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Miles Davis - At Carnegie Hall CD (album) cover


Miles Davis


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.44 | 20 ratings

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Easy Money
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This live set recorded in 1961 is sort of a retrospective for Miles as he re-examines the music he had recorded in the previous four years. Innovative arranger Gil Evans joins in with a 21 piece orchestra on a few tunes as well. So What, from the much loved Kind of Blue album, kicks things off, and what a kick it is. Miles and the band play the song at a much faster clip and get close to an almost rock like energy. Miles plays in a fierce aggressive mode on this one and his trumpet blasts already foreshadow the sound he will have when gets a chance to 'freak out' the hippies at The Fillmore in the late 60s. So What takes up most of side one and is followed by two nice, but less exciting traditional jazz numbers.

Side two opens with Oleo, crazy fast be-bop, the kind Miles played when he was young and just starting out. The horn players play fast lock-step unison lines that would make any fusion player jealous. After Miles plays around with his big crowd pleaser at that time, Someday My Prince will Come, Gil Evans finally joins in on the almost classical sounding The Meaning of the Blues. This song is a great example of how Miles and Gil were reaching for what the critics were calling third stream music, a blending of jazz and 20th century concert hall music. Miles has never sounded better as he leads Gil's beautiful and subtle arrangement.

The album closes with two more up-tempo trad-jazz numbers, this time given an extra kick by Gil's 'no longer classical sounding, but swingin like crazy' orchestra. This is an interesting record for those seeking the roots of jazz fusion. Miles was already pushing the boundaries of jazz in many directions at once when he first recorded these tunes in the late 50s, and even more so when he re-presented them in 61.

Easy Money | 3/5 |


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