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Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis,…

Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the… (2008)

by Farah Jasmine Griffin

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312327854, Hardcover)

Amazon Best of the Month, August 2008: Throw on the legendary LP, Kind of Blue, and the genius of Miles Davis and John Coltrane sings with the first note. Right away, both men establish their styles within the warm, confident tones of "So What," setting the stage for an album that has sold over 3 million copies to date. Clawing at the Limits of Cool explores this early symbiotic relationship and how two mavericks went on to rewrite the rules of jazz. Davis was the prodigy, born with a once-in-a-generation talent and a desire to expand the limits of his sound. Coltrane, on the other hand, was a late bloomer with a tenacious focus who saw nothing but the music. "Trane was just into playing," Davis once remarked. "If a woman was standing in front of him naked he wouldn't have seen her." Yet while Davis' bold trumpet and Coltrane's searching sax mixed in perfect harmony, their off-stage relationship was surprisingly flat. According to alto saxophonist Sonny Fortune, "Miles wasn't a talker and Trane wasn't a talker. So you got to guess there's no talking." Added drummer Rashied Ali: "Not with words, anyway." With deft examinations of time-honored performances and colorful anecdotes from bandmates, Farah Jasmine Griffin and Salim Washington provide an honest portrait of the enduring legacies of both "The Chief" and "Trane." --Dave Callanan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:10 -0400)

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