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Miles Davis - Get Up With It CD (album) cover


Miles Davis


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.21 | 140 ratings

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4 stars Given Miles Davis has such a large discography, it'll be virtually impossible to know everything he's released, and I know there's plenty of titles, even in this day, that I'm completely unaware of. I only knew of Get Up With It around 2004. Another one of those neglected Miles albums no one talks about, unlike say, Bitches Brew. It was 120 minutes long, so it had to be a triple LP set. Wrong! It's a double LP set, probably the lengthiest double ever released. Given it was out of print for so long (Sony finally got to reissuing it in the States only in 2000) original LPs aren't always easy to come by. I finally got a copy, but I don't regret it. This album consisted of material recorded in 1973 and '74, plus Jack Johnson and On the Corner outtakes. He just couldn't get those fit on those albums, so I'm happy he didn't let them stay in the archives. I'm sure people were scared off by this album because it starts with "He Love Him Madly". A tribute to Duke Ellington, who just then-recently passed away, it's clear it really devastated Miles big time. That caused him to record a slow pace, spacy, eerie and ominous piece where the organ, rather than trumpet dominates. It does pick up some, but the tempo is pretty much slow, and I'm sure that scared off a lot of potential listeners back in the day. I get it: mood and atmosphere was what he was more concerned here, kinda like what Tangerine Dream did for Zeit, but unlike Zeit, there is at least drums and a bit of rhythm. But the album really picks up steam after, exploring funk, Latin, blues, calypso, you name it, and do it very well. "Calypso Frelimo" is cut from much the same cloth as Return to Forever's "Captain Senor Mouse", except it's 32 minutes long. It starts off with some calypso stuff on the organ, but then quickly goes into extended jams, with heavy emphasis on percussion. This frequently sounds, to my ears, if the Drum Tower at the Oregon Country Fair (Drum Tower is a space for people to play their drums at, that is, bongos, congas, Native American drums, darbukas, and so on) was occupied by professional jazz players, including sax and various percussion players, and an organist. (For those who don't know, the Oregon Country Fair is a yearly hippie fair held outside of Eugene, Oregon, and you know you nearing the Drum Tower when you hear a lots of hand drums playing). Of course, Chick Corea & Company would have never though to extend their "Senor Mouse" to over a half an hour long, but Miles did with "Calypso Frelimo". There are times the album gets experimental, like on "Rated X" while the blues influence is felt on "Honky Tonky" and Red China Blues". Apparently guitarist Pete Cosey had an experience in blues and R&B recording for Chess Records (Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters giving him blues experience), but his guitar playing here is much more rock-oriented than blues. I have often what compelled Miles to start the album off with "He Loves Him Madly", while I enjoy it, many may not. Regardless, I really love the variety covered on this album. Even Robert Christgau gave it an A- (given he was a big fan of Miles David to begin with), very much the same rating he gave for the much more popular Bitches Brew. It don't get the recognition of many of his other albums, but I very much highly recommend it. I can't give it a five star only because "He Loves Him Madly" can be a bit hard going.
Progfan97402 | 4/5 |


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