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BrufordFreak View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Does Miles Davis belong in Prog?
    Posted: December 07 2014 at 14:31
When you think of "progressive rock music" does Miles Davis come to mind? 
When you think of Miles Davis do you think of progressive rock music? 
When you listen to Miles Davis do you think, "Man, this is great prog!" ??
I bet not.

While I would not argue that Miles Davis' bold musical experiments significantly contributed to the mental courage it took to take music into new and different directions--into what we call "progressive rock"--I would argue that he 

Miles Davis belongs within the "proto-prog" compartment for the ripple effects that his albums and concerts and interviews had on musicians in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. 

As proof of my case, look at Mickey and Raffa's latest polarity contest poll entitled "WINTER MADNESS:  PA's Battle of the Bands": 64 of the most popular and "influential" prog bands, both past and present, which had no place, no call, no advocacy for an artist who has no less than 6 albums in the PA Top 250 Studio albums of all-time, no less than 10 albums in the PA archives with average ratings over 4.0, yet the prog rockers here on PA did not feel him worthy of a place in the polling contest of the most popular and influential artists/bands of all-time. The masses seem to be saying that Miles Davis is not prog. Therefore, it seems natural that Miles Davis does not deserve to be in the main, general files of PA. His work served to influence artist to become adventurous--perhaps to become progressive or even to become prog, but his music is not what I consider prog. His music is not what I would ever submit to a newbie as a prime example of prog (unless I were shamelessly trying to pad the prog resumé). 

Miles Davis belongs in Proto-prog. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 14:44
Progressive rock...? No....jazz and jazz fusion...yes.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 14:47
When you think of "progressive rock music" does Robert Plant come to mind? 
When you think of Tori Amos do you think of progressive rock music? 
When you listen to Nightwish do you think, "Man, this is great prog!" ??
I bet not.

Miles Davis belongs in Jazz-Rock/Fusion. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 14:50

He is the master of fusion jazz and experimental jazz.....I would never put him in any rock category. Why would he be put in proto-prog? By the PA definition "proto" means earliest and "prog" we all connect with progrock....so by that he is not the "earliest prog rock" artist.

Proto-fusion jazz makes more sense than proto-prog, but even that to me is a stretch of definitions.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 15:21
I think the expression "prog rock" is a somewhat habitually used misnomer, apart from the cases when the music in question is indeed progressive and indeed rock. Which is just a segment of "prog" as a whole. 

The broadest common denominator of the PA-listed albums is the quality of the music, not so much its specific style or genre. Therefore, I think a more accurate description of PA would be "progressive music archives", which would cover progressive rock, progressive jazz, progressive metal, progressive folk and a number of blended genres. 




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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 15:51
Originally posted by BrufordFreak BrufordFreak wrote:

When you think of "progressive rock music" does Miles Davis come to mind? 
When you think of Miles Davis do you think of progressive rock music? 
When you listen to Miles Davis do you think, "Man, this is great prog!" ??
I bet not.

Hell no I do not! Clap

While I would not argue that Miles Davis' bold musical experiments significantly contributed to the mental courage it took to take music into new and different directions--into what we call "progressive rock"--I would argue that he 

Miles Davis belongs within the "proto-prog" compartment for the ripple effects that his albums and concerts and interviews had on musicians in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Yes, but Proto-Prog more so than Prog Related is one of the worst things this site has done and handled IMO. To be done and done correctly it would have been a Pandora's Box, perhaps recognizing that, those in charge of it have nessarily done an incomplete job with it. Some have been included .. not all and many that were had no business being there. The Doors? Bullsh*t..  No one loves the Airplane more than me, but Proto-PROG. Come on..

As proof of my case, look at Mickey and Raffa's latest polarity contest poll entitled "WINTER MADNESS:  PA's Battle of the Bands": 64 of the most popular and "influential" prog bands, both past and present, which had no place, no call, no advocacy for an artist who has no less than 6 albums in the PA Top 250 Studio albums of all-time, no less than 10 albums in the PA archives with average ratings over 4.0, yet the prog rockers here on PA did not feel him worthy of a place in the polling contest of the most popular and influential artists/bands of all-time.  The masses seem to be saying that Miles Davis is not prog.

hahaha. I don't know about the masses.  What one can take from what I said was Miles Davis transcends mere prog rock and simply didn't 'fit' the overall feel of the contest.  It was done for fun's sake for God's sake. LOL

Therefore, it seems natural that Miles Davis does not deserve to be in the main, general files of PA. His work served to influence artist to become adventurous--perhaps to become progressive or even to become prog, but his music is not what I consider prog. His music is not what I would ever submit to a newbie as a prime example of prog (unless I were shamelessly trying to pad the prog resumé).
 

Miles Davis belongs in Proto-prog.

The issue isn't Miles Davis, it is the school of thought that some have that being included IN the database means the site is saying they are prog artists.  One can do prog albums and not be considered a prog artist. Look at Genesis haha.  History sees Genesis as a pop group, no matter what prog fan wants to think. However they had a prog phase.  Miles Davis did albums which fit a sub-genre this site considers to be prog or progressive rock (related but different). However the site is not saying Davis is a prog artist. He transcended that mere tag dude.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 15:57
Yup, along with Nucleus, Weather Report, Return To Forever etc. As long as there's a Jazz/Rock/Fusion sub-genre of Prog then of course he belongs. If you don't think that sub-genre belongs under the Prog umbrella then no he doesn't along with the rest of these. Proto-Prog to me is way off, just my opinion.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 16:08
It doesn't really matter what category he's in. I think he fits the criteria for Jazz Rock Fusion solely on the basis of a relative handful of his immense discography. His importance as an artist is as massive as anyone America has yet produced; his importance to "prog" is miniscule by comparison. This site has chosen to focus on just a thin sliver of the musical spectrum, for ease of management as much as anything else. Davis's relevance to prog lies in his contributions to Jazz Rock fusion, that is i believe the rationale for putting him there. You could make a decent argument for Proto Prog, but that would rest on the assumption that he wasn't ever a prog artist and he preceded prog. In a Silent Way was 1966, right? So maybe you're right.

But back to my point. If he's on the site anyway, why change his sub? What benefit would that have?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 16:19
Absolutely not.
 
Proto-ptog is certainly a better solution, but it'll never happen.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 16:36
"Call it anything." (famous Miles Davis quotation, about his own music)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 16:36
He's in Fusion because he's done some great Fusion albums. He is and always will be a Jazz God.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 16:40
Originally posted by Man With Hat Man With Hat wrote:

Absolutely not.
 
Proto-ptog is certainly a better solution, but it'll never happen.


of course not.  Dave Brubeck is the most glaring omission from Proto-Prog IMO and should have been added the same time Davis was in Proto.  While Davis did fusion albums and Brubeck did not is sort of immaterial. Fusion is and will always be on the outside of what is generally considered prog rock which of course ground zero for the site. Proto is generally assigned to that late 60's English merging. Otherwise Iron Maiden would have been labelled as Proto 'new' prog.

Both Davis and Brubeck were certainly IMO important foundations for the original prog rock movement and that far exceeds any particular dalliances into the form itself Davis had (and Brubeck did not have). Great albums of course, but without his late 50's early 60's work, without theirs. Popular Music could have well been very different by the  time the late 60's rolled around
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 16:40
I've given up on what should be considered appropriate prog for this site. There are so many bands that have no, none, zero progressive attributes listed here that I don't even bother any more. At this point I think PA (despite it's name) should include all bands, as ridiculous as that seems. So Miles? Sure, why not. As long as the descriptions are an accurate reflection of the music it only serves to increase the visibility audibility of music to a wider audience.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 17:03
To the experts here, what is the defining difference between jazz fusion and prog rock?  What is the tipping point?

Personally I don't hear much if any jazz in a lot of "jazz fusion".

What about Mahavishnu Orchestra?  That stuff ROCKS hard, especially live.  It's surely progressive as most of the songs are in odd meters etc, and long pieces.  Sure there is a lot of improvisation going on.. but isn't improv a big part of prog rock at times also? 

In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew sound pretty rock in the rhythm section.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 17:12
Personally I think that jazz-fusion is just that, a genre unto itself. Honestly most of these fusion bands don't belong here because they weren't doing what the rest of the Art Rock gang was in the beginning. When ELP and Genesis were fusing classical with rock the other guys were fusing jazz with rock. It was a separate deal. But that's just what I think. Tongue


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 17:22
Well, a lot of fusion bands experimented with complex time signatures and long tracks, and some prog rock bands turned fusion, so that would be why fusion is included as part of the greater prog family here.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 17:24
Originally posted by Lear'sFool Lear'sFool wrote:

Well, a lot of fusion bands experimented with complex time signatures and long tracks, and some prog rock bands turned fusion, so that would be why fusion is included as part of the greater prog family here.

Oh sure, that's why I said a 'most' of them don't belong here but some definitely do.




Edited by bhikkhu - December 07 2014 at 17:25
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 17:26
He's a jazz legend, but prog?

No way.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 17:26
The similarity between Miles and Brubeck is that both of these men pushed jazz beyond it's traditional boundaries.  Like the prog pioneers, they broke the barriers that were limiting their genre.
 
The difference is that one of the things Miles did was legitimize the use of the rock rhythm section in jazz, which, from the jazz side, was the foundation of fusion.  Brubeck, on the other hand, was more interested in odd time changes (a staple of the prog sound), and a blending of classical and jazz.  Hence, Miles belongs in the fusion subgenre, Brubeck does not.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2014 at 17:40
Originally posted by Skullhead Skullhead wrote:

To the experts here, what is the defining difference between jazz fusion and prog rock?  What is the tipping point?

Personally I don't hear much if any jazz in a lot of "jazz fusion".

What about Mahavishnu Orchestra?  That stuff ROCKS hard, especially live.  It's surely progressive as most of the songs are in odd meters etc, and long pieces.  Sure there is a lot of improvisation going on.. but isn't improv a big part of prog rock at times also? 

In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew sound pretty rock in the rhythm section.




Here is my two cents, it might be bullsh*t but I do think it reflecive of the site itself.

At the center you have prog rock, prog rock which is an established musical genre filled with all the dots artists need to connect if they are to be considered 'prog'.

Encompassing that you have the larger form 'progressive rock' which doesn't exactly follow the established norms of prog, or considered historically TO be prog but in general deemed to be part of the movement to expand the boundries of rock. I think Fusion and much of J-R falls into this

Encompassing that is the larger 'Progressive Music' which obviously includes more progressive music with less emphasis on the rock.  Notablly RIO-Avant, large aspects of Krautrock, and of course electronic/ambient.

Just my two cents of course but I think that is a fair synopsis of the site and how the various bands and subgenres interact.  The site is not a prog rock site, and hasn't been for many years and the site, and its users are far better for it.
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