Monday Notes

You’re My Everything, a ballad from the Miles Davis point of view

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[Note di lunedì n.22] Miles Davis was the most visionary and prolific band leader jazz music has ever produced. A musician who is impossible to classify, from his debut as a bopper alongside Charlie Parker he changed styles repeatedly with exceptional results, moving through modal jazz, electric and experimental jazz-rock, to rap and pop. We analyse his interpretation of You’re My Everything.

The beginning of You’re My Everything shows us how Miles Davis directed his musicians, having in mind a precise idea of what he wanted from them. At minute 0’16” Red Garland plays an introduction, Davis interrupts him and asks him to play it again, this time using block chords together with the melody. The second introduction can be heard at minute 0’30”.

B♭6 G7♭9Cm11F7#11
Dm7  G7♭9Cm7 F7

The chords of this introduction are very simple, in fact it is a common turnaround. Davis had a very specific colour in mind and knew how to get the most out of his players, the second block chord introduction is in fact a pearl of rare beauty.

The piece continues with the trumpet’s exposition of the theme (minute 0’45”). The performance is lyrical and inspired, Miles Davis does not overuse long notes and gives his performance an almost speech-like flow, moreover he uses pauses in a masterly way.

Davis is not an egocentric and overbearing bandleader, on the contrary he is an extraordinary director who enhances the qualities of those who play with him. And so at minute 2’58” it is the turn of John Coltrane to perform a solo on the tenor sax. Many of Miles Davis’ fellow travellers learned from their experience at his side and became leaders of exceptional groups themselves.

Until next Monday!

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