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Miles Davis - 'Round About Midnight CD (album) cover


Miles Davis

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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5 stars The problem with reviewing classic-era Miles Davis albums like this is that he and his marvellous backing groups make the whole jazz business sound so *easy*. "Surely," I think to myself, "this mostly-energetic but occasionally languid hard bop album represents the baseline of what we should expect from jazz, nothing more and nothing less?" But that's the tricky thing about perfection - you don't necessarily notice it until you have something less than perfect to compare it to. 'Round About Midnight is one of those albums that I listen to and think to myself "why couldn't all the artists of this era produce something this good?" The answer, of course, is "because they weren't Miles Davis".
Report this review (#760326)
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Jazz is a genre of music that I tend to struggle being able to make much connection with, no matter how much of it I've tried listening to, as while pleasant, I personally find understanding what makes certain songs better than others a fairly difficult thing to do in the genre, a lot of it blending together when there's a lack of complete focus on the music. I'd say that my favourite jazz album would be whatever good sounding one I heard last (as don't get me wrong, a lot of it is exceptionally beautiful, just not always for me, at least so far), but then that would be disregarding Round About Midnight.

There's a certain sense of tranquility to be found here, even during the 2 more energetic songs of Ah-Leu-Cha and Tadd's Delight, which have a very relaxing quality about them despite being quite bombastic in performance, not to mention the alluring bassline of Ah-Leu-Cha especially. It's ultimately this sort of pleasant tone permeating the album that makes it one that I'll find myself returning to far more than any other jazz album, having that slight edge at times without becoming overbearing, but also being able to maintain consistent interest throughout. While these faster paced songs may be decent however, it's the more subtle moments that really shine, the title track and All Of You especially. The slow, soft piano brings out the beauty in the trumpet improvisation nicely in the title track, filling out the empty space in between the various solos between Davis and Coltrane, the increase of technicality throughout not even slightly disrupting how soothing and warm the sound is. All Of You has a near perfect melody that's further highlighted by the absolutely incredible interplay with the bass, while Bye Bye Blackbird manages to hit hard with its almost wistful mood and exceptionally passionate trumpet performance.

Each and every track on this album manages to be at least great, a soothing atmosphere permeating everything within without losing its subtle beauty at any point or becoming dull. The complexities rife throughout the compositions manage to enhance this album greatly, the seemingly simple melodies being complemented by the countless smaller details throughout, and the large amount of improvisation that goes on never really feels too much, instead simply perpetuating the tranquility felt throughout. While I find it hard for jazz to connect with me, this is an exception.

Best tracks: Round Midnight, Ahe-Leu-Cha, All Of You, Bye Bye Blackbird

Weakest tracks: Tadd's Delight

Verdict: An absolutely lovely jazz album that manages to perfectly maintain a balance between soothing beauty and excellent mucisianship to create an extremely pleasant listening experience through and through, and currently one of the few jazz albums to connect with me.

Report this review (#2246471)
Posted Tuesday, August 27, 2019 | Review Permalink

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