I *heart* him. This year, Miles (as I feel I can call him) would have been 80 and Sony/Columbia are planning some major reissues. This stuff has been reissued and repackaged many times before. I own a lot of the 20/24-bit remastered CDs - what are they going to do next? Create a CD that takes you out to dinner as well? How clean can sound get?! Having said all that, I'll no doubt be parting with some cash to fill the holes in my collection.
posts won't attempt to relate his entire career or offer a
comprehensive look at his life; rather they'll be an entirely personal
journey through some of the CDs and vinyl I own and my feelings about
them. Hopefully they'll feature something that's new to you for you to
look out for when the reissues start coming out.
Miles Davis (orchestration by Gil Evans) - My Ship
Ahead from 1957 was the first collaboration between Miles and legendary
arranger Gil Evans since the Birth Of The Cool recordings of the late
40s-early 50s. Similar to the earlier sessions, these were formally
notated jazz compositions, rather than group improvisation. The only
improvising player was Miles Davis.
Miles worked with Gil to
create the score, so he knew the contexts in which he would be soloing.
Similarly, because of their previous relationship, Gil knew how to
create backgrounds that would support Miles' solos best.
used the flugelhorn throughout the recording and it really emphasised
the beautiful singing quality of his playing. Gil Evans' orchestration
is amazing, too - every chord has something beautiful happening inside;
totally unique combinations of different registers, sounds and notes. My Ship
is my favourite from this "concerto for improvising soloist" - the
brilliant (in the true sense of the word) orchestration brings out the
soul of Miles' playing. The section at 3.40, when it almost resembles
the playing of a colliery brass band, makes my head and heart go all
funny every single time. Amazing stuff.
Miles Davis (orchestration by Gil Evans) - Summertime
The next time they worked together was the following year when they turned the songs from Gershwin's Porgy And Bess
into a purely orchestral score. This time Miles was more up front and
centre; as Ian Carr (Davis' biographer) said, the sound is more like the
call and response of a preacher to his congregation.
Desert Island Discs time - if I had to listen to a single piece of
music for the rest of my life, this would be it. Anyone who thinks jazz
is abstract, unemotional and impersonal should listen to this and tell
me that it doesn't sound magical and incredibly human.
Buy - Miles Ahead
Buy - Porgy And Bess
Visit - Miles Davis (wikipedia)
Visit - Gil Evans (wikipedia)
first time here. thanks for the lovely post. i'm slowly working my way to buying more of miles music.
Right on the money there. My own preference from those sessions is "New Rhumba" (as well as all the others really)
little riff the orchestra ends up playing is incredible. How Evans
structures this with lots of repeats but never becoming boring is a