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View Full Version : Hey Jazz Afficianados... A Question!



Ashwin Pande
04-12-2008, 05:24 AM
For the last 6 years or so I've been a HUGE Miles Davis fan. I've bought whatever I've found of his work and I've watched a couple of documentary's on the guy's life. I'm a big fan of Miles Davis.

Which is why I'm feeling kinda... traitorous for liking Charles Mingus a lot of late. I know Mingus wasn't a trumpet guy but they were both brilliant composers and I think the comparison is still viable.

I feel that Mingus has a more darker and more sultry vibe to his music than Miles Davis did. Miles' earlier compositions are more upbeat and less cynical in mood but Mingus' pieces have that kind of dark, depressed, urban jungle sprawling with crooked people kind of vibe to it which really appeals to me.

Albums like Ah Um with the amazing Goobye Porkpie Hat (Theme for Lester Brown) are swimming with that kind of vibe. When I listen to the music I feel like I'm in a city walking on a sidewalk lit up by stark neon lights; while when I listen to Miles Davis I feel I'm in a club listening to great music.

So I wanted to throw the question out there. Overall who do you guys think is a better composer or whose music do you like better?

Mingus or Miles?

LeggoMyEggolas
04-12-2008, 06:16 AM
Davis, easily.

Mingus may have put together more amusing, raw and emotional compositions but the depth and scope of all that Davis was able to do throughout his career outweighs that which was done by Mingus. Davis' work stretched beyond the confines of basic Jazz and into other musical genres as well, often times combining those other musical elements with Jazz; a true musical pioneer.

You could make the argument that Mingus may have been a better Jazz composer, but Davis was the better composer, period. Does that make any sense?

Ashwin Pande
04-12-2008, 09:19 AM
Yeah that does make sense.

I can agree to that.

Anyone else?

Tim Simmons
04-12-2008, 09:55 AM
Davis, easily.

You could make the argument that Mingus may have been a better Jazz composer, but Davis was the better composer, period. Does that make any sense?

I'd more or less tend to agree with that-- Miles pushed the boundries of what the genre, I'd argue further and hard than anyone else before or since--
I'd got a deep love for Mingus-- but the scope of his produced work doesn't come anywhere near covering the ground that Miles did.

Which, at times, might be a good thing-- after all, Miles did have that bad 80s era-- would have been sad to see Mingus rapping.

I'll throw out a quick shoutout to Money Jungle-- which I've been listening to a lot of lately: Duke Ellington, Mingus and Art Blakey...you should own this album. Actually, if you're in this thread, you MUST own this album.

CVila
04-12-2008, 11:39 AM
When you look at his 'book, Miles did not do a lot of composing. With the amount of improvisation with which Miles played (and encouraged his players to play), I'll buy that he can be evaluated as a composer. So comparing his improvisation to that of Mingus is a very close call. I would have to give it to Mingus. But, I probably enjoy listening to Miles more.

LordKinbote
04-12-2008, 11:41 AM
Please. If you guys were truly jazz aficionados, you would have answered him only in the language of scat.

Zweeda bop, skit skat a mama!

Amedeo
04-12-2008, 11:54 AM
Please. If you guys were truly jazz aficionados, you would have answered him only in the language of scat.

Zweeda bop, skit skat a mama!

<The man speaks the truth!>*



*translated from Scat

Ryan F
04-12-2008, 11:58 AM
Haitian Fight Song may be my favorite jazz composition, but the sheer breadth and depth of Davis's work gives him the edge, I'd say.

Brother Power the Gong
04-12-2008, 12:00 PM
I'll throw out a quick shoutout to Money Jungle-- which I've been listening to a lot of lately: Duke Ellington, Mingus and Art Blakey...you should own this album. Actually, if you're in this thread, you MUST own this album.

Money jungle is money.

I can't believe Ellington was included in the list. I think he, closely followed by Miles, both were experts at writing to their weapons (band members). Not that Mingus was a slouch, and though he wasn't as genre-bending as Miles, when he hit it, he hit harder than just about anyone as both player and composer/bandleader.

Still, my vote softly went to Miles.