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The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles$
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Bob Gluck

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226180762

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226303390.001.0001

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Ornette Coleman’s Children

Ornette Coleman’s Children

Comparisons and Contrasts Inside and Outside the Jazz Economy

(p.149) 8 Ornette Coleman’s Children
The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles

Bob Gluck

University of Chicago Press

A panoply of musical ideas connect Miles Davis’s “Lost” Quintet, Circle, and the Revolutionary Ensemble. Linking these three bands as “children” of Ornette Coleman goes against the oft-told story of Bitches Brew being a weigh station en route to funk. In fact, all his 1970s bands balanced vamps with abstraction. Motivic development, texture and color, and intuitive group interaction represented the legacy of Ornette Coleman’s innovations, shared with Cecil Taylor and John Coltrane. Comparisons between the “Lost” and other open improvisational groups become more complex in the context of the music business. The Miles Davis name was highly marketable irrespective of the particular music his bands played. Neither Circle nor the Revolutionary Ensemble had access to major label record contracts, a steady stream of releases, or well-staffed concert tours, coupled with a promotional budget that only a major corporation could bring to bear. It is a wonder that Miles Davis was able to successfully navigate the nexus between multiple musical works, but equally significant that creative groups further off the grid could sustain their work in light of the two-tiered musical economy.

Keywords:   Miles Davis, music business, Chick Corea, circle, revolutionary ensemble, Barry Altschul, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Jerome Cooper, Sirone

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