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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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GERRY GIBBS &
THE ELECTRIC THRASHER ORCHESTRA

The Music of Miles Davis
1967-1975

Whaling City Sound WCS 047

 

 


CD1
1. Directions (Take 1)
2. Double Image/Gemini
3. Masqualero
4. Little Church
5. Bitches Brew
6. Improv. No1
7. Bass and Percussion Improv No. 1
8. Nefertiti
9. Black Satin
10. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down
11. Lonely Fire
12. Travere (Take 1)
13. What I Say/The Theme

CD2
1. Vocal Improv
2. In a Silent Way
3. In Concert (Part III)
4. Right Off
5. Bass and Percussion Improv No. 2
6. Pinocchio
7. Sanctuary
8. Nem Um Talvez
9. Calypso Frelimo
10. Travere (Take 2)
11. Inamorata
12. Directions (Take 2)
13. The Theme

Gerry Gibbs – Drums, quicka drum, voice, Nem UmTalvez, conga drum, balifon, slit drum, wood flute, vocal drums
Brian Swartz - Trumpet, electric trumpet
Doug Webb - Soprano, bass clarinet
Robb Hardt – Bass clarinet, flute, alto flute, piccolo
Andy Langham – Fender Rhodes, Mini Moog synthesizer
Mike Hoffman – Electric guitar
Brandon Rivas – Electric bass
Essiet Okon – Acoustic bass
Gabriel Herrara – Voices
Dwight Trible – Vocal
Felicia, Nelson and Chrissaura Cherry – Gong, African bells, chimes, rain stick, whispers

Recorded 2008 in LA, California.

 

These two CDs caught me at a real disadvantage as a reviewer; Miles Davis was nowhere near the top of my list as either a trumpet player or for that matter a composer. His electric period I particularly disliked: I could make very little sense of most of it and I have had no desire to play any of the tunes (?) myself. In fairness to everyone concerned, I felt I must state where I am coming from!

Having got that off my chest, let me say something about the records. The musicianship is astounding, the trumpet playing of Brian Swartz and the soprano work of Doug Webb are as good as I have ever heard. I would not claim to understand a lot of what they played, but the sheer excitement of it all rapidly began to overtake all my reservations.

After I decided to stop trying to understand it and to simply let all of the sounds wash over me, I started to enjoy it and before long I realised that it wasn’t only the soprano and the trumpet that were something special, but the whole band was a group of some of the finest musicians around. Gerry Gibbs' drumming drives everything along and everyone chips in with solos which require amazing musical dexterity to perform.

After listening to the two CDs twice, I must confess to being no nearer to understanding what was going on, but for me anyway that was not the way to listen to it. I have often pondered how people with no musical knowledge at all can be so taken by this kind of music. They surely don’t understand it either, but they have the ability to relax and enjoy the ride. This is a ride they will all enjoy and everyone will enjoy if you listen in the right way.

Don Mather



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