The Influence of Betty Davis Decoded

 

Recently we stumbled across a great two part article on IRockJazz.com entitled The Prototype: Betty Davis Lit The Spark That Ignited Today’s Music Inferno. The boldly title piece does not flinch or waver in proving this point. The article is both gripping and compelling, arguing that not only did Betty Davis materially influence Miles Davis’ music and personal style, but she went on to influence many others in the process. Statements like “Davis is arguably the prototype of every single black female vocalist of note in the 21st century” certainly give you something to think about.

The premise for the article can be further summed up with the excerpts below.

When it comes to the influence that Betty Davis bestowed on music, her individual work is always an afterthought when held up against her lasting impression on former husband, legendary trumpeter Miles Davis. Fact about it, whenever her name is mentioned in print, it’s immediately followed by “ex-wife of Miles Davis”.

The extent of how Betty Davis’ existence changed American music goes so far beyond her influence on Miles Davis, and it would be an insult to even describe it as a “ripple effect”, insinuating a pebble dropped into a pond. Her impact has been so severe that it warrants the quantification of a “tsunami effect”, more of a meteor striking the Pacific Ocean.

An awesome, engrossing read!

Read Part I on IRockJazz.com

Read Part II on IRockJazz.com

Interview: Gilles Peterson Talks New Projects, Radio 6, & NYC Night @ LPR on 10/25

 

October 25 will mark another unforgettable NYC night with the return of Gilles Peterson to NYC! We checked in with the legendary wearer of many hats before the much anticipated gig. More details on the event after the jump. Dig into the interview below!

Giant Step: How’s the transition been going moving from BBC Radio 1 over to Radio 6? How’s the new experience?

Gilles Peterson: Apart from missing my Saturday afternoons watching my team (the mighty ArsenalFC) play its been a perfect transition for me. Still being on the BBC network and in particular on a network that ‘gets’ what I do is special. I really appreciate the freedom I’ve always had as a broadcaster, especially when you see what little else in radio there is about. being able to play music as diverse as Philip Cohran or Roland Kirk alongside Daphne and Angel Haze is a great place to be and I appreciate every minute!

GS: Looks like you’ve got a lot going on with the festival circuit. Any highlights to share?

GP: The festival in France that I’ve been hosting for the last seven years has definitely become my favourite time of the year. It takes place over a week every July in the town of Sete near Montpellier in the south of France and has become a magnet for a great multinational crowd of music fans. The Portico Quartet and Machinedrum were particular highs at this year’s event.

GS: We see that you recently released the Black Jazz Radio in Japan. Can you tell us more about the idea behind that project and when we can expect it in the US?

GP: To be asked to make a compilation album of the legendary black jazz catalogue was something I couldn’t turn down. I have all their releases from the Doug and Jean Carne stuff to the Calvin Keys and Rudolph Johnson albums. It’s a label a little like Impulse or Strata East – conscious Jazz music. In fact, you should check the book Freedom Rhythm and Sound I released 2 years ago with Stuart Baker from Soul Jazz to see how passionate I am about this music! Black Jazz Radio should be in stores now – in fact, it’s been out in Japan since before the summer – I was quite surprised to see it already in the record shops of Tokyo when I was there recently.

Rest of the interview and event details after the jump