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Miles Davis - Circle In The Round CD (album) cover

CIRCLE IN THE ROUND

Miles Davis

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.23 | 15 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is a compilation double album of previously unreleased material or alternate takes of songs spanning from 1955 to 1970. Although this one gets a lot of praise I really hesitated getting this because i'm just not into acoustic Jazz. As i've said before it's like watching a black and white TV compared to the electric Jazz when the colour was added. Just my tastes of course. The songs are placed in chronological order for the most part.

Maybe i'm getting old but after many listens i'm actually somewhat enjoying these early acoustic tracks. First up is "Two Bass Hit" a cover of the Dizzy Gilespie / John Lewis penned composition. This is an uptempo romp with John Coltrane on sax. "Love For Sale" is a Cole Porter cover and it's excellent with Bill Evans on piano as John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderly take care of the saxes. This was recorded in 1958 and it was Evans first recording with Miles. "Blues No.2" from 1961 has a different lineup and is a mid paced jaunt. "Circle In The Round" is a track that makes this double album worth getting all by itself. I can't believe this was recorded in 1967. Check out the lineup with Shorter on sax, Williams on drums, Hancock on celeste, Carter on bass and Beck on guitar. And yes Miles of course on trumpet. I adore this track and it sounds nothing like a Miles Davis tune. In the liner notes it says this track links three luminous spheres in the galaxy of Miles Davis- "Sketches Of Spain", "Nefertiti" and "In A Silent Way". Melancholic is the word as this song seems to churn over and over. A lot of repetition but I can't praise this song enough. It certainly is a miraculous performance as the liner notes suggest.

On disc two we start with "Teo's Bag" which was recorded about a month after "Circle In The Round" in January of 1968. It's the same lineup as the previous song but without Joe Beck on guitar. This is more traditional sounding to my ears. "Side Car I" and "Side Car II" are both from 1968 as well with the same lineups but we get George Benson on guitar for the second part. "Splash" from late 1968 has Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Joe Zawinul all playing piano as Williams and Shorter help out along with Dave Holland on bass. Again it's fairly traditional sounding but Corea and Hancock are playing electric pianos. "Sanctuary" is from 1968 as well and is pretty laid back and relaxed. The second disc ends like the first one with an amazing tune. This one is called "Guinnevere" and was actually a David Crosby composition and is a cover of that Crosby, Stills & Nash recorded tune. This is from 1970 and is laid back with some sitar ! Yes I wasn't expecting that from a Miles Davis song. Love the atmosphere and Bennie Maupin helps out on bass clarinet along with Shorter, Corea, Zawinul, Holland, Brooks, DeJohnette and Cobham. Oh and Balakrishna on sitar.

Well I honestly could burn the closing tracks from each disc and be very happy with just that 44 minutes of music. But it's interesting hearing all of these tunes even if I only get excited about the two long ones. A must for Miles fans.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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