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Jazz: Miles Davis and John Coltrane: What's in a Mode?


Wednesday, March 20, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Community Room

Join us for week three of this four-week series on jazz.

Jazz: Miles Davis and John Coltrane: What's in a Mode?

Both Miles Davis and John Coltrane were born in 1926, and both would go on to become dominant figures in jazz history. In the spring of 1959, Miles Davis recorded what remains today the best-selling jazz album of all time: Kind of Blue. Carlos Santana would later say: "Miles went into the studio with nothing, and came out with infinity"

John Coltrane would split from the Davis group to form his own groups, eventually coalescing into the famous Coltrane quartet with McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Jimmy Garrison. In 1961, he would record a rendition of the Rodgers and Hammerstein tune, "My Favorite Things." Coltrane's version - an apex example of modal jazz - turned the simple melody into an entrancing waltz with long stretches of improvisation, lasting nearly 14 minutes on the original recording.

Can't make the live event? Check out the video recording at DarienLibrary.tv

About the Presenter

Gil Harel (PhD, Brandeis University) is a musicologist and music theorist whose interests include styles ranging from western classical repertoire to jazz. Previously, he has served on the faculty at CUNY Baruch College, where he was awarded the prestigious "Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching", as well as the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China. Currently, he teaches at Naugatuck Valley Community College, where he was presented with the "Merit Award for Exemplary Service to the College." At NVCC, Dr. Harel conducts the college chorale, a cappella ensemble, teaches music history and theory, and serves as musical director of theater productions. Outside of teaching, he enjoys staying active as a pianist and vocalist.

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