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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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Buy MILES DAVIS Music


Kind Of Blue (Vinyl)Kind Of Blue (Vinyl)
Sony Legacy 2011
$19.75
$19.99 (used)
The Complete Birth Of The Cool [2 LP]The Complete Birth Of The Cool [2 LP]
Blue Note 2019
$32.19
Bitches BrewBitches Brew
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2015
$22.68
$33.77 (used)
Kind Of Blue (Blue Vinyl 180 gram) - miles DavisKind Of Blue (Blue Vinyl 180 gram) - miles Davis
Not Now 2016
$14.36
$17.22 (used)
Birth Of The Cool [LP]Birth Of The Cool [LP]
Blue Note 2016
$14.84
$18.73 (used)
In a Silent WayIn a Silent Way
Reissued · Remastered
Sony Legacy 2002
$6.75
$5.00 (used)
The Best of Miles Davis & John Coltrane (1955-1961)The Best of Miles Davis & John Coltrane (1955-1961)
Remastered
Sony Legacy 2001
$6.75
$3.19 (used)
Kind Of BlueKind Of Blue
Hallmark 2010
$3.30
$7.98 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Miles Davis-Very best of-Original advert framed & mounted USD $31.66 Buy It Now 1h 39m
Miles Davis: E.S.P. NEW CD USD $11.97 Buy It Now 1h 47m
New PRINCE & MILES DAVIS/NEW YEAR'S EVE LIVE '87/88:CD & DVD COLLECTOR'S Ed##na USD $71.07 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Miles Davis: Nefertiti NEW CD USD $11.97 Buy It Now 1h 47m
ESSENTIAL ARTISTS ESSENTIAL MUSIC PROMY ONLY CD; BOB DYLAN, MILES DAVIS, JOURNEY USD $11.00 Buy It Now 1h 50m
Miles Davis-Workin', Relaxin', Steamin' CD NEW USD $13.05 Buy It Now 1h 50m
MILES DAVIS Bitches Brew (Gold Series) 2CD BRAND NEW Fatpack USD $11.36 Buy It Now 2h
MILES DAVIS - BIRTH OF THE COOL NEW CD USD $8.51 Buy It Now 2h 3m
Miles Davis - THE Real... (The Ultimate Collection) (2011 TRIPLE CD ALBUM) USD $5.05 Buy It Now 2h 13m
Sorcerer - Miles Davis Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $10.68 Buy It Now 2h 13m
Miles Davis - Collectors Items Vinyl LP Transatlantic Records PR-7044 (1966) EX USD $57.00 Buy It Now 2h 29m
Miles Davis / Robert Glasper: Everything's Beautiful LP USD $20.88 Buy It Now 2h 46m
Miles Davis - At Newport 1958 (Columbia ?- CK 85202 2001) USD $5.05 Buy It Now 2h 48m
Miles Davis ?- Miles In Berlin (Columbia ?- COL 519507 2 2005) USD $5.05 Buy It Now 2h 48m
Miles Davis-Sketches of Spain Vinyl / 12" Album NEW USD $26.43 Buy It Now 2h 56m
Miles Davis the complete birth of the cool - CD Compact Disc USD $11.05 Buy It Now 2h 56m
Miles Davis- Tutu (1986) USD $1.25 [0 bids]
3h
Miles Davis & Gil Evans - Miles Ahead. Remastered. Jazz / Big band. CD USD $1.52 [0 bids]
3h 9m
Miles Davis - Panthalassa - The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974 CD USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3h 11m
MILES DAVIS Sketches Of Spain CD BRAND NEW USD $8.85 Buy It Now 3h 12m
Cool & Collected by Miles Davis. USD $6.91 Buy It Now 3h 15m
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (PLUS 4 BONUS TRACKS) [CD] USD $11.28 Buy It Now 3h 26m
MILES DAVIS: MILES AHEAD+19 1997 Columbia re-mastered CD Gil Evans 4 bonus trax USD $10.12 Buy It Now 3h 27m
Miles Davis - Amandla (NEW CD) USD $8.22 Buy It Now 3h 28m
MILES DAVIS-BITCHES BREW QUADRAPHONIC-JAPAN ONLY 2 SACD HYBRID Ltd/Ed N44 USD $77.00 Buy It Now 3h 30m
MILES DAVIS:THE REAL MILES DAVIS 3CD SET Columbia The Ultimate Miles Collection USD $15.20 Buy It Now 3h 30m
Miles Davis / Thelonious Monk: Miles & Monk At Newport (180GV: Mono) LP USD $26.75 Buy It Now 3h 34m
MILES DAVIS - KIND OF BLUE - NEW BLUE VINYL LP USD $27.86 Buy It Now 3h 35m
MILES DAVIS QUINTET-COOKIN' WITH THE MILES DAVIS QUINTET-JAPAN HQCD Ltd/Ed E25 USD $22.50 Buy It Now 3h 35m
Miles Davis Live From his last concert in Avignon. Jazz CD. Prince. USD $1.52 [0 bids]
3h 36m
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Miles Davis - Must-Have Miles The 1St Quinte (NEW 2 x CD) USD $6.32 Buy It Now 3h 39m
NEW Miles Davis Vinyl Record - LIFT TO THE SCAFF0LD Heavyweight Vinyl  USD $10.12 [0 bids]
3h 39m
MILES DAVIS-FREEDOM JAZZ DANCE THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL.5-JAPAN 3 CD L60 USD $51.50 Buy It Now 3h 45m
Miles Davis Miles Quintet Freedom Jazz Dance Vol 5 3 x Vinyl LP Album 2017 USD $27.86 Buy It Now 3h 46m
Miles Davis - We Want Miles Live (CD) USD $7.59 Buy It Now 3h 52m
Miles Davis & Robert Glasper - Everything's Beautiful (CD) USD $8.86 Buy It Now 3h 52m
Miles Davis: Bopping The Blues (180GV) LP USD $23.37 Buy It Now 3h 59m
Miles Davis - Workin', Relaxin', Steamin' (NEW 3 x CD) USD $8.86 Buy It Now 4h
Miles Davis : Tutu [australian Import] CD (1986) USD $4.48 Buy It Now 4h 2m
Miles Davis/Kind Of Blue/1999 CD Album/Millennium Edition + Spine Card USD $10.12 Buy It Now 4h 2m
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MILES DAVIS "GHETTO WALKIN" 2016 RSD 12" SINGLE LIMITED EDITION VINYL RECORD USD $24.99 Buy It Now 4h 11m
Miles Davis - We Want Miles Europe 2LP 1982 FOC /3* USD $24.99 Buy It Now 4h 25m
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MILES DAVIS "Jazz on the Screen" mono FONTANA '65 BLAKEY French Films SEALED !! USD $50.00 Buy It Now 4h 39m
The Best Of Miles Davis, , Audio CD, New, FREE & Fast Delivery USD $8.80 Buy It Now 4h 39m
the Musings of Miles cd DCC 24KT GOLD CD MILES DAVIS audiophile USD $49.99 Buy It Now 4h 47m
Miles Davis - In A Silent Way Original recording remastered (CD) USD $7.59 Buy It Now 4h 52m
Miles Davis - Seven Steps To Heaven , Extra tracks (CD) USD $8.86 Buy It Now 4h 53m
The Miles Davis Quintet ?Jazz Tracks The Original SoundtrackCSP Columbia JCL1268 USD $22.90 Buy It Now 4h 53m
CD MILES DAVIS KIND OF BLUE COLUMBIA LEGACY CK-64935 MINT - 1997 USD $3.99 [0 bids]
4h 57m
Miles Davis - Miles Davis at Newport: 1955-1975 *NEW* CD USD $20.90 Buy It Now 5h 14m
Miles Davis - My Funny Valentine *NEW* CD USD $5.59 Buy It Now 5h 14m
MILES DAVIS Ascenseur pour l'echafaud Kenny Clarke Barney Wilen SEALED 10" LP USD $69.97 Buy It Now 5h 16m
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All of You The Last Tour 1960 by John Coltrane/Miles Davis/Miles Davis Quintet USD $21.43 Buy It Now 5h 18m
MILES DAVIS-COOKIN' WITH THE MILES DAVIS QUINTET -JAPAN SHM-CD C94 USD $17.50 Buy It Now 5h 18m
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Kind of Blue by Miles Davis (Vinyl, 2010) SEALED USD $9.60 [1 bids]
5h 24m
MICHEL LEGRAND MEETS MILES DAVIS JAPAN USD $29.99 Buy It Now 5h 28m
Miles Davis Sextet w/ John Coltrane Someday My Prince Will Come USD $35.00 Buy It Now 5h 29m
Miles Davis: A Tribute To Jack Johnson NEW CD Original recording remastered USD $11.97 Buy It Now 5h 31m
Miles Davis - In a Silent Way *NEW* VINYL USD $26.92 Buy It Now 5h 34m
Miles Davis Nefertiti LP 1968 pressing 360 Sound Label USD $6.50 [4 bids]
5h 38m
MILES DAVIS Miles Tones, Jazz Bird JAZ-2005, 1980, MINT LP; MINT- COVER! USD $19.00 Buy It Now 5h 39m
Miles Davis - Miles Ahead (CD) USD $8.86 Buy It Now 5h 51m
Miles Davis - Milestones (CD) USD $8.86 Buy It Now 5h 51m
Miles Davis - Porgy And Bess (CD) USD $8.86 Buy It Now 5h 51m
Miles Davis - 'Round About Midnight (CD) USD $8.86 Buy It Now 5h 51m
MILES DAVIS Blue Xmas 7" blue vinyl reissue jazz hard-bop USD $6.99 Buy It Now 5h 55m
Miles Davis: Amandla (180GV) LP USD $20.95 Buy It Now 5h 58m
MILES DAVIS MILES AHEAD CD LIMITED EDITION JAPANESE IMPORT SONY RECORDS USD $9.99 Buy It Now 6h
Miles Davis - Miles Davis At Carnegie Hall Volume 1 - New Sealed 180g Vinyl Lp USD $16.46 Buy It Now 6h
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Miles Davis - Four and More: Recorded Live In Concert [New Vinyl] Ltd Ed, 180 Gr USD $39.98 Buy It Now 6h 16m
Miles Davis: The Columbia Years 1955-1985 by Miles Davis CD, 1988, 4 Discs USD $15.00 Buy It Now 6h 18m
Miles Davis - Four & More - MFSL Super Audio CD SACD Hybrid Numbered USD $27.99 Buy It Now 6h 24m
Miles Davis : E.S.P. CD (1998) USD $6.35 Buy It Now 6h 26m
Amandla by Miles Davis (CD, 1989, Warner Brothers) USD $5.87 Buy It Now 6h 28m
Miles Davis : Birth of the Cool CD (2001) (4) USD $2.98 Buy It Now 6h 32m
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Live at the Fillmore East, March 7, 1970: It's About That Time by Miles Davis... USD $14.00 Buy It Now 6h 39m
Amandla by Miles Davis (CD, 1989, Warner Brothers) USD $3.25 Buy It Now 6h 44m
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Charlie Parker " The Original Bird The Best of " Miles Davis, John Lewis Jazz CD USD $12.83 Buy It Now 7h 11m
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New: MILES DAVIS QUINTET - The Very Best Of (John Coltrane/Red Garland) CD USD $7.98 Buy It Now 7h 15m
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MILES DAVIS KIND OF BLUE CD NEW BONUS TRACK 20-BIT REMASTERED 75 ANNIVERSARY SBM USD $19.99 [0 bids]
7h 23m
The New Miles Davis Quintet Record Vinyl LP VG USD $24.99 Buy It Now 7h 29m
Miles Davis,Sorcerer,Columbia CS9532,1stPressing,360,1967,VG,Rare Jazz Vinyl LP USD $200.00 Buy It Now 7h 29m
Love Songs by Miles Davis (CD, Feb-1999, Sony Music Distribution (USA)) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 7h 31m
Miles Davis-Plus 3 (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $11.41 Buy It Now 7h 40m
MILES DAVIS Four & More Live LP COLUMBIA CL 2453 MONO SEALED HERBIE HANCOCK USD $350.00 Buy It Now 7h 41m

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MILES DAVIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.00 | 19 ratings
First Miles
1945
3.40 | 10 ratings
Boppin' The Blues
1946
3.10 | 10 ratings
Cool Boppin'
1948
3.00 | 11 ratings
Blue Period
1951
3.46 | 24 ratings
Blue Haze [Aka: Miles Davis Quartet]
1954
3.70 | 18 ratings
The Musings Of Miles [Aka: The Beginning]
1955
3.50 | 24 ratings
Blue Moods
1955
3.73 | 11 ratings
Collectors' Items
1956
3.72 | 27 ratings
Miles Davis And Milt Jackson [Aka: Quintet/Sextet]
1956
3.67 | 15 ratings
Miles Davis And Horns
1956
3.30 | 18 ratings
Miles [Aka: The New Miles Davis Quintet]
1956
3.98 | 39 ratings
Bags' Groove
1957
4.19 | 130 ratings
'Round About Midnight
1957
3.73 | 40 ratings
Miles Davis All Stars: Walkin'
1957
4.07 | 55 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Cookin'
1957
3.90 | 52 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Relaxin'
1957
3.87 | 54 ratings
Miles Ahead
1957
4.22 | 156 ratings
Milestones
1958
3.26 | 38 ratings
Ascenseur Pour l'Échafaud (Lift To The Scaffold)
1958
3.75 | 24 ratings
Miles Davis And The Modern Jazz Giants
1958
3.97 | 15 ratings
Jazz Track
1958
4.11 | 83 ratings
Porgy and Bess
1958
4.07 | 55 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Workin'
1959
4.36 | 997 ratings
Kind Of Blue
1959
4.03 | 175 ratings
Sketches Of Spain
1960
3.66 | 48 ratings
Miles Davis Sextet: Someday My Prince Will Come
1961
4.12 | 59 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Steamin'
1961
3.44 | 36 ratings
Quiet Nights
1963
4.13 | 67 ratings
Seven Steps To Heaven
1963
3.84 | 62 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: E.S.P.
1965
4.22 | 118 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Miles Smiles
1966
4.03 | 79 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Sorcerer
1967
4.09 | 120 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Nefertiti
1967
4.03 | 89 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Miles In The Sky
1968
3.93 | 85 ratings
Filles De Kilimanjaro
1968
4.30 | 695 ratings
In A Silent Way
1969
4.25 | 683 ratings
Bitches Brew
1970
4.20 | 212 ratings
A Tribute To Jack Johnson
1971
3.83 | 118 ratings
On The Corner
1972
4.28 | 102 ratings
Big Fun
1974
4.06 | 104 ratings
Get Up With It
1974
3.46 | 53 ratings
Water Babies
1976
3.58 | 37 ratings
The Man With The Horn
1981
3.18 | 38 ratings
Star People
1983
2.55 | 36 ratings
Decoy
1984
2.68 | 36 ratings
You're Under Arrest
1985
2.49 | 70 ratings
Tutu
1986
3.47 | 49 ratings
Aura
1989
3.65 | 41 ratings
Amandla
1989
2.40 | 53 ratings
Doo-Bop
1992

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

3.80 | 10 ratings
Birdland 1951
1951
3.92 | 13 ratings
At Newport
1958
3.45 | 19 ratings
At Carnegie Hall
1961
4.00 | 22 ratings
Miles in Berlin
1964
4.14 | 30 ratings
My Funny Valentine: Miles Davis in Concert
1965
3.61 | 16 ratings
Miles in Tokyo
1969
3.17 | 39 ratings
Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East
1970
4.11 | 81 ratings
Live-Evil
1971
3.19 | 28 ratings
In Concert: Live at Philharmonic Hall
1972
3.33 | 31 ratings
Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West
1973
4.60 | 64 ratings
Dark Magus
1974
4.34 | 62 ratings
Pangaea
1975
3.71 | 67 ratings
Agharta
1975
3.47 | 28 ratings
We Want Miles
1982
3.13 | 8 ratings
Live In Warsaw
1983
3.12 | 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
4.38 | 16 ratings
The Complete Concert 1964 My Funny Valentine + Four & More
1992
3.88 | 15 ratings
Live At Montreux (with Quincy Jones)
1993
4.64 | 11 ratings
The Complete Live at The Plugged Nickel
1995
3.16 | 16 ratings
Live Around the World
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bye Bye Blackbird
1996
4.00 | 1 ratings
Fat Time
1997
4.07 | 17 ratings
It's About that Time: Live at the Fillmore East, March 7, 1970
2001
3.00 | 3 ratings
Olympia - Jul. 11th, 1973
2002
4.60 | 10 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
4.50 | 8 ratings
MIles Davis Quintet - Live In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. I
2011
3.61 | 13 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)

5.00 | 2 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)

4.13 | 56 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
2.26 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits
1969
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Man Ahead
1970
4.00 | 1 ratings
Tallest Trees
1972
4.45 | 17 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
3.79 | 20 ratings
The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions
1998
3.28 | 6 ratings
Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974
1998
4.83 | 6 ratings
Best of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-'68
1999
4.96 | 9 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: The Complete Studio Recordings, 1965-'68
1999
4.32 | 19 ratings
The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions
2001
4.33 | 3 ratings
The Essential Miles Davis
2001
3.47 | 8 ratings
The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
2003
4.12 | 14 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
4.71 | 13 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 | 7 ratings
The Complete Columbia Album Collection
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Perfect Way: The Miles Davis Anthology - The Warner Bros. Years
2010
4.12 | 6 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
4.00 | 1 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
 On The Corner by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.83 | 118 ratings

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On The Corner
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Trevere

4 stars In today's modern world, it's hard to keep up with the times. With the ever-expanding field of networking and recreational technology, a couple of missed Tweets, a troublesome internet connection or a few days away from your iPhone can render you unaware of what's going on in your life and the world that encompasses it. The same theory applies to music. Ideas are shared, and influences spread like wildfire. So in 1972, when late and great jazz artist Miles Davis saw his popularity with the black youth diminish and due to the influx of successful rock and funk acts, he did something about. Thus, On The Corner was born. A self-admitted attempt to reconnect with African-American teens who had turned to funk and rock, On The Corner is odd, abstract, and inaccessible. Despite being a mixed, failed attempt, it's an interesting record nonetheless.

On The Corner, like every one of his releases since Miles In The Sky, is more fusion Jazz than cool jazz. Instead of the slightly more structured, but still free-flowing, sweeping jazz of Kind of Blue, we get the mammoth structures of Bitches Brew, but without the pure innovation and entertainment value of that record. Rather, we get some new features around what is basically a very similar record. Instead of free flowing, jazzy drums, we get hard hitting, repetitious funk drums reminiscent of James Brown, which offer the listener a bit more of a concrete rhythm section to counter-balance the rock bass of the record. As well, we get massive, psychedelic guitar solos, and occasional guitar riffs intertwined between Davis' trumpeting.

While his band evolves into even more continually jagged, unstructured song masses that make them constantly more ominous and lively, Miles is on nigh pure autopilot here. His trumpet's hisses and squeals are a bit less notable and his lines are getting less and less memorable. It's hard to really feel his playing here, even if he's gotten a lot better. Technically, this is one of Miles' better efforts. On the title track; he tries to implement Coltrane's style to his trumpeting, and for about a second, actually sounds good. However, he's constantly devoted to the rough sound that is evoked on his jazz fusion material, and thus he's constantly stuck doing squealing that constantly gets less and less recognizable and more schizophrenic sounding than ever.

It's unfortunate that Miles is stuck on this tip really, because it makes the album's two shortest songs, "Black Satin" and "One and One", the best songs on the album. "Black Satin" constantly builds on a catchy eastern melody which Davis constantly improvises upon and starts with a mixture of Indian sitar sliding and bongos meshed with grumbling guitars, and. It's simple, especially for Miles at this point and age, but it works perfectly. "One and One" is pure funk jazz, with Miles spastic horn lines grooving along funky bass slaps. "One and One" and "Black Satin", amongst an album full of what would be winners for any other artist, are finally the winners for Miles.

Before and after "Black Satin" and "One and One", there are the long songs on this record. Instead of grooving and building upon themselves like previous electric Miles era material, it's just there. Those tracks, instead of managing to use Miles' interesting sound and general dissonance to create something epic like he has with most big tracks, just result in incessant jamming (and not in the manner on Bitches Brew, either). For a while, it's interesting to see where the jammers go, but it never really gets the listener interested other than in the rhythm section, where the drums and bass really provoke jiving and moving. It doesn't help that this album is pretty inaccessible. With five songs crammed into the title track, sprawling fifty-two minutes crammed into four tracks, and a wide array of influences, this album is complex, and at first, second, and maybe even third listen, doesn't portray its true value.

As a whole, Miles failed at regaining a rather lost portion of his fanbase, or even selling well for that matter. Critics scorned this album, and it's been widely forgotten. But that doesn't mean it's a bad record. The combination of funk, jazz, and rock is interesting, to say the least, and Davis is a trumpeting god. It's good, and that just goes to show how good Miles is, as this is one of his worst records. But only God knows what atrocity he would have made in an attempt to pry today's black teens from their Lil Wayne.

 Miles Davis Quintet: Miles In The Sky by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.03 | 89 ratings

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Miles Davis Quintet: Miles In The Sky
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Trevere

4 stars Listening to Jazz music is such a surreal experience. The atmosphere is often full of intensity, and what I mean by "intense", I'm not necessarily referring to the sound of the music but the artist that is creating it. The compositions are often improvised, and the musicians seem to disappear into a different realm. And within this realm, the only thing that exists is the musician and their instrument. They develop a synergy with their instrument, it becomes a part of them. Another form of communication. The instrument becomes a window into their soul, their mind, and their creativity. And the sounds that are released are like another form of expression, the kind of sensations that no arrangement of words could ever describe. Miles Davis knows this experience all too well.

The 1960's was certainly an interesting era in time. There was this urge for experimentation that just captivated everyone. Segregation had just come to an end as white individuals and minorities were beginning to experiment with coalescent communities. Hedonism was also growing in trend, as the usage of drugs and sexual promiscuity was beginning to be seen in a less condemning light. Obviously, this would grow to have a tremendous effect on music. Music began to become much more abstract. Musicians began seeing music as much more than just something to listen to, but something to get lost in. Artists begun to push music into different directions, becoming much more experimental. The late 60's was a transitional period in Miles Davis' career, as he too fell into this urge for something different. Miles In The Sky is now seen as the stepping stone into a new era for Miles Davis. Miles In The Sky introduces a growing interest in the usage of electric instruments, such as the keyboard, bass, and guitar. This album is often seen as the first from his "Electric" period. The compositions of the album come from different sessions, and we can truly see the stages of Miles Davis' evolution from acoustic Jazz to Fusion music. Again, this album was just the first step, and the electric touches are not as prominent as in the latter albums.

We begin with "Stuff". Already we can hear the usage of an electric bass and a Rhodes piano within the composition. The piano arrangements are fast paced, yet the drumming and wind instruments show a little more restrain, though often erupting into a more passionate delivery in variation. Overall, this is still the Bop-styled Miles we have heard before. "Black Comedy" and "Country Son" represent the acoustic section of the album, and are some of Miles' final orchestrations using an acoustic quintet format. "Black Comedy" is very lively and aggressive in nature, while "Country Son" displays a more atmospheric tone. But now let us move on to the perhaps most well-known composition from the album, "Paraphernalia". The composition displays one of the first electrical guitar arrangements in Miles' music. "Paraphernalia" turns bop inside-out, with intense eruption of solos appearing and vanishing in a modal or free space, and interludes of quick changes on every beat, not as accompaniment for solos, but just stated on its own.

There is such intense musicianship within Miles In The Sky. Of course, Miles is the star of the show, but I must mention the drumming of Tony Williams. He was merely a teenager when he first joined Miles Davis' Second Great Quartet, but his dexterity for the instrument is astonishing. He was 23 during the recording for this album, and his feel for the drums is such a mind-blowing performance. Despite its abstract cover art and its name, "Miles In The Sky", this album doesn't contain the psychedelic atmospheres that are found in Bitches Brew and In A Silent Way. In fact, this album is often overlooked and it's a shame because this is perhaps one of Miles' most historic releases. Not only because it marked the beginning of Miles' "Electric era", but this was one of the defining albums for Jazz Fusion. This was a release that would not only grow to influence the Jazz world, but even transcend to inspire several rock artists. This is an album that must be heard by Jazz fans, especially any admirer of Miles Davis.

 Agharta by DAVIS, MILES album cover Live, 1975
3.71 | 67 ratings

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Agharta
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Trevere

4 stars Miles Davis has always been the kind of musician that has never been content in settling with just one genre. Often experimenting, and fusing musical approaches to create something fresh. The mid 1970's was a peculiar time for music. Psychedelia was beginning to dwindle down and music was becoming less experimental and more jubilant. Disco music was beginning to grow in popularity, and people were looking for music to enjoy, something instantly perceptual and not necessarily abstract. Though of course there were artists, like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, who were still writing more intellectual compositions, but they were indeed the minority. Catchy was quickly replacing artistic, and yet again, Miles Davis fell into the trend. Funk music was at an all time high within the African-American classes, and acts like James Brown and George Clinton were reigning over the genre. In albums like On The Corner and Big Fun, we saw the beginning of Miles Davis incorporating Funk elements with his usual Jazz music.

In Agharta we find Miles Davis further exploring the possibilities of Funk music, only this time fusing it with the aggressive rock-stylings of Bitches Brew and the atmospheric nuances of In A Silent Way. In the opening number, "Prelude", we see the musicians taking apart genres and rebuilding them into a completely different sound. This piece is much more reminiscent of Rock than Jazz, as the music is produced by a prominent guitar-driven sound. "Prelude" is all Miles Davis and Pete Cosey, who flow in and out of perception with eruptions of frantic solos. There is a very cosmic sound that is being produced from the instruments, and the primary catalyst of this erratic style for the most part is Pete Cosey. We constantly hear him experimenting with a variety of guitar effects that create a surrealistic atmosphere throughout. He's very abrasive with his guitar playing technique, his sound is very distorted and bombards the listener with such prowess. But of course, even Pete Cosey's anomalous methods are not enough to eclipse the star of the show. Miles Davis is as potent as ever. And as always, he works at his own pace, and releases a variety of soloistic flaunts while often playing off of saxophonist Sonny Fortune's augmentations. There is definitely a higher level of energy in this performance, but it also displays some reminiscence of moody psychedelia.

"Maiysha" displays a much more diverse musical style. It presents itself as a delicate piece, but reveals a more aggressive side during it's progression. Sonny Fortune really takes charge of the piece with some elegant flute soloing in the beginning before the other musicians alter the musical landscape into progressive ambiences, smooth Jazz passages, and explosive guitar outbursts that seem to forget that this is not a rock concert. In the second half of the album, within "Theme From Jack Johnson" and "Interlude", we find ourselves voyaging through more realms of ambient spaces, as well as a descend into a more intense explosion of fiery Jazz Fusion with Miles Davis executing some of his finest trumpet solos to date. Aghartha is a truly exciting release from Miles Davis, and is perhaps one of his most energetic performances from the electric period. Aghartha displays some incredibly dexterous musicianship all throughout, especially from Pete Cosey who practically steals the show with his deploys of Hendrix-inspired electrical distorting devices. I highly recommend this album to any fans of Miles Davis, it highly differs from the atmospheric sound of his previous electric albums, as it contains a more elevated and aggressive style that will be sure to please any fan of Jazz Fusion.

 Filles De Kilimanjaro by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.93 | 85 ratings

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Filles De Kilimanjaro
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Trevere

4 stars Miles Davis certainly has his fair share of well-known albums. Kind of Blue is quite possibly the most popular jazz album ever. Besides Kind of Blue, Miles has popular releases such as Sketches of Spain, In A Silent Way, Birth of the Cool, and Bitches Brew. However, there still lie little footnotes in the Miles Davis discography, including one that shows a pathway from Miles' earlier work to his electric outings. Filles De Kilimanjaro, recorded in 1968, puts together recordings from two different quintets Miles recorded with in the time of June to September. Paving the way for Bitches Brew, the entire album puts whichever pianist playing on an electric piano and when Ron Carter appears, he plays electric bass.

Filles De Kilimanjaro, although under the Miles Davis name, puts Miles Davis in a much more secondary role. Sure, Miles takes extenuated solos, wanting his fair share of time at the mic, but when he solos, he is not the standout musician. Tony Williams stands out as the best musician on the album, seemingly knowing Miles Davis and his tendencies so well that he finishes all his phrases for him. History says a lot of tension creeped up between Miles and Williams, maybe because of this reason. Whoever fills out the rest of the rhythm section, whether it be the completely electric combination of Carter and Hancock or the mixed combination of Corea and Holland, sound entirely innovative and fresh. Neither of the bassists revert to normal basslines, often playing sparse and accenting certain hits. The whole band, in both quintets, has an extreme awareness about each other and knows exactly where each soloist is going. Due to this lack of form and the constant outlook of many measures ahead, the album takes a more avant-garde feel. One member remains, that being Wayne Shorter. Wayne Shorter takes the same role as Miles, a soloist and purely a soloist. His solos, especially in the more uptempo songs, fit better than Miles' soloing. Also, Williams suits Shorter much better, playing much more aggressive yet not getting ahead of Shorter and finishing things off too early for him. The other two rhythm players gel just as easily with Shorter as they did with Miles.

Upon reading the track times for the album, this appears to be an album full of songs too long for their own good. However, due to the variety invoked by the quintet, most noticeably Williams, the songs continue on without bore or tire. Despite Miles making one of his worst appearances from a playing standpoint, he makes one of his best as a composer. Every song on the album is fully composed by him, rather than having many songs composed by two or more people. With a wave of change taking over the airwaves in the 60s including Beatlemania, Jimi Hendrix, and Sly and the Family Stone, Miles found a certain infatuation with the bluesy rock coming out of the guitar of Hendrix among other popular acts of the time. For that reason, among other reasons, Miles takes his jazz compositions to a new level with tinges of rock thrown in, including a direct reference to Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary" on Mademoiselle Mabry. A 16 minute soother of sultry electric piano by Chick Corea, the sparse drum hits of Tony Williams, and the Hendrixian quotes in Holland's bass, Mademoiselle Mabry is built for a classic Miles Davis solo. Miles leaves all kinds of space open for his beautiful trumpet tone to shine across the airwaves. Due to this composing style, Miles has one of his best solos on the album mainly because the song suits his solo rather than the solo suits the song. This is the only song where Miles outshines Shorter in terms of soloing, but even in Miles' great soloing, Chick Corea's extensively fresh comping outshines all the other musicians.

Tout De Suite is an epic avant-garde jazz song full of all kinds of feel changes and nuance. The song opens with a disambiguated swing beat, but that changes throughout the song. Tout De Suite is avant-garde in its purest form, seeming to have no direction in terms of song form but still the entire quintet flows along together without losing any sense of connection. The song ranges from the laid back swing of the opening to an uptempo, almost fusion styled section led by the ferocious drumming of Williams. The section is a perfect showcase of Williams outdoing Miles and finishing all his phrases before Miles even gets the chance to start them. The song also shows a tired Miles Davis, pinching for his higher range and barely squeezing the notes out. Herbie Hancock makes a fantastic appearance on the Rhodes piano, a foreshadowing of his brilliance on the instrument to come in later years. In terms of soloing, Wayne Shorter makes one of his best appearances, taking the energy laid down by Williams and pushing Williams further into aggression and complexity. Never does Shorter sacrifice tone quality, even in his blisteringly fast runs. The entire rhythm section rises and falls with Shorter's intensity, knowing exactly where he is going. After a fantastic Herbie Hancock solo, although overshadowed by Shorter, the song reverts back to the laid-back feel and even throws in a quick All Blues reference from Kind of Blue. Tout De Suite is truly a brilliant song, showcasing the best of both the laid back and ferocious ability of the quintet.

All the way through, Filles de Kilimanjaro is a full out enjoyable listen, showcasing enough variety and virtuosity to not make the 70-minute album a tiring listen. Petits Machins showcases the best ability of each member of the band, arguably the best on the album although the shortest. A more uptempo and fiery the song, it is a welcome shorter listen after the epic Tout De Suite. The title track brings things down after the fiery Petits Machins, although gaining a bit of intensity in the middle. Frelon Brun simply serves as an album opener and just a taste of what's to come. The song, just surpassing five minutes, is an excellent choice to see the style of the album in a nutshell. For all jazz enthusiasts and jazz drummers especially, Filles de Kilimanjaro is a fantastic album and a lesser-known Miles album that definitely deserves more recognition and attention.

 In A Silent Way by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.30 | 695 ratings

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In A Silent Way
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Trevere

5 stars Miles Davis officially enters his electric period as he expertly combines jazz and rock on his landmark 1969 album In A Silent Way. Davis once again led the world of jazz into a new era of fusion by making use of more electric instruments and post- production effects on this album. In A Silent Way and its follow-up Bitches Brew would prove to be the standard to which all jazz fusion albums are measured, and the assembly of musicians who created these albums would all depart to create their own famous jazz fusion bands. In A Silent Way is a spectacular achievement in the history of music and stands the test of time as the high watermark for the genre of jazz fusion.

In A Silent Way was recorded in one studio session on February 18, 1969. Miles Davis came into the studio with sketches of what he wanted to record, relying mainly on improvisation to fill out the album. Four songs were recorded and later stitched together into two album side long songs by Davis' long-time producer Teo Macero. This level of post-production was unprecedented in jazz and left many people disliking the album at first, but it proved to be a revolutionary move in the history of music production.

Miles Davis was heavily into the psychedelic rock scene that was happening in America at the time, and he decided he wanted to use electric instruments on his next album. Most of the band was the same from Davis' previous album, Filles de Kilimanjaro, but with the notable additions of guitarist John McLaughlin and organist Joe Zawinul. These additions give the album a much more electric feel different from any previous jazz album, with McLaughlin's smooth finger-flying solo on "Shhh/Peaceful" and the guitar and organ groove laid down in "In A Silent Way/It's About That Time." Miles Davis assembled musicians of the highest calibre for In A Silent Way, all of whom went off to start their own jazz fusion bands that would eventually become leaders in the genre as well. Saxophonist Wayne Shorter partnered with Joe Zawinul to create Weather Report, keyboardist Herbie Hancock embarked on a magnificent solo career as his fellow keyboardist Chick Corea started Return to Forever, and John McLaughlin led Mahavishnu Orchestra. The talent present on In A Silent Way is astounding when the listener realizes the later legendary status of each member of the band.

The first song on In A Silent Way, "Shhh/Peaceful" features Davis' piercing trumpet trading off solos with McLaughlin's guitar while the keyboards and organ play a spacey mood underneath that gives the track an ominous feeling. Both songs on In A Silent Way follow the order of the initial melody followed by the second track edited on, then a coda back to the beginning. The stitches where the two tracks were edited together are noticeable but don't interfere with the flow of the music, as Teo Macero expertly weaves his way through the extended improvisational jams that the band gave him. "Shhh/Peaceful" goes from a quiet and dark mood in "Shhh" to the upbeat "Peaceful." John McLaughlin's low-key note-bending solo is relieved by Wayne Shorter's clear and captivating soprano saxophone before the song is returned to the beginning and we get a repeat of the first six minutes of the song. This may seem like a lazy production technique but it works well to introduce and bookend the solos of the amazing "Peaceful."

"In A Silent Way/It's About That Time" is the second of the two songs on In A Silent Way. "In A Silent Way" starts with a soft and slow guitar melody from McLaughlin backed by ambient chords from the keyboards to create a sleepy mood. Davis' trumpet jumps in to play a sweet melody before the song is cut and launches into the opposite feeling; the fast and groovy "It's About That Time." This 11 minute long middle section is characterized by the underlying groove created by the bass and keyboards as John McLaughlin plays another smooth but technical solo overtop. As the main bass line finally takes shape about halfway through the song, Wayne Shorter takes over and plays a masterful solo on the soprano sax that takes the listener through peaks and valleys as he navigates through the dense fog of organ and keyboard tones. Just as in "Shhh/Peaceful," "It's About That Time" hits the coda and returns to the beginning of "In A Silent Way" at the end, which prompts the listener to start the extraordinary cyclical album all over again.

With In A Silent Way, Miles Davis created the genre of jazz fusion while also releasing the best album of said genre in one fell swoop. In A Silent Way is not only a landmark in the history of jazz, but music as a whole. The album brought forth a new era of experimentation in music that has influenced countless artists since its release. In A Silent Way is an artistic achievement in music and a true classic album in every sense of the word.

 Live-Evil by DAVIS, MILES album cover Live, 1971
4.11 | 81 ratings

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Live-Evil
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Trevere

5 stars Miles Davis has always been the kind of musician that has never been content in settling with just one genre. Often experimenting, and fusing musical approaches to create something fresh. The albums of Miles' Electric period contained music that is very abstract, amalgamating the ambient nature of Psychedelic Rock with the enthusiasm for free-form improvisations that are found in Jazz. The content of Live-Evil truly reflects the philosophy of Miles' spiritual predecessor, Bitches Brew. The music of Bitches Brew were not just mere Jazz compositions, they were the recipes for a spell. A work of sorcery- a magical brew that invited any curious enthusiast to embark on it's trance. The music of Live-Evil shares that similar aesthetic, evocative and impressionistic. Coated in darkness, yet exhibiting that irresistibly alluring quality.

We begin with "Sivad". It opens with a jubilant introduction, a barrage of sounds flourishing with intensity, yet exquisitely coordinated. But all this elevation soon comes to a stop as Miles reveals to us that there are still a few spells of sorcery in his bag. "Sivad" then enters into a more delicate atmosphere brewed by the musicians, having us descend into that familiar trancing state of mind, entering a realm of instrumental mysticism. Live-Evil is a truly mesmerizing performance, as Miles Davis is coming at us from all directions. Tracks like "Little Church" display how Miles' band can project delicate ambiences, just as easily as they can produce instrumental eruptions of utter aggression, like the ones encountered in "What I Say" and "Funky Tonk". And it's all orchestrated with such confidence. The dexterous coalescence of different musical approaches within this album's content almost make this performance too overwhelming for the senses. And that is perhaps the true beauty behind Live-Evil, the willingness to experiment with the music.

"Medley: Gemini/Double Image", for example, presents itself in such a lethargic mood, yet it releases these mind-altering sounds reminiscent of psychedelia. "Inamorata", on the other hand, represents the more energetic side of the album, while also reflecting that same spellbinding hypnotism of Bitches Brew. "Inamorata" redefines Jazz Fusion- This is Miles and his band showing absolutely no self-restrain, and unleashing an excessive series of solos appearing and vanishing in a free-form environment. This is a truly magnificent performance, containing music that transcends past traditional Jazz as it incorporates other genres such as; Psychedelia, Funk, and Rock. This is one of the most definitive Jazz Fusion records in the discography of Miles Davis and must be heard by any fan.

 Bitches Brew by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.25 | 683 ratings

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Bitches Brew
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Trevere

5 stars The mysticism of old-world indigenous tribes has always been such a fascinating subject, from the Voodoo religions of the Caribbean and Western Africa, to the Native American tribe mythology. I suppose the more interesting matter is how similar these religions are, despite the vast distances that separates them. One particular aspect that I find most fascinating is their interests in cathartic trances and vision quests. The Huichol Tribe from Mexico, for example, used Peyote. Peyote contains the psychoactive effect, Mescaline, which causes psychedelic hallucinations. The Huichol tribe believed that Peyote triggers a state of deep introspection and insight that they describe as being of a metaphysical or spiritual nature. The user would fall into a deep trance, and in this state, they embark on a spiritual journey of enlightenment by using the drug. Aldous Huxley talked all about these practices in his book, The Doors Of Perception, where he himself used the drug and wrote of his own experiences.

Aldous Huxley began to experiment with other psychoactive drugs, and influenced an entire generation during the 1960's to embark on their own experiences, all directly influenced by old-world mysticism. LSD and marijuana became instantly available everywhere, and many musicians fell into this growing new idea of hedonistic lifestyles in the late 1960's. Influenced by the effects of these drugs, a multitude of musicians all over the world embarked on metaphysical trances of their own and then translated these experiences into music. Musicians from all over began trying to recreate the experiences of LSD and other psychoactive drugs in their songs- This would change the way we look at music forever. Music was never the same after that. Musicians began seeing music as much more than just something to listen to, but something to get lost in. Music became much more abstract, much more experimental, and even stranger. There was a stronger emphasis on atmosphere, it was no longer about a catchy arrangement of chords, lyrics, and drum beats. Psychedelic Rock and Progressive music began to become popular, songs then became musical journeys lasting up to 20 minutes, even hours. Musicians began letting the instruments speak for themselves. These musicians weren't playing the instruments, the instruments were using the musicians to help them come alive.

This new urge for experimentation floated through the air, and everyone who could play an instrument was trying to be a part of this. Miles Davis began to show an interest with electric instruments in 1968's Miles In The Sky, heralding a new chapter in this musician's life, the electric era. Just by looking at the album cover, with it's psychedelic art, we can already tell this isn't the same "Cool" Miles Davis that we've seen before. No, this is a musician embracing the times and the world around him. But this new experimental and ambient sound still needed to be nurtured a little bit. Miles began combining rock music with his Jazz by using electric guitars, pianos, and bass guitars. This new, "Electric" Miles, with his newly developed style wrote some of Jazz music's most important albums; Filles de Kilimanjaro, In A Silent Way, and of course his magnum opus of the electric period, Bitches Brew.

The music of Bitches Brew, to the average listener, may seem like an abundance of random sounds all happening at once with no particular order or purpose. The tracks on this album are not jazz songs, oh no, they are the recipes for a spell. Miles and his band are sorcerers that have prepared a magical brew, and like the mystics of the old-world, we are to embark on it's trance. Every musician in this album is in top condition, especially John McLaughlin, who would later go to form his own respected Jazz Fusion band, The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Right at the very beginning with "Pharaoh's Dance", the atmosphere for this trance is set up. A silent, yet menacing, arrangement of ambient psychedelic sounds fill our ears as they take us away, deep into our mind. Slowly it picks up the pace, as the band begins to jam out. Tracks like "Bitches Brew" and "Spanish Key", spark up the excitement but retain the ambient atmosphere. John McLaughlin's eponymous track is a quite special one because we see this musician's history and eventual progression. This is a much more restrained John McLaughlin than the one who leads The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Instead of his usual shredding that centers the music of The Mahavishnu Orchestra, there is an emphasis on rhythm and groove throughout this song. "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down" is a return to the silent and ambient feel, but also displays some serious notes from Miles Davis and John McLaughlin. These two have developed quite the explosive synergy in this track.

And finally as we begin to unwind, and the spell begins to loose it's effect, we enter into the final phase of the trance. Slowly coming down from our high, but the spell continues to let out it's final touch in "Sanctuary", coming and going as it pleases in it's restrained chaos. Finally the effects of the trance fades and we enter back into our normal conscious world, as we've now had our own taste of Bitches Brew. But this kind of brew isn't for just anyone. Many may find, in all of it's bizarre nature, to be a bitter taste. But to the enlightened few, who have seen Miles through his journeys from the sky to Kilimanjaro, and have opened their ears to his silent ways, will find it's taste to be the sweetest around.

 Kind Of Blue by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1959
4.36 | 997 ratings

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Kind Of Blue
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by patrickq

4 stars I've tried, but it's probably just not possible for me to imagine what jazz was like before Kind of Blue and its use of modality (more on that in a minute). To me, this is a very good album, but I lack the historical context to judge the claim that Kind of Blue was a groundbreaking work. Apparent the change caused by this album led to an entirely new subgenre, listed on Prog Archives as "jazz-rock/fusion." But how fusion evolved from Kind of Blue is kind of hazy to me.

I picked this up two months ago because of the strong recommendations here on Prog Archives. I expected this to be a literal "fusion" of jazz (i.e., improvisation on stereotypical instruments like saxophone and, given the artist, trumpet) and rock (i.e., based on electric guitars, including bass guitars). That's not what Kind of Blue is; it's expertly played jazz. While the bassist, drummer, and pianist are given some freedom to improvise, they generally provide a foundation for trumpet and sax solos.

So my expectations about instrumentation got adjusted during my first listen to Kind of Blue. After that I tried to read up on "modal jazz," but I still can't tell you precisely how it differs from traditional jazz. At this point, I just kept spinning it and listening.

Sometimes, in order to analyze a musical work, I try to distinguish three aspects: the production, the performances, and the compositions. Since so much of Kind of Blue is improvised, it makes less sense to make fine distinctions between the latter two. Still, the blueprint for the five pieces on the album was worked out in advance, and that's got to be a major factor in the quality of the work, no matter how awesome the soloists were.

The performances are very good. My only quibble here is that some of the soloing emphasizes technique over musicality. But that's a minor complaint that could be leveled against most jazz albums, or fusion albums or rock albums. What really impressed me was the restraint shown by the support players - - specifically, what they don't play.

The production is also good. It's hard to believe that Kind of Blue was recorded sixty years ago. When only the drums, bass, and piano are playing, it sounds like I'm right there on the stage. The reverb on the soloing instruments separates them a bit from the backing, which struck me as odd at first. But I'm used to it now.

So, four stars for an excellent album - - an excellent jazz album. Unless I'm missing something, though, this isn't a progressive-rock album. Nonetheless, I'd recommend it, without reservation, to any music fan.

 Bitches Brew by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.25 | 683 ratings

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Bitches Brew
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by patrickq

4 stars It's fascinating to try to figure out what an album is trying to say, especially an instrumental album that might have some underlying concept. What do the song titles mean? The album title? The artwork?

And I don't buy the idea that listeners have no right to impose their own meanings onto music. Artists know that once they publish their work, it is no longer exclusively theirs - - especially when they sell more than a million copies of it.

So what did Bitches Brew mean in late March 1970 when it was released? I know very little of the state of jazz in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I wasn't even born until a few months after Bitches Brew came out, and with a few exceptions my interest in music only made it to jazz very recently. So while I see Louis Armstrong's criticism of "modern jazz" in the early 1960s, and Miles Davis's criticism of that criticism, as part of a cycle inevitable in art, I don't actually get it. The stipulated facts seem to be that Jazz, like all art forms, was going to change at some point; that the change would have both external and internal causes; that Davis challenged the jazz status quo from the inside; and that his vision wound up exerting outsized influence on the future of jazz.

So one meaning attached retrospectively to Bitches Brew is that of some sort of "knockout punch" or "final nail in the coffin" of the old jazz - - In a Silent Way having been the penultimate punch or nail. Another meaning involves producer Teo Macero's postproduction: Bitches Brew means what it means not only due to Davis's artistry, but equally to Macero's ex post facto "composition" of the material using techniques similar to musique concrète. In this view Bitches Brew's place in history would've been assured even if its style hadn't been an affront to prevailing conceptions of jazz; after all, fifty years later, post-performance dicing and splicing is essential to nearly all forms of popular music.

In any event, in late March of 2019, Bitches Brew, subtitled "Directions in Music by Miles Davis," still sounds avant-garde. Ok - - maybe safely avant-garde, but experimental and formidable nonetheless. Compare this to the Doors, whose music of the late 1960s and early 1970s was apparently considered ribald. By 2019 standards, it's still good music, but no longer racy. Bitches Brew still sounds way out today. There's no way this is going to get confused with Michael Buble, whose Love currently holds down the top spot on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart, as it has every week since it debuted seventeen weeks ago. (A Miles Davis - John Coltrane concert from March 24, 1960 reenters the chart at #17).

My attempts to identify the meaning of Bitches Brew have thus far failed. Luckily, the music is very good, both in terms of composition and performance. My only quibble is this: I appreciate the sonic and stylistic shifts, both within and between songs, more than I enjoy them; I'm not sure that this is Macero's editing or the pieces themselves. On the other hand, the overall sound of the album, which I certainly attribute to Macero, is fantastic, better than In a Silent Way, which sounded pretty good.

I own four Miles Davis albums, and thus far Bitches Brew is my favorite. Sure, once in a while it seems like the band is doing weird stuff just to see if they could get away with it. But consider "Feio," a bonus track on most versions of Bitches Brew currently in print, to get an idea of how avant-garde the album might've been. Most of the time, Bitches Brew is daring but still consummately musical. Maybe that's its ultimate meaning.

 In A Silent Way by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.30 | 695 ratings

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In A Silent Way
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by patrickq

3 stars In a Silent Way is a 1969 album containing two sidelong pieces. Although it is a Mikes Davis solo album, lots of big names participated in a one-day session from which the album was culled. Among the biggest: keyboardists Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea, and guitarist John McLaughlin. Given the fact that the recordings were sliced and reassembled to create In a Silent Way, Teo Macero, who produced the session and assembled the album with Davis, is often considered as more essential to the success of the album than any sideman.

The individual compositions, the four "songs," are good - - although the two on the first side are, in my opinion, better. The composition of the album itself from three hours of sessions is also impressive, although I haven't heard the source material, available on The In a Silent Way Sessions. The sound quality is good, although the soloing instruments are a bit too starkly isolated in the mix for my tastes. And of course, the playing is excellent.

Side one is presented in the liner notes as a medley of two Davis compositions, "Shhh" and "Peaceful." But the side is, in effect, a single piece with brief pauses. For example, there is a pause at 6:14, indicating "Shhh" transitioning to "Peaceful," although the music before and after that point is very similar. A more noticeable break occurs around 12:04, when the intro to "Shhh" reappears. Despite the titles on side one, the music is of moderate intensity. Actually, the most peaceful part of the album is the opening of the second side.

Side two is a medley of Zawinul's "In a Silent Way" and Davis's "It's About That Time." The first two minutes are given to McLaughlin who solos over a very light electric piano backing which fades in slowly. At this point, Davis and saxophonist Wayne Shorter enter and take center stage. At 4:11, as noted in the credits, "It's About That Time" begins, and here there is a clean break between two songs. Whereas "In a Silent Way" has no rhythmic percussion, "It's About That Time" is much more energetic, with a steady beat provided by drummer Tony Williams and bassist Dave Holland. Throughout this piece - - the middle eleven-and-a-half minutes of the side - - McLaughlin, Shorter, and Davis each have plenty of time for an extended solo. The last 4:14 is a recapitulation of "In a Silent Way" played in a very similar arrangement as it had been earlier on the side.

The dice-and-splice construction on In a Silent Way works on side one, but it seems forced on side two. "It's About That Time" just doesn't work in a medley with the title track, and Davis himself might have wondered about side two fitting with side one; apparently he and the group returned to the studio later the same week to record different material to go with "Shhh/Peaceful."

Overall, the album is good. It's also historically important for its groundbreaking production and style. Recorded and released in 1969, In a Silent Way is regarded as a true "fusion" album - - perhaps the first. Although its rock quotient is much higher than on Davis's earlier breakthrough Kind of Blue (1959), there would be significantly more rock the next year on his follow-up album, Bitches Brew. So while In a Silent Way is a good jazz album, fusion or rock fans might want to start with Bitches Brew.

Thanks to alucard for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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