Word is just getting out tonight that Buddy Miles – the monstrously talented rock musician and vocalist – has passed. He was 60 years old.
According to the Associated Press, Miles died last night at his home in Austin, Texas. He had been suffering from congestive heart failure.
A teenage prodigy on the drums, Buddy Miles has a secure place in rock history due to his association with Jimi Hendrix in Band of Gypsys.
Miles was no slouch on the guitar himself, and he was an exciting singer. In 1967, he was recruited by guitarist Mike Bloomfield to play drums and sing in the Electric Flag, a rock/R&B fusion band.
Click here to check out Buddy’s bluesy vocal on the 1968 Electric Flag track “Texas.”
Miles had a fruitful solo career in the 1970s. Click here to hear his soulful cover of Neil Young’s “Down By the River,” off his 1970 album “Them Changes.” (That’s Buddy on lead guitar.)
I’m also streaming a few funky curiosities from the Buddy Miles catalogue.
Click here to hear “Doriella Du Fontaine,” the product of an impromptu 1969 recording session with Miles, Jimi Hendrix and “Lightnin’ Rod” (a.k.a. Jalal Nuriddin of the Last Poets). This track wasn’t released on wax till 1984, and first appeared on CD in 1993. Miles plays organ as well as drums.
Click here to hear an extended jam with Eddie Hazel from the mid ’70s. George Clinton edited this track, laid vocals over it, and issued it as “Comin’ Round the Mountain” on the Funkadelic LP “Hardcore Jollies.”
Finally, click here to hear Buddy Miles cover Prince’s “Baby I’m a Star.” This was released in 1999 (naturally) on a Prince tribute album called “Party o’ the Times.”
May Buddy rest in peace.