“Light My Fire” by the Doors

The Doors built its finest work around straight-ahead rock’n’roll, adding a whirling, baroque jazz samba momentum from the alchemy of keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore, all schooled in the post-bop cool permeating, by the mid-1960s, the many stripes of a blossoming California pop music scene.  Jim Morrison brought the goods … Continue reading “Light My Fire” by the Doors

“Maybe the people would be the times or between Clark and Hilldale” by Love

In 1966-1967 Los Angeles was Arthur Lee’s dark kingdom.  Brian Wilson owned the sun, Jim Morrison traveled the other side, and while the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield gave L.A. its folkie hippie face, Lee’s band Love fashioned a punk muzak masquerade that fifty years on will still not relent.  Their capstone album, 1967’s Forever Changes, … Continue reading “Maybe the people would be the times or between Clark and Hilldale” by Love

“Spanish Key” by Miles Davis

It’s unavoidable.  It is impossible to speak of modern music, regardless of genre, and not take note of the critical importance of Miles Davis.  Call him what you will or what he called himself — a genius of composition, a dazzling trumpeter/performer and band leader/manipulator, an agent provocateur, a counter-racist, coke fiend, pimp, misogynist — Miles Davis was … Continue reading “Spanish Key” by Miles Davis