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Miles Davis - Blue Moods CD (album) cover


Miles Davis

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Matthew T
3 stars One thing for sure is you will not be rolling up the carpet for this album consisting of all ballads. Released in 1955 on the Debut Label (Charles Mingus's) with only 4 tracks and only running at just under 27 minutes.

Low key would be the term for this album by Miles. Track 1 The standard Nature Boy commences proceedings with Teddy Charles on Vibes, Britt Woodman on a low Trombone and then Miles enters on muted Trumpet. Charles Mingus gives a solo straight after Miles. Sounds jaw dropping well it is in the yawning fashion.I know he was after an album of ballads but the vibes on this album occasionally veer close to elevator music.

Alone Together which for me is a more intertesting track has a little more boppy sound as Track 3. Ther'es No You has, but not a lot. The vibe solo on the track Alone Together by Teddy Charles is better than most of his work on the album but it is difficult for a player with any flair on such low key material.The tracks are performed beautifully but what happened to a bit of punch in the music which I think is primarily this albums issue. Granted this is music from 1955 but a big finish or something. Britt Woodman on Trombone does a great job but with Elvin and Charles as usual playing is a high standard but nothing special on this album.

A lot of people may enjoy this album and some Miles fans almost consider it a masterpiece.His playing is great throughout but where is the punch.

3 stars

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Posted Monday, December 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am a big fan of Miles's music until the mid-1960's. He always recruited some of the best musicians in jazz to play with him, and he was always innovative. His output of the late 60's, although I'm sure it's well-played, is just too structure-less for my tastes. I say this to provide a frame of reference for my review of Blue Moods. I think this is a great album, although it may not be Kind of Blue or Sketches of Spain. I give this one 3 1/2 stars, rounded up to 4 since we can't give half stars.

Others may criticize Blue Moods for being too laid back. I think Miles and his cohorts didn't strive for intensity. I believe they accomplished what they set out to do beautifully. I am not a musician, but the trombone must be a relatively inflexible instrument. Brit Woodman plays brilliantly on this album. I am not a big fan of vibes, so the fact that Teddy Charles is not the center of attention here is actually a bonus in my book. My favorite track is the most lively, "Alone Together". I like "There's No You" also.

I grew up in the 1970's, and the average length for an album side was about 20 minutes. Therefore, I would call this more an EP than an album. Maybe the criteria has more to do with how the album was originally marketed than the actual playing time. I know it's a matter of semantics, but I felt it was worth stating. Regardless of some reservations, Blue Moods is an excellent recording from perhaps the pinnacle of Miles Davis' career.

Report this review (#1131332)
Posted Thursday, February 13, 2014 | Review Permalink

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