Persona Digital Books & Music

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Persona  Music Recordings

Classical Music
Folk Music
Rock and Roll
Jazz
Pan American (Latin)
Fusion
Bach
Reggae
Dance
Pop Hit Songs
New New Music
Meditation
Stephen Gislason

Topics from Sound of Music


Music Theory
Musical Brain
Synthesizers
Pitch and Tonality
New Music
Music Instruments
Composing
Scales and Chords
Arpeggios
Rhythm
MIDI
Electronic Keyboards
Brief History Synthesizers
Synthesizers
Audio Processing
AD Conversion
Mixing Sound
Compressors
Sound Samples
Music Software & DAWs
See Persona Books

 


Persona Music Jazz

Lois Armstrong
Wayne Shorter
Miles Davis
Chick Corea
Joe Zawinul
Louis Armstrong
Pat Metheny
Tom Jobim and João Gilberto
Dave Sanborn
Rippingtons
Herbie Hancock

Miles Davis

Trumpeter and composer Miles Davis had  a marvelously productive career. He attracted the most talented jazz musicians many of whom went on to create evolving expressions of jazz as  the most technically advanced and, for some, the most appealing music of the 20th century. Davis attracted the best musicians available so that innovation was an eclectic group effort.

Miles began recording in 1946 with Charlie Parker. He formed  his first quintet in 1955 which became well known but dissipated in the early 60's. By 1963 the Miles Davis quintet was renewed with  saxophonist George Coleman, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams. Wayne Shorter replaced Coleman in 1964.  By 1969, electronic instruments dominated the album “In a Silent Way”, an innovative fusion album. In a Silent Way was composed of two side-long suites, a quiet album would influence the development of ambient music. It featured musicians who would develop fusion styles with their own groups in the 1970s: Shorter, Hancock, Corea, pianist Josef Zawinul, guitarist John McLaughlin, Holland, and Williams. Williams quit Davis to form his own fusion band after recording sessions for the album Bitches Brew in 1970 that abandoned traditional jazz. The album gave Davis a gold record, and created consternation within the jazz community that remains to this day; many critics and musicians remain critical of Davis after his forays into fusion."

The Miles album Kind of Blue (1959) has been described as the "greatest jazz album of all time."  Pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley all contributed to tunes based on modal scales. Davis gave the players scales to guide their improvisation. Quincy Jones wrote: "I play Kind of Blue every day—it's my orange juice. It still sounds like it was made yesterday". Davis described his musical theory: "No chords gives you more freedom and space to hear things. When you go this way, you can go on forever. You don't have to worry about changes. It becomes a challenge to see how melodically innovative you can be. When you're based on chords, you know at the end of 32 bars that the chords have run out and there's nothing to do but repeat what you've just done—with variations. I think a movement in jazz is beginning away from the conventional string of chords... there will be fewer chords but infinite possibilities as to what to do with them."

Philip Pape wrote:" Very few albums can match this Miles Davis's 1959 classic, often considered the greatest album in the history of jazz. Backed by an exquisite combo, this is an essential recording even for those who don't listen to jazz. This recording was the beginning of modal jazz, and while Coltrane displays his free, unorthodox style and intense tone, Miles balances this with his contrasting smoothness and sparse phrasing. Cannonball colors Coltrane's sound with a rhythmically daring yet more melodic style of his own, characteristic of his traditional and ebullient phrasing. Bill Evans, whether accompanying or soloing, prefers a style more likened to the title of the album. He glides elegantly and profoundly on top of the driving yet laid back swing of Jimmy Cobb. Paul Chambers serves as the technically dynamic and harmonic foundation for the group, lending his exceptional skill to a tight rhythm section."  

Robert Irving joined Miles Davis to create the album Decoy, released in 1983 and continued with Davis' touring band as the keyboardist and  musical director.  Irving listened to recordings of each night’s performance with Davis to find the best  improvisatory expressions to be included in subsequent arrangements. An Irving- Davis 1985  album (You're Under Arrest) featured “Time after Time” and “Human Nature.”  Irving appears to be the music intellectual and the glue that held the touring band together; he remained close to Davis until his death in 1991 Irving also collaborated with Bill Evans, who had arranged some of  Davis’ most celebrated recordings. The title piece Decoy of the 1983 album is credited to Irving and, for me, became an anthem piece that expresses a special kind of articulate, virtuoso anger. The  trumpet solo calls out for liberation. The entire piece describes Davis (and many other jazz musicians), an angry man who suffered all the indignities of being an educated, talented black man in the white supremist nation, the USA.

Miles Lineage  A collection of  Jazz classics
Arrangements and performance by Stephen Gislason & P2500 Band

Four Miles
Joshua
Human Nature
Alone Together
All Blues
Decoy (Robert  Irving)
Milestone
Tutu ( Marcus Miller)

Listen and Enjoy

 

Persona Music Recordings  Our Music Catalogue includes recorded performances by the P2500 Band, Em4U, and the Persona Classical Consort. Music downloads are delivered from our companion website: Alpha Online.  Some music recordings are available as Downloads:  The recordings presented online demonstrate Persona Studio's arranging, recording and mastering techniques. All the recordings are completed in house by Stephen Gislason. The music selections and their history are explained in the book, Sound of Music.

Persona Digital publishes a series of books on current topics in psychology, sociology, neuroscience and philosophy. The Persona Digital website, featuring books has  migrated to Alpha Online where you will find book descriptions and links to order pages. eBooks and can be downloaded from Alpha Online. Printed books are also ordered from Alpha Online... shipped only to Canada and the USA by postal services. See Persona Books.

Topics presented at Persona Digital Studio are from the book, The Sound of Music by Stephen Gislason.

Click the Download button to order the eBook from Alpha Online.   

Persona Digital Studio is located on the Sunshine Coast, Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada.
 mail to: alpha@dccnet.com

 

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