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Miles Davis - Miles Davis Quintet: Miles Smiles CD (album) cover

MILES DAVIS QUINTET: MILES SMILES

Miles Davis

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.18 | 142 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Davis, Shorter and Hancock were a force of jazz fusion and they absolutely shine on "Miles Smiles". This early jazz fusion album encompasses the jazz genre. The drumming is manic and constantly knocking out of time sig, and the bassline is non stop be bop rhythms. Over this framework sax and trumpets blaze with illuminated genius. Davis is a pioneer and has a plethora of albums to sink into. Some are better than other and "Miles Smiles" is full blown jazzing improvisation. It is not as progressive as the sound gets on subsequent albums but nevertheless there is a compelling inventive style engrained in the music.

Orbits is a wonderful opener with a fast bassline and drums as Miles blows the heck out of his trumpet. Hancock has a field day on piano as does Shorter on sax. The intense music is exciting and adventurous throughout. Footprints features jazzy hi hat timpani and Miles delightful trumpet with the sax following the melody harmoniously. The melody reminds me of a late night driving in rain soaked streets. Full of urgency and the rhythm of the late night, the sound is a jazz feast and virtuosos musicianship.

Dolores is another quick tempo track with lashings of trumpet and bright hyper percussion. The sax of Shorter takes over as dominant lead and drives the track to a stirring conclusion.

Another highlight is Gingerbread Boy with chaotic percussion and bass while sax and trumpet compete to take over as lead instrument. The intensity of the free form jazz sound is astounding and it is nice to hear Herbie Hancock's piano take a turn on the track. The glistening piano runs are inspiring and full of dynamic motifs and vigorous energy. The crashing cymbals and drums of Tony Williams are a key feature but no one can top Miles' trumpet explosions.

This is certainly a good place to start to hear jazz fusion at its best, but Davis would produce more progressive sounding albums over the next years that would appeal more to the progger. Nonetheless this album is an essential listen for jazz addicts.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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