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Trumpeter Mark Isham on Miles Davis and Gil Evans's interpretation of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez
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The Independent Culture
The Concierto has constantly been a favourite piece of music since I first heard it in my last year of high school. That would have been around 1968. I'd spent some time and money fixing up a good hi-fi system in my bedroom and the Concierto was on that system constantly. It wasn't the first Miles music I'd heard - I came into Miles contemporaneously with In a Silent Way and then worked backwards - but it was my favourite.

What I was particularly turned on by was the way Miles went beyond the surface of the music - all those obvious Spanish pictures - and went into a realm of purely abstract feeling beyond that. It has something to do with what I can only describe as emotional tone.

This has to be one of the high points of Gil Evans's career as an arranger. His sensibilities clearly just clicked with Miles's - I think it's something about Gil's sense of spatial beauty matching Miles's plaintiveness.

This is what influences me most in Miles's music: that beautiful sadness that transcends time and place. He's influenced me both as a player and as a conceptualist, musically and philosophically. I've found my own voice now but there was time when I worried that I might never be able to separate myself from him.

n Mark Isham plays the Jazz Cafe in London next Tuesday. His new album 'Blue Sun' is out on the same day

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