Brian Auger: That Ain’t Miles to Me!

Brian Auger standing

Brian Auger standing

SKF NOTE: Yesterday, Brian Auger‘s statement below caught my eye. I confess I’m not familiar with Brian Auger’s music. Yes, I remember his name while growing up. But I never bought his music. Apparently, neither did any of my circle of musician friends. That’s fine. That’s what makes horse racing.

Two things come to mind reading Mr. Auger’s 1973 opinion of Miles Davis‘s music. First, how tough it is for musical pioneers. I too was confused when I first heard Miles’s Bitches Brew and subsequent fusion albums — including On The Corner. But I didn’t dismiss them. Instead, I thought, “I don’t understand this music.” It made no sense that a brilliant musician like Miles Davis would assemble in the recording studio other brilliant musicians — and produce musical garbage. 

on_the_cornerEventually, after listening to all of Miles’s albums leading up to Bitches Brew, after reading interviews with Miles, other musicians on the dates, producer Teo Macero, and bassist/producer Bill Laswell — I had a much better sense of the music, and like it very much.

Maybe Brian Auger had a similar experience.

Finally, Mr. Auger seems to skip right over Miles’s Second Great Quintet. And I wonder if, when this interview took place, he wasn’t familiar with the group. Or did he not like the Second Great Quintet’s music either?

Brian Auger: Now when it comes to Miles — Miles is always Miles. I really respect the guy. The series of albums he did back in the late 50s and early 60s with Gil Evans, were absolute mind blowers. But I just went out and bought On The Corner. I’m afraid he’s going to have to do better than that — that ain’t Miles to me! That was the first time I realized rock had gotten to Miles.

Source: Brian Auger “Ten Years Later”, by Frankie Nemko, October 25, 1973, Down Beat.

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