Friday, February 29, 2008

Buddy Miles, R.I.P.

Omaha-born Buddy Miles passed away recently. Miles was born in 1947 and by age 12 he was playing with his dad's jazz combo. As a session man, he played with bands like Ruby and the Romantics, the Delfonics and the Jaynetts. In 1967, he played with Wilson Pickett and the psychedelic blues, rock and soul group, Electric Flag, before forming his own group, the Buddy Miles Express. Later, he gained fame playing with Jimi Hendrix in "Band of Gypsys," which some call the first all-black rock band. Miles, who played on the landmark "Electric Ladyland" album, had "a brisk, assertive, deeply funky attack" that made him ideal for Jimi Hendrix's sound. Miles wrote the Hendrix classic, "Them Changes." He also had a flashy style, sporting huge afros and American flag shirts. In the 1970s, Miles cut two platinum albums with Carlos Santana and played with a diverse array of artists, inclusing Muddy Waters, John McLaughlin, Stevie Wonder, Bootsy Collins and David Bowie . After a stint in prison, he reemerged in the mid-1980s as a California Raisin in the popular ad campaign.

It's Friday, so put the politics down and enjoy some of the following clips of Buddy Miles in action. Dig it!

• Buddy Miles Express, "Them Changes" (Playboy Club, March 1971) (check out the dancers on this one!)

• "The Band of Gypsys" documentary (pt. 1):

• Band of Gypsys, "Machine Gun"

• Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles, "Them Changes" (Miles sings and plays guitar on this one)

• Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles, "Personal Contact" (Miles sings on this one)

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