By DAVID FRICKE
On January 27th, 1970, Miles Davis recorded a version of the medieval whisper "Guinnevere" from Crosby, Stills and Nash's 1969 debut album, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Davis' take was in the manner of his recently-cut, not-yet-released album, Bitches Brew – 18 minutes of electric turmoil with a buzzing current of sitar and only passing references to David Crosby's original melody. It was a rare instance of Davis losing his way in an astutely chosen song. His "Guinnevere" stayed in the can until 1979, when it appeared on the anthology Circle in the Round.
On May 3rd at the Rose Theater in New York, Crosby and Graham Nash performed the song with another trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis, near the end of Crosby, Stills and Nash's concert with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Stephen Stills left the stage to his bandmates for this number; the rest of the Orchestra stayed quiet while Marsalis sat on a stool between the two singers – a fitting position, as the song opened with his horn acting as a third voice, playing the melody in a soft unison and low, hearty register inside Crosby and Nash's moving harmonies. When Marsalis did step away from the script, his flourishes and solo were elegant and precise, like the singing.
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