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Miles Davis - Jazz Track CD (album) cover

JAZZ TRACK

Miles Davis

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 6 ratings

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js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Jazz Track is basically two EPs combined on one album. Side two is three songs by the famous sextet that would go on to record Kind of Blue, and side one is incidental music for the French film L' Ascenseur Pour I' Echafaud, featuring a French jazz trio augmented by Miles and US drummer Kenny Clarke. The music on side two is as elegant and beautiful as one would expect from possibly the best jazz group of all time, but the understated jazz atmospheres on side one tell a lot more about where jazz will be heading in the next five decades.

The film music on side one marks the first time that Miles will depart from playing jazz per se and instead finds him using the style as something to objectively manipulate and shape into something more original and personal. In formulating the music for this film Miles eschewed actual songs and instead wrote bare riffs and repeating chord sequences for him to solo over and build atmosphere. Not all is pure jazz here as some of the repeating motifs recall Satie and Ravel, as well as almost Indian style drones. Miles' playing over these drones and stark chord sequences is amplified with reverb and given that classic film noir 'jazz man in the back alley' sound that is almost humorous in it's cliché. Likewise the chord changes Miles uses for the jazz sequences are classic cliché jazz sounds taken from a Disney film with beatnik characters, it's Miles tongue-in-cheek way of cleverly delivering the classic jazz goods that non-jazz fans want from a soundtrack..

This is an excellent album, timeless and beautifully retro like a classic noir film. Side two has elegant versions of Stella by Starlight and Green Dolphin Street featuring the pianistic genius of Bill Evans, and side two is the beginning of a world of innovations that will eventually blossom into cool jazz, fusion, acid jazz, trip-hop and nu jazz.

js (Easy Money) | 4/5 |

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