Revisiting Miles Yet Again…

There’s no way to down play the importance of Miles’s music through out his career, and his work from the early 1970’s is no exception what so ever.
For the last couple of months I have been working on new material for what will hopefully be a sequel album to Time Circuit.
I want to write more compositions in my own electric style but instead of writing out tunes that have various forms and chord changes, I want to focus on what I call the “groove tunes.”
These tunes are the type you see on my records from the very beginning. They’re nothing new in my composition and improvisational style. Jazz to the bone, but instead with layers of rhythmic vamps and variations that allow the band to develop the song as a unit, changing it from performance to performance.
Great examples of songs in this style from Miles’s catalog for anyone interested are: It’s About That Time, Shhhh/Peaceful, What I Say, Ali, Johnny Bratton, Go Ahead John, Honky Tonk, and honestly man more. Additional songs are Herbie’s Ostinato and Bennie Maupin’s Neophilia.
This style, which I’ve noticed the jazz police scoffing at, is my wheelhouse. I was a bassist born in a trumpeter’s body. I’m obsessed with the groove and layering rhythms over tunes. There’s just so much material out there to check out: Dave Holland, Alex Sipiagin, Steve Coleman, David Binney, Christian McBride and John Escreet all include this style in their own music as well.
Right now, I have plenty of songs written for the follow up to TC but I can’t decide whether to go in a more groove, open direction or basically replicate TC by including more structured tunes.
It’s kind of a funny thing to think about. On one hand you have the “if it ain’t broke… school of thought and just continue with what works or the “hey man, expand yourself and try for different things school.” I feel either way is a win/win, I mean I’m not trying to revolutionize music by any means but I guess it’s just something to think about.

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