Santana performances is his version of “Silent Way”, on the Last Days of the Fillmore soundtrack. Interesting to hear how much that record influenced some of his own work.

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