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MILES DAVIS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Miles Davis biography
Miles Dewey Davis III - May 26, 1926 (Alton, Illinois, US) - September 28, 1991

Miles Davis was not only a gifted musician (trumpet and composition) but also a major artist of the twentieth century. He was in a constant search for new forms of expression. Having been a painter himself, and not unlike Pablo Picasso he tried to renew himself in all periods of his life. He played on various early bebop records, recorded one of the first cool jazz records, developped modal jazz, and was a pioneer in jazz rock . Only a few musicians have mastered like him to shape new forms and set aesthetic milestones.

The "electric" period of Miles Davis started in 1969 and ended in1975 when Miles retired due to health problems until the end of the seventies. In these years Miles distributed an important part to jazz rock. Columbia released four studio records 'In a silent way'(1969), 'Bitches Brew' (1970), 'A tribute to Jack Johnson' (1970), 'On the Corner' (1972) and an important number of live records (some released on vinyl only in Japan) : 'Black Beauty'/Live at the Fillmore West (1970), 'Live-Evil' (1970), 'Dark Magus' (1974) 'Agharta' (1975), 'Pangaea' (1975). A great part of the studio tracks recorded during these years were only released in the second half of the 70's and first half of the 80's on various compilations.

Beginning with 'In a silent way' Miles used mainly riffs or short segments and more often just simple rhythmic figures that would serve as a base for collective improvisation. At the same time the rhythmic changed from tertiary jazz rhythm to binary rock rhythm. Guitarist John Mc Laughlin became one of the key elements of the electric Miles sound. Influenced by Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, Miles Davis used during this period for the first time new studio techniques, new electronic instruments (among them the Fender Rhodes electric piano) and new sound devices, (Miles would use heavily the Wah-Wah pedal, popularized by Hendrix) to enlarge the sound spectrum of his music. Miles was among the first musicians to realize the full potential of modern recording studios. He and his longtime producer Teo Macero recorded non-stop whole sessions, with the intention to choose and assemble the material afterwards. They would use this technique in an extensive way, especially on 'Bitches Brew', creating musical "puzzles" through multiple edits, up to a point where the original tracks are barely recognizable. ('Pharaoh's Dance'on Bitches Br...
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MILES DAVIS discography


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MILES DAVIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.46 | 22 ratings
First Miles
1945
3.18 | 11 ratings
Boppin' The Blues
1946
2.91 | 11 ratings
Cool Boppin'
1948
2.83 | 12 ratings
Blue Period
1951
3.34 | 29 ratings
Blue Haze [Aka: Miles Davis Quartet]
1954
3.63 | 20 ratings
The Musings Of Miles [Aka: The Beginning]
1955
3.48 | 28 ratings
Blue Moods
1955
3.50 | 14 ratings
Collectors' Items
1956
3.65 | 31 ratings
Miles Davis And Milt Jackson [Aka: Quintet/Sextet]
1956
3.53 | 17 ratings
Miles Davis And Horns
1956
3.22 | 22 ratings
Miles [Aka: The New Miles Davis Quintet]
1956
3.94 | 45 ratings
Bags' Groove
1957
4.14 | 145 ratings
'Round About Midnight
1957
3.71 | 48 ratings
Miles Davis All Stars: Walkin'
1957
4.04 | 62 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Cookin'
1957
3.92 | 60 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Relaxin'
1957
3.82 | 62 ratings
Miles Ahead
1957
4.13 | 173 ratings
Milestones
1958
3.24 | 48 ratings
Ascenseur Pour l'Échafaud (Lift To The Scaffold)
1958
3.59 | 27 ratings
Miles Davis And The Modern Jazz Giants
1958
3.89 | 17 ratings
Jazz Track
1958
4.06 | 94 ratings
Porgy and Bess
1958
4.06 | 66 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Workin'
1959
4.35 | 1127 ratings
Kind of Blue
1959
4.01 | 202 ratings
Sketches Of Spain
1960
3.66 | 55 ratings
Miles Davis Sextet: Someday My Prince Will Come
1961
4.09 | 65 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Steamin'
1961
3.34 | 41 ratings
Quiet Nights
1963
4.07 | 79 ratings
Seven Steps To Heaven
1963
3.85 | 72 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: E.S.P.
1965
4.18 | 137 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Miles Smiles
1966
3.99 | 91 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Sorcerer
1967
4.07 | 131 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Nefertiti
1967
4.03 | 99 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Miles In The Sky
1968
3.93 | 96 ratings
Filles De Kilimanjaro
1968
4.25 | 791 ratings
In A Silent Way
1969
4.25 | 784 ratings
Bitches Brew
1970
4.21 | 238 ratings
A Tribute To Jack Johnson
1971
3.86 | 135 ratings
On The Corner
1972
4.27 | 115 ratings
Big Fun
1974
4.17 | 112 ratings
Get Up With It
1974
3.45 | 59 ratings
Water Babies
1976
3.54 | 41 ratings
The Man With The Horn
1981
3.19 | 43 ratings
Star People
1983
2.53 | 39 ratings
Decoy
1984
2.65 | 40 ratings
You're Under Arrest
1985
2.52 | 78 ratings
Tutu
1986
3.50 | 57 ratings
Aura
1989
3.44 | 46 ratings
Amandla
1989
2.40 | 57 ratings
Doo-Bop
1992
2.88 | 7 ratings
Rubberband
2019

MILES DAVIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 10 ratings
Birdland 1951
1951
3.87 | 15 ratings
At Newport
1958
3.44 | 20 ratings
At Carnegie Hall
1961
4.04 | 24 ratings
Miles in Berlin
1964
4.17 | 34 ratings
My Funny Valentine: Miles Davis in Concert
1965
3.63 | 18 ratings
Miles in Tokyo
1969
3.18 | 39 ratings
Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East
1970
4.12 | 91 ratings
Live-Evil
1971
3.21 | 30 ratings
In Concert: Live at Philharmonic Hall
1972
3.36 | 34 ratings
Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West
1973
4.60 | 68 ratings
Dark Magus
1974
4.22 | 68 ratings
Pangaea
1975
3.60 | 77 ratings
Agharta
1975
3.48 | 30 ratings
We Want Miles
1982
3.13 | 8 ratings
Live In Warsaw
1983
3.16 | 6 ratings
Miles Davis And The Lighthouse All-Stars: At Last !
1985
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Second Spring
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Live
1991
4.40 | 20 ratings
The Complete Concert 1964 My Funny Valentine + Four & More
1992
3.94 | 15 ratings
Live At Montreux (with Quincy Jones)
1993
4.57 | 14 ratings
The Complete Live at The Plugged Nickel
1995
3.19 | 17 ratings
Live Around the World
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bye Bye Blackbird
1996
4.00 | 1 ratings
Fat Time
1997
4.09 | 19 ratings
It's About that Time: Live at the Fillmore East, March 7, 1970
2001
3.00 | 3 ratings
Olympia - Jul. 11th, 1973
2002
4.62 | 13 ratings
In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, Complete
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
European Tour '56 (With the Modern Jazz Quartet and Lester Young)
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Moondreams
2007
4.44 | 9 ratings
MIles Davis Quintet - Live In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. I
2011
3.75 | 16 ratings
Bitches Brew Live
2011
3.00 | 2 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet - The Unissued Japanese Concerts
2011

MILES DAVIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.50 | 4 ratings
Miles in Paris
1990
4.07 | 5 ratings
The Miles Davis Story
2002

MILES DAVIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.12 | 60 ratings
Birth of The Cool
1949
3.53 | 19 ratings
Dig
1956
4.00 | 5 ratings
Miles Davis: Volume 1
1956
4.25 | 4 ratings
Many Miles of Davis
1962
5.00 | 3 ratings
Miles Davis Vol. 1
1963
0.00 | 0 ratings
Plays For Lovers
1965
0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
1967
2.33 | 5 ratings
Greatest Hits
1969
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Man Ahead
1970
4.00 | 2 ratings
Tallest Trees
1972
4.46 | 21 ratings
Circle In The Round
1979
4.29 | 7 ratings
'58 Sessions Featuring Stella By Starlight
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Miles Davis (Collection)
1993
4.50 | 2 ratings
This Is Jazz: Miles Davis Acoustic
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Masters - 100 Ans De Jazz
1996
3.85 | 22 ratings
The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions
1998
3.43 | 9 ratings
Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974
1998
4.86 | 7 ratings
Best of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-'68
1999
4.97 | 10 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: The Complete Studio Recordings, 1965-'68
1999
4.37 | 21 ratings
The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions
2001
4.60 | 5 ratings
The Essential Miles Davis
2001
3.70 | 11 ratings
The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
2003
4.18 | 15 ratings
The Cellar Door Sessions
2005
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Best Of Miles Davis & John Coltrane (1955-1961)
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best Of Miles davis: The Warner Bros. Sessions 1985/ 1991
2007
4.73 | 16 ratings
The Complete On the Corner Sessions
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
Milestones
2007
2.00 | 1 ratings
Double Best Collection: Miles Davis
2007
5.00 | 1 ratings
Collections
2009
5.00 | 8 ratings
The Complete Columbia Album Collection
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Perfect Way: The Miles Davis Anthology - The Warner Bros. Years
2010
4.19 | 8 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Live in Europe 1969 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 2)
2013

MILES DAVIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Miles Davis And His Orchestra Vol. 2
1953
4.09 | 2 ratings
Classics In Jazz Part 1
1954
2.00 | 1 ratings
Green Haze
1955
4.00 | 3 ratings
Collectors' Items
1957
3.50 | 2 ratings
Someday My Prince Will Come
1962
2.00 | 1 ratings
Blow / Fantasy
1992
2.95 | 3 ratings
Plugged Nickel Sampler
1995
2.00 | 1 ratings
Miles
2008

MILES DAVIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pangaea by DAVIS, MILES album cover Live, 1975
4.22 | 68 ratings

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Pangaea
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by pedestrian

2 stars While I consider "In a Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew" to be among mankind's greatest achievements, the all-out guitar-heavy fusion towards the end of this leg of Davis' career appeals far less. I find Pangaea to be generally overrated, I'm afraid. There are two tracks, which funnily could only be enjoyed (?) in their intended form when released on CD in 1985 (or rather: when people got CD players a bit later than that).

I'm a sucker for long, slowly developing works that ebb and flow, but these two tracks simply fail to keep me interested. For much of the time there is so very little happening, the rhythm section just going on and on to a single chord interspersed with loooong solos on top. Instead of dynamically drifting from one part to another the music tends to suddenly stop dead, then get going again in another tempo. It's such a contrast to, say, "Shhh/peaceful" on "in a silent way", which superficially is equally simple, but with a constant, bubbling stream of ideas bubbling under the surface. Here, below the simple surface I find largely emptiness.

To me much of Pangaea sounds like a hugely overqualified rock band which doesn't know when to stop jamming. OK, that's too harsh -- there are great moments here if you have the patience. But the Davis discography is vast, and life is short, so I'll listen to the (live tracks of) Live Evil or something next time.

 Bitches Brew by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.25 | 784 ratings

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Bitches Brew
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars There are so many things to say about a record like Bitches Brew that you almost forget about the music. Because the point is that with this album Miles Davis has traced a furrow, a point of no return and, by experimenting at 360 ' on everything in which he was able to impose his will, he created such chaos and a revolution that even just imagining and cataloging the implications, causes and consequences becomes an impossible operation. So, if speaking of Bitches Brew we also talk about something else, it is not wrong to the record itself, because in fact Davis' will itself went far beyond what would have been the actual result captured on the album and handed down to posterity. The starting point is the awareness of the trumpeter himself that something was changing for him: after the years of innovation of bebop, cool, hard bop, the discovery of modal music and after a series of extraordinary albums that had marked the years fifty and sixty, the musician realized that his music was beginning to lose freshness and novelty. This involved a canonization that Davis absolutely did not want: being placed on a pedestal, admired but crystallized forever, was not for him. The fact that fewer and fewer young people and fewer and fewer African Americans flocked to his performances was the sign that musically he was on a dangerous ridge in his career, the one that threatened to make him a funeral monument to an artist still alive. His intelligence and his great musical and artistic sensitivity suggested to Davis the way out: the world was changing in the late sixties, the music reflected that change and spoke to the masses. The electric revolution was the keystone of this epochal change and many other musicians had grasped this suggestion and decided to make it their own, before being excluded and exiled from it, starting with the folk standard bearer Bob Dylan. Davis felt that even black music had to make that leap and regain possession of its revolutionary identity, which had first started the whole blues, jazz and rock movement and, with them, 90% of popular music of the twentieth century. Soul, funk and rock were the winning words and artists like Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa who with their experiments were breaking down any wall of language between genres, became the reference point for the change that Davis had in mind.

On the other hand, someone like him had no intention of submitting to the ideas and forms of experimentation of others: Davis wanted to follow his own vision and if there was a path to follow, he wanted to be the one who traced it and not one of the many who followed. This is how Davis gathered around him an extraordinary group of musicians, probably the most successful group of young talents of the time and with an already very experimental album like In a Silent Way, released the year before, Davis was preparing to give life to that dazzling supernova that would give rise to the big bang of jazz rock. Bitches Brew is nothing less than this: a record that marks an era, that points the way, that speaks to the future and creates from nothing - so to speak - the reference point for all those who will come after. A break so drastic and perhaps dramatic, that for many lovers of Davis himself and of jazz in general, Bitches Brew takes a leap into territories that should never have been touched, destroying and ruining the very identity of jazz, paving the way for a lots of hideous, boorish music, which a jazz enthusiast would never want to hear or see cataloged under this name. Drawing a bold parallel, the same could be said in the rock / metal arena of the crossover movement of the late eighties and nu metal in the early nineties. The recordings actually took place in a very limited period of time, just three days, under the rigid and dictatorial direction of Davis himself, who brought his own compositions and providing very few details to the musicians involved in the music, with vague indications on the chords, l the atmosphere, the melody to follow, the color that the pieces should have taken, pushed the others to improvise, dictating times and changes of atmosphere and rhythms, in an explosion of pure and total creativity. The basis of everything was the rhythm section which introduced particular innovations such as the use of an electric bass and a double bass at the same time, as well as the use of two or more drums and percussion, which created an obsessive and glowing carpet, on which the other instruments essentially had a solo function, while Davis himself traced the melodies and dictated the moods and entrances of the various instruments. The importance that electric instruments, starting from the electric piano and the guitar, assumed in the fabric of the songs refer to rock, but in fact it could be said that funk was actually the real rhythmic matrix, as you can understand by listening to songs like the titletrack with its famous attack and the subsequent Spanish Key. The truth is that Bitches Brew is in fact a collectable album. The language is in fact strongly linked to jazz, in particular of hard bop and free matrix, but the use of electric instrumentation and strong rock and funk contaminations, combined with influences from other musical genres, make it a musically unpublished record and difficult to replicate. Add to this a further experimentation carried out by Davis and the producer Teo Macero, who understood the post production work as an integral part of the compositional process and twisted the parts played by adding loops, integrating detached sections, dissecting and mixing different songs and actually creating new music from the recorded one, such as the intro of the initial Pharaoh's Dance, built by mixing different parts. A revolutionary process in turn, although not unprecedented, which will pave the way for everything that will come next in terms of the manipulation of music, sound and techniques used in recording studios and in post production.

We therefore arrive in front of Bitches Brew with the awareness that we are dealing with a difficult double album - although the second album is decidedly more melodic, for length and content, unpredictable, irreducible to canonization, free, courageous, arrogant, for many intolerable, but truly revolutionary, in which the trumpet and the sound of Miles Davis emerge alongside the incredible accompanists, in a seething and ever-changing musical ensemble, in which the melodic phrases are relatively few and immediately contrasted by improvisation and suggestions they operate mostly in a modal rather than tonal manner. Davis himself, who is usually considered a soloist with a calm style and centered on medium tones, actually lets himself go to fiery and particularly aggressive sections on more than one occasion, also touching very high notes, which usually are not part of his repertoire , then having fun experimenting with chorus and delay applied to his trumpet, which further fueled the ire of purists. Together with its unmistakable sound and its phrasing, it is primary to praise the sax of Wayne Shorter, another great protagonist of the recordings and author of the splendid and very sweet Sanctuary, for the fundamental presence in the economy of the album and true counterpart of Davis at soloist level together with Bennie Maupin and his bass clarinet, another atypical instrument, if you like, little used and valued; again, the electric piano by Joe Zawinul (author of the opening piece) and Chick Corea (mixed respectively on the left and right channel of the spectrum), real matadors and scandal stone with their electric sounds - how not to mention the splendid solo in Miles Runs the Voodoo Down ?; the extraordinary guitar of John McLaughlin, another exceptional soloist who brings out absolute pearls as in Spanish Key, with a simply unstoppable Harvey Brooks on bass, or in the song dedicated to him, in which the keyboard riff seems almost taken by force from the Deep Purple repertoire, with Zawinul who enjoys going "against" the main melody or, again, in Miles Runs the Voodoo Down in which the amazing double bass by Dave Holland also emerges and Miles Davis giggling in a furious session after a start that recalls the blues.

As mentioned, the importance covered by the rhythm section is total, so much so as to constitute the fulcrum on which all the songs climb and hold up at the same time and if it is impossible not to mention a giant like Lenny White or the amazing Jack DeJohnette (also mixed on the two right and left channels), it is necessary to point out the great work done by Don Alias and Juma Santos (actually credited as Jim Riley) who with their percussion and the various "colors" give the disc a unique and continuous tribal breath, which refers to the Santana of the period and also to the Allman Brothers Band, wanting to mention contemporary rock artists who loved to enter territories that will soon be known as fusion which will in turn be influenced by the release of this record. In the extraordinary collective work, as usual, Miles Davis emerges as the melodic center of gravity and the bearer of the final breath and soul that Bitches Brew assumes. His desire to go further and return to being a reference point for musical innovation and jazz in particular, was fully fulfilled, so much so that the disc entered the charts and became one of his best-selling albums, which is almost unbelievable. considering the real difficulty of facing it fully, but much less considering the extent of its influence and the radical nature of its break with the past, even by Davis himself. Even at the cost of giving scandal, of raising anger and bewilderment and of receiving fierce criticism, then inevitably reduced and finally abjured, when the course opened by the album became a river in flood in the following years, also thanks to the 'work of the musicians involved here with their own bands and other extraordinary protagonists of what will become one of the most significant jazz revolutions. At least, until a new Miles Davis comes forward.

 Kind of Blue by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1959
4.35 | 1127 ratings

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Kind of Blue
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Ian McGregor

5 stars The rating of this album can be used as a punchline for a joke. 4.35? What? Does people even know how important this album is? 4.35??? 4.35?!?! 4.50 would honestly be low for the sheer masterpiece that this work is.

Miles Davis is undoubtedly one of the greatest jazz players of all time. He revolutionized the genre, he created multiple genres, he had a flawless technique, and apparently his masterwork is only worth 4.35 stars. This album is even more important to jazz than ANY of the top prog albums were to prog (except Close To The Edge and Court Of The Crimson King), it revolutionized practically everything in it and established a new era of Jazz all by himself.

This has only five tracks and it was released in 1959. 1959!!! Just transport yourself to that time and listen it, then you will realize why it's important to the genre. It did things never done before. Musicality is perfect as you would expect from a Miles Davis album.

How are you not supposed to give this five stars? It's objectively five stars. It's objectively an essential album. Seriously people *facepalm*.

 First Miles by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1945
2.46 | 22 ratings

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First Miles
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

2 stars THESE APPEAR TO BE THE OLDEST RECORDINGS IN THE ENTIRE ARCHIVES

The name MILES DAVIS is synonymous with jazz god and one has to dig deep to find a single release out of his 40 years on the scene that isn't simply amazing. Sure there are a few less than masterpiece status releases but all in all it is utterly uncanny how this single man who started out all the way back in the 1940s under the tutelage of Charlie Parker and would go on to churn out over 60 studio albums, over 100 live releases and nurtured countless up and coming musicians that went on to become superstars themselves including but not limited to John Coltrane, Gerry Mulligan, Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin and the list goes on and on and on.

Well despite DAVIS appearing to have been a god in a meat suit, if one goes back far enough it is indeed possible to find early recordings that proved Mr DAVIS was a mere mortal who just happened to have reached god status while still in the flesh later on. FIRST MILES is a collection of the earliest recordings that DAVIS performed on. While more a historical relic than an actual pleasing musical session, this compilation was first released in 1988 on vinyl and then found a CD release in 1990 with a different track listing. Half of this release featured DAVIS' first recordings as a trumpet player in 1945 backing the singer Henry "Rubberlegs" Williams who was quite the character of his day having been a star of the Vaudeville scene and was even an occasional female impersonator as well as an active blues and jazz singer.

The second half of the album featured DAVIS' first recordings as a band leader in 1947 after having been seasoned as a member of Charlie Parker's band for the Savoy label. DAVIS was only 18 years old on these earliest recordings which proves he wasn't just born into the confident band leader that he would become for decades. This is definitely one for the hardcore fans only since this release features multiple alternate takes and false starts and when all is said and done really only features eight different compositions that have been multiple into twenty. Depending which release you happen to experience, you will be either hearing the earliest recordings from 1945 first as presented on the original vinyl release or the flipped version with the 1947 recordings first in line as presented on the majority of reissues.

The tracks that were recorded on April 24, 1945 with the Herbie Fields Band featured Rubberlegs Williams on vocals, DAVIS on trumpet, Herbie Fields on tenor sax and clarinet, Teddy Brannon on piano, Leonard Gaskin on bass and Ed Nicholson on drums. These are vocal jazz tunes that sound more of the style of jazz that was still popular all throughout the 1930s before the world of bop and big band swing had taken over the world. While fairly typical and not exactly finding DAVIS shine yet, these relics from the past show a glimpse of a musical genius when he was still getting his feet wet in the business. The second half shows a more confident DAVIS two years down the road with the lineup of DAVIS on trumpet, Charlie Parker on tenor sax, John Lewis on piano, Nelson Boyd on bass and Max Roach on drums. These compositions were all instrumental and featured DAVIS moving into the world of bebop.

The point of this release seems to have been to show how quickly a young DAVIS went from student to teacher with no looking back as he would soon be cranking out more recordings that any mere mortal should be capable of doing. What FIRST MILES showcases more than anything with its multiple takes is how hard musicians worked back in those days having recorded the same songs countless times which explains why there was such a wealth of material that has been released later as compilations. While this is hardly a release most would enjoy, it is nonetheless historically very important and for anyone wanting to experience every phase of DAVIS' lengthy career will not be disappointed that they took the time to listen to these earliest offerings. Not essential in the least but highly recommended for hardcore fans and historians.

 In A Silent Way by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.25 | 791 ratings

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In A Silent Way
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Grumpyprogfan

2 stars "In a Silent Way" has an incredible lineup of young musicians and the album might have set the world on fire in 1969, but I just don't get it. Sure, the musicians are doing something new that has never been done, i.e., infusing electronic instruments with jazz, but it sounds like nothing more than a long-tired jam. The first track "Shhh/Peaceful" is a repetitive ditty that revolves around one chord. Yeah, you read that right. One chord. Miles makes his appearance around 1'45" into the song, the bass guitar keeps repeating the same few notes through the entire song. The entire song! My god, the patience that Dave Holland must endure. The band keeps flailing along trying to make something special out of this one chord song, but it doesn't happen. I can't take much more, and by ten minutes into the eighteen-minute most repetitive song ever - I'm done. Please make it stop!! There is nothing earth shattering about this, except maybe the jokes on you for listening to a song this long that flounders endlessly.

The title track is next. Oh no! For four minutes it seems to be another one note song. The same note even? It does move a bit after four minutes, but then the same note is played over and over by Dave until 8'20". What did Dave do to deserve this? Ugh! So, there are a couple more notes thrown in for about 40 seconds - back to one note riffage - then back to the previous riff. At 11'40" the bass changes some, and then at 12'40" we go back to the same riff we heard at 8'20". Miles' solos are good but not good enough to drawn my focus away from the three riffs that make up this song. At 15'38" a guitar part is introduced that is totally removed from anything played before, and Dave, once again, is playing his one note - being faithful to that one note - hanging on to that one note - forever just one note. And "In a Silent Way" ends.

Ok, so I don't understand what the fuss is over this and why this is hailed as a masterpiece. This isn't essential to anyone's record collection. If I heard this when it was released, I don't think my reaction would be any different. For me this is a very repetitious record and if that's your gig it's in abundance here. Me, I like music that evolves, that is unpredictable, and I don't find any of that here.

 Amandla by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.44 | 46 ratings

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Amandla
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is one of Miles' final recordings released in 1989, he passed in 1991. I was surprised how much I liked this one although I have lots of issues considering my tastes in music. Still this recalls his old school stuff from the 60's which I'm not big on unless it's called "In A Silent Way" which this doesn't sound like at all. On the other hand he's using synths and a drum machine which would have been modern at the time. Thankfully we get real percussionists and a drummer too but I'll never understand the appeal of using programmed drums unless you can't afford a real drummer which of course isn't a problem for Miles. A lot of musicians helping him out here but at this point I don't recognize but a few. Al Foster is one but he plays drums on one track only, Don Alias adds percussion on three tracks while George Duke plays keyboards and synclavier. There's even a tribute to Jaco Pastorius on that final song. He passed in 1987.

Not my kind of music here but hey it's Miles so check it out.

 Bitches Brew by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.25 | 784 ratings

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Bitches Brew
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

3 stars Tremendously disappointing.

"Jazz Fusion" yeah right.

Maybe he added some different instruments but who cares the music is the same Jazz he was already doing. Every song just plods on and on and on, no pretty moments just an endless slog. I don't have anything positive to say about the album, terrible flow, disjointed songs, no vocals, no good. It actually sounds a lot like a demo recording or maybe a jam session, I'd be really surprised if these songs were written down in any way shape or form

Overall the thing that saddens me most about this album is that on Progarchives a plain Jazz album takes a slot among the top 100, sad.

 Ascenseur Pour l'Échafaud (Lift To The Scaffold) by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1958
3.24 | 48 ratings

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Ascenseur Pour l'Échafaud (Lift To The Scaffold)
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Miles was in France doing some shows when he was asked about recording a soundtrack for the movie "Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud". So he obliged and the recording sessions lasted 2 days in Paris on December 4th and 5th 1957. This is so old! And it sounds it too as the music plods along with mellow trumpet, sax, bass, drums and piano. A five piece with 3 French musicians along with Miles and fellow American drummer Kenny Clarke. The album is under 27 minutes which isn't a bad thing believe me. Actually this isn't a bad album at all, just not my thing basically, and no I'm not surprised given this was the late fifties.
 Kind of Blue by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1959
4.35 | 1127 ratings

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Kind of Blue
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Look at the year: 1959! Progressive rock was not born yet, and neither was jazz rock, here we are in the field of pure jazz, and undoubtedly this record is a milestone in the history of jazz.

I am not a jazz listener, though! I listen to rock, and prog rock, and this has nothing to do with prog rock, nor with fusion music!

Therefore it is difficult for me to evaluate this record, I can only say that I like it very much even though I don't like jazz, it is certainly a class record but I don't have many terms of comparison.

However,

Miles, Coltrane, Adderley, Chambers, Bill Evans on piano and Jimmy Cobb on drums improvised in the studio, never rehearsing, these five jazz pieces (they are not songs), recording them in two sessions (two days).

The first side includes 1. So What (9:25), sustained, led by Chambers's double bass and an intense Davis solo,

2. Freddie Freeloader (9:49), more relaxed, almost a ballad, but with a nice saxophone solo

3. Blue in Green (5:37), the only "short", atmospheric, slow, romantic piece, maybe my favourite piece.

On the second side there is the long 4. All Blues (11:35) which owes the Bebop

5. Flamenco Sketches (9:25), which is perhaps the album's masterpiece, where Miles Davis' modal jazz is clearly visible, it's innovative.

Total Time 45:51

Five great pieces.

The idea of ​​modal jazz was immediately perceived as revolutionary and it was basically a music that simplifies harmony and emphasizes melody.

This is a fundamental album in the history of jazz... it's JAZZ! It has nothing to do with progressive rock, even on a historical level. I should give it 5 stars, but in my opinion it is absurd that it is in the Top 50 of progressive rock records ... because it is not Prog !!! So, I give it 4 stars.

In fact can you imagine going to a big site of Prog experts and looking at their ranking of the best records in all of prog history and finding "Kind of Blue" at the top? Come on! Nobody would give credit to that ranking, because it's not Prog.

 The Miles Davis Quintet: Steamin' by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1961
4.09 | 65 ratings

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The Miles Davis Quintet: Steamin'
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kurtrongey

4 stars One of a series of contractual obligation albums Miles Davis and his "First Great Quintet" recorded for Prestige in 1956 as they prepared to hit the big time with Columbia. I think I enjoyed this most out of the bunch. All the tracks except one here come from the earlier of the two dates, May 11, 1956. Surrey with the Fringe is blessed with a decidedly non- run-of-the-mill solo by Coltrane and features Red Garland at his most elegant. For the muted-Miles romance mode, When I Fall In Love can't be beat with one of Garland's loveliest chordal solos. There's some fast playing too on Salt Peanuts but the somewhat less steamin' ballads are the best on this.
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