Miles Davis: Archie Moore
Miles Davis (leader)
The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions (Columbia Legacy 803180)
Composed by Miles Davis.
Recorded: New York, February 18, 1970
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Miles Davis was a boxer trapped in a trumpeter's body. So it is no surprise that he named many songs or performances after famous boxers. In addition to the Jack Johnson album itself, there are other titles such as "Ali," "Sugar Ray," "Duran," and of course "Archie Moore."
Archie Moore was quite a boxer and character worthy of many songs to be named after him. He had more knockouts than any other professional boxer has ever recorded. He was the only boxer to have faced both Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay).
Miles Davis is not present on this cut. The tune is a nasty little power blues. McLaughlin plays painfully slow blues chords as bassist Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette chug along. Then McLaughlin starts playing those twisted, sideways, angular, whatever the opposite of angular is, inside-out, crooked, skittering, distorted, never-before-heard-anything-like blues lines he was playing at the time. All the while DeJohnette and Holland are adding well-placed accents. What a trio! Miles loved this stuff. I do too, although for what it's worth, you would never associate the blues with Archie Moore's personality.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky