Thursday, August 25, 2011

Has it really been 20 years?

The reissue phenomenon has been so steady and so strong when it comes to Miles Davis, that it almost masks the fact that the influential trumpeter, composer and bandleader died almost 20 years ago… on September 28, 1991.

On September 20, Legacy Recordings will release Miles Davis Quintet - Live In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol.1. It is the first offering in a series of rare and previously unreleased live recordings from around the world.

Another project is in the works that is a bit different… because it is aimed squarely at the younger, digital and social-media fan base.

On August 1, Legacy Recordings launched The Miles Davis Fan Project, an innovative online initiative designed to introduce his music to a digital audience via Facebook ( and Davis's official website,

Throughout August, 40 classic Miles tracks spanning the post-bop cool of Kind of Blue through the ferocious fusion of Bitches Brew and other Davis explorations are being featured on Facebook via the social sound sharing platform SoundCloud. The tracks feature an active "like" button that enables fans to vote.

The 10 recordings receiving the most "likes" from fans online will be assembled for Blue Flame. Given the premise of this project, the fan-selected, digital-only album could have been alternately titled As You Like It. According to the label, the title Blue Flame was nominated through an onlne Facebook poll.

By mid-August, more than 20,000 "likes" had been cast on Facebook with some songs grabbing more than 2,500 "likes." More than 35,000 plays have been racked up between the various contenders for final inclusion on the album.

In a news release, Legacy Recordings General Manager Adam Block said this is the first time the label “has put the music of an artist of this stature in the hands of fans via social media and asked them to create a collection of songs as a new release. That so many fans have chosen to engage, and to utilize the new technologies available to them, testifies to Miles' enduring appeal and eternal 'nowness.'"

Online fans are also being encouraged to create the official artwork for the release and describe what Miles and his music means to them in personal testimonials to be featured in a digital booklet coming with the online release.

Blue Flame’s release will coincide with the 20th anniversary of Davis's passing on September 28. The final track listing, sequencing and artwork for Blue Flame will be revealed two days earlier. The Miles Davis Fan Project has been endorsed by Miles Davis Properties, LLC.

[Above is a Ken Franckling photo of Miles, taken in April 1986 at his apartment in Manhattan overlooking Central Park.]

No comments:

Post a Comment