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Keith Waters

6 Podcast Episodes

Latest 28 Aug 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Keith Waters, “The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-1968” (Oxford UP, 2011)

New Books in Music

“…when people were hearing us, they were hearing the avant-garde on the one hand, and they were hearing the history of jazz that led up to it on the other hand – because Miles was that history.” -Herbie Hancock, 1968Professor of music and musician/composer Keith Waters at the University of Colorado, Boulder has produced a masterful analysis of the Miles Davis second quintet studio recordings in the years 1965 through 1968.  Waters analyzes the remarkable period of “controlled freedom” and collaboration between trumpeter Miles Davis, keyboardist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams.Waters writes that “the role of analysis is to provide further, alternative, or nuanced ways into hearing the music, to consider how the moment to moment flow of improvisation resonates with or creates frictions with aspects of jazz traditions in which the players were so firmly rooted, and to hear how the recordings themselves participated in shaping that jazz tradition.”Waters’ comprehensive and nuanced strategies for analyzing pitch, rhythm/meter and form are given context in chapter 2 followed by chapter discussions of specific quintet recordings (and selected solos within) in E.S.P. (Iris, Little One, ESP, Agitation), Miles Smiles (Dolores, Orbits, Circle, Ginger Bread Boy, Freedom Jazz Dance), Sorcerer (Vonetta, Masqualero, Prince of Darkness, Pee Wee, Limbo), Nefertiti (Hand Jive, Nefertiti, Madness, Pinocchio, Riot) in chapters 3- 6, respectively.  The albums Miles in the Sky and Filles de Kilimanjaro (Country Son, Paraphernalia, Black Comedy, Stuff, Petits Machins,  Tout De Suite, Filles de Kilimanjaro), according to Waters, signaled a significant departure from previous recordings/compositions with electric piano, electric bass and rock-based rhythms,  and an “imminent shift to jazz-rock fusion.”    Later groups continued forays into jazz fusion (including those from the second quintet – Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters band, Wayne Shorter’s Weather Report and The Tony Williams Lifetime).Many of the aforementioned compositions have found their way into the “jazz canon,” though Waters cautions that lead sheets may be more indicative of jazz “pedagogies” of the time that don’t reflect the highly complex modal explorations and rhythmic nuances found in the quintet recordings.Waters writes that Miles Davis embraced the concept of “sketches” which “provided his musicians with a germinal idea, allowing room for flexibility and substantial individual input.”  This also blurred the concept of “authorship,” however, since collaborations of this kind brought varied and complex alterations to the many facets of original compositions.Waters’ own biographical sketches of quintet members Davis, Shorter, Hancock, Carter and Williams (their interactions and what they individually said about the music and their musical colleagues) give the reader fascinating insights as to how the sum of the parts of these extraordinarily skilled jazz professionals provided a literal Big Bang of collaborative innovation in a period of three and a half years.The idea of “controlled freedom,” a concept articulated by keyboardist Herbie Hancock, is an important concept in defining the second quintet’s body of work.  Quintet leader Miles Davis, Waters emphasizes, with his “palette of timbres,” and “…melodic ideas in the middle register of the trumpet, “searing lyricism on ballad playing combines tenderness with detachment.”    He was always open to new ideas, experimentation and   artistic challenge.Waters cites critic Robert Walsar’s description of Miles Davis, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/music

1hr 6mins

18 Jan 2014

Episode artwork

Keith Waters, “The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-1968” (Oxford UP, 2011)

New Books in American Studies

“…when people were hearing us, they were hearing the avant-garde on the one hand, and they were hearing the history of jazz that led up to it on the other hand – because Miles was that history.” -Herbie Hancock, 1968Professor of music and musician/composer Keith Waters at the University of Colorado, Boulder has produced a masterful analysis of the Miles Davis second quintet studio recordings in the years 1965 through 1968.  Waters analyzes the remarkable period of “controlled freedom” and collaboration between trumpeter Miles Davis, keyboardist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams.Waters writes that “the role of analysis is to provide further, alternative, or nuanced ways into hearing the music, to consider how the moment to moment flow of improvisation resonates with or creates frictions with aspects of jazz traditions in which the players were so firmly rooted, and to hear how the recordings themselves participated in shaping that jazz tradition.”Waters’ comprehensive and nuanced strategies for analyzing pitch, rhythm/meter and form are given context in chapter 2 followed by chapter discussions of specific quintet recordings (and selected solos within) in E.S.P. (Iris, Little One, ESP, Agitation), Miles Smiles (Dolores, Orbits, Circle, Ginger Bread Boy, Freedom Jazz Dance), Sorcerer (Vonetta, Masqualero, Prince of Darkness, Pee Wee, Limbo), Nefertiti (Hand Jive, Nefertiti, Madness, Pinocchio, Riot) in chapters 3- 6, respectively.  The albums Miles in the Sky and Filles de Kilimanjaro (Country Son, Paraphernalia, Black Comedy, Stuff, Petits Machins,  Tout De Suite, Filles de Kilimanjaro), according to Waters, signaled a significant departure from previous recordings/compositions with electric piano, electric bass and rock-based rhythms,  and an “imminent shift to jazz-rock fusion.”    Later groups continued forays into jazz fusion (including those from the second quintet – Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters band, Wayne Shorter’s Weather Report and The Tony Williams Lifetime).Many of the aforementioned compositions have found their way into the “jazz canon,” though Waters cautions that lead sheets may be more indicative of jazz “pedagogies” of the time that don’t reflect the highly complex modal explorations and rhythmic nuances found in the quintet recordings.Waters writes that Miles Davis embraced the concept of “sketches” which “provided his musicians with a germinal idea, allowing room for flexibility and substantial individual input.”  This also blurred the concept of “authorship,” however, since collaborations of this kind brought varied and complex alterations to the many facets of original compositions.Waters’ own biographical sketches of quintet members Davis, Shorter, Hancock, Carter and Williams (their interactions and what they individually said about the music and their musical colleagues) give the reader fascinating insights as to how the sum of the parts of these extraordinarily skilled jazz professionals provided a literal Big Bang of collaborative innovation in a period of three and a half years.The idea of “controlled freedom,” a concept articulated by keyboardist Herbie Hancock, is an important concept in defining the second quintet’s body of work.  Quintet leader Miles Davis, Waters emphasizes, with his “palette of timbres,” and “…melodic ideas in the middle register of the trumpet, “searing lyricism on ballad playing combines tenderness with detachment.”    He was always open to new ideas, experimentation and   artistic challenge.Waters cites critic Robert Walsar’s description of Miles Davis, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

1hr 6mins

18 Jan 2014

Similar People

Episode artwork

Keith Waters, “The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-1968” (Oxford UP, 2011)

New Books in History

“…when people were hearing us, they were hearing the avant-garde on the one hand, and they were hearing the history of jazz that led up to it on the other hand – because Miles was that history.” -Herbie Hancock, 1968Professor of music and musician/composer Keith Waters at the University of Colorado, Boulder has produced a masterful analysis of the Miles Davis second quintet studio recordings in the years 1965 through 1968.  Waters analyzes the remarkable period of “controlled freedom” and collaboration between trumpeter Miles Davis, keyboardist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams.Waters writes that “the role of analysis is to provide further, alternative, or nuanced ways into hearing the music, to consider how the moment to moment flow of improvisation resonates with or creates frictions with aspects of jazz traditions in which the players were so firmly rooted, and to hear how the recordings themselves participated in shaping that jazz tradition.”Waters’ comprehensive and nuanced strategies for analyzing pitch, rhythm/meter and form are given context in chapter 2 followed by chapter discussions of specific quintet recordings (and selected solos within) in E.S.P. (Iris, Little One, ESP, Agitation), Miles Smiles (Dolores, Orbits, Circle, Ginger Bread Boy, Freedom Jazz Dance), Sorcerer (Vonetta, Masqualero, Prince of Darkness, Pee Wee, Limbo), Nefertiti (Hand Jive, Nefertiti, Madness, Pinocchio, Riot) in chapters 3- 6, respectively.  The albums Miles in the Sky and Filles de Kilimanjaro (Country Son, Paraphernalia, Black Comedy, Stuff, Petits Machins,  Tout De Suite, Filles de Kilimanjaro), according to Waters, signaled a significant departure from previous recordings/compositions with electric piano, electric bass and rock-based rhythms,  and an “imminent shift to jazz-rock fusion.”    Later groups continued forays into jazz fusion (including those from the second quintet – Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters band, Wayne Shorter’s Weather Report and The Tony Williams Lifetime).Many of the aforementioned compositions have found their way into the “jazz canon,” though Waters cautions that lead sheets may be more indicative of jazz “pedagogies” of the time that don’t reflect the highly complex modal explorations and rhythmic nuances found in the quintet recordings.Waters writes that Miles Davis embraced the concept of “sketches” which “provided his musicians with a germinal idea, allowing room for flexibility and substantial individual input.”  This also blurred the concept of “authorship,” however, since collaborations of this kind brought varied and complex alterations to the many facets of original compositions.Waters’ own biographical sketches of quintet members Davis, Shorter, Hancock, Carter and Williams (their interactions and what they individually said about the music and their musical colleagues) give the reader fascinating insights as to how the sum of the parts of these extraordinarily skilled jazz professionals provided a literal Big Bang of collaborative innovation in a period of three and a half years.The idea of “controlled freedom,” a concept articulated by keyboardist Herbie Hancock, is an important concept in defining the second quintet’s body of work.  Quintet leader Miles Davis, Waters emphasizes, with his “palette of timbres,” and “…melodic ideas in the middle register of the trumpet, “searing lyricism on ballad playing combines tenderness with detachment.”    He was always open to new ideas, experimentation and   artistic challenge.Waters cites critic Robert Walsar’s description of Miles Davis, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/history

1hr 6mins

18 Jan 2014

Episode artwork

Keith Waters, “The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-1968” (Oxford UP, 2011)

New Books in African American Studies

“…when people were hearing us, they were hearing the avant-garde on the one hand, and they were hearing the history of jazz that led up to it on the other hand – because Miles was that history.” -Herbie Hancock, 1968Professor of music and musician/composer Keith Waters at the University of Colorado, Boulder has produced a masterful analysis of the Miles Davis second quintet studio recordings in the years 1965 through 1968.  Waters analyzes the remarkable period of “controlled freedom” and collaboration between trumpeter Miles Davis, keyboardist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams.Waters writes that “the role of analysis is to provide further, alternative, or nuanced ways into hearing the music, to consider how the moment to moment flow of improvisation resonates with or creates frictions with aspects of jazz traditions in which the players were so firmly rooted, and to hear how the recordings themselves participated in shaping that jazz tradition.”Waters’ comprehensive and nuanced strategies for analyzing pitch, rhythm/meter and form are given context in chapter 2 followed by chapter discussions of specific quintet recordings (and selected solos within) in E.S.P. (Iris, Little One, ESP, Agitation), Miles Smiles (Dolores, Orbits, Circle, Ginger Bread Boy, Freedom Jazz Dance), Sorcerer (Vonetta, Masqualero, Prince of Darkness, Pee Wee, Limbo), Nefertiti (Hand Jive, Nefertiti, Madness, Pinocchio, Riot) in chapters 3- 6, respectively.  The albums Miles in the Sky and Filles de Kilimanjaro (Country Son, Paraphernalia, Black Comedy, Stuff, Petits Machins,  Tout De Suite, Filles de Kilimanjaro), according to Waters, signaled a significant departure from previous recordings/compositions with electric piano, electric bass and rock-based rhythms,  and an “imminent shift to jazz-rock fusion.”    Later groups continued forays into jazz fusion (including those from the second quintet – Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters band, Wayne Shorter’s Weather Report and The Tony Williams Lifetime).Many of the aforementioned compositions have found their way into the “jazz canon,” though Waters cautions that lead sheets may be more indicative of jazz “pedagogies” of the time that don’t reflect the highly complex modal explorations and rhythmic nuances found in the quintet recordings.Waters writes that Miles Davis embraced the concept of “sketches” which “provided his musicians with a germinal idea, allowing room for flexibility and substantial individual input.”  This also blurred the concept of “authorship,” however, since collaborations of this kind brought varied and complex alterations to the many facets of original compositions.Waters’ own biographical sketches of quintet members Davis, Shorter, Hancock, Carter and Williams (their interactions and what they individually said about the music and their musical colleagues) give the reader fascinating insights as to how the sum of the parts of these extraordinarily skilled jazz professionals provided a literal Big Bang of collaborative innovation in a period of three and a half years.The idea of “controlled freedom,” a concept articulated by keyboardist Herbie Hancock, is an important concept in defining the second quintet’s body of work.  Quintet leader Miles Davis, Waters emphasizes, with his “palette of timbres,” and “…melodic ideas in the middle register of the trumpet, “searing lyricism on ballad playing combines tenderness with detachment.”    He was always open to new ideas, experimentation and   artistic challenge.Waters cites critic Robert Walsar’s description of Miles Davis, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-american-studies

1hr 6mins

18 Jan 2014

Most Popular

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Keith Waters, author talk

Author Talks

"The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-68" discussion by author Keith Waters

46mins

21 Apr 2011

Episode artwork

Keith Waters, author talk

Face-to-Face, from the National Portrait Gallery

"The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-68" discussion by author Keith Waters

46mins

21 Apr 2011