Listen to This is the third book of the making of the Miles Davis masterpiece, following to Ashley Kahn’s Kind Of Blue (2000, Da Capo Press) and Yasuki Nakayama’s the Truth Of Agharta And Pangaea (2011, Kawade, Japan.) While latter two books focusing on the moment of creation and the inside stories, Victor Svorinich tries to conjure 3D Miles up from our memories. His analysis of climate, preparation, music and post production depicts how only Miles really knew what he was looking for and endeavored in recreating the music in his head. He says Miles served as the conceptualist for Bitches Brew, and placed an emphasis in expanding upon small clumps and creating new composition out of them. In this sense, he seems to stand by Miles’ side against Zawinul’s claim as an original composer. Uniqueness of this book is containing verbal evidences from photographers. They are favorable to Miles as they successfully captured Miles. Svorinich writes Miles’ incredible will to achieve at any cost makes the prince of darkness a charismatic, timeless figure. From an every sound of his trumpet, we can feel a layer of warmth, beauty, and romanticism. Whatever the method, Svorinich stresses, it had to come out from underneath the shyness, the darkness, and the tough skin which life gave Miles.
Would like to point out one misunderstanding by Svorinich. Agharta is recorded in Osaka. (not Tokyo show, p152) Agharta is a record of matinee (start 4:00pm local time), while Pangaea is the second performance of the same day (start 7:00pm local time). Sony got Columbia’s approval of live recording for the limited Japan sales only, assigned Japanese engineer for this project. Getting a good reputation from Japan, Columbia decided sales of Agharta in America. However, facing severe comment from critics, they abandoned producing Pangaea in America. There was a controversy between Japanese and American engineers about the cutting level for this product as in p110. These two records still have some popularity in the Japanese market. Notwithstanding his physical condition at that time, Miles sparkles here and there.