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Miles Smiles [Original recording remastered]

Miles Davis Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: £6.01 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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by William Ruhlmann

Throughout a professional career lasting 50 years, Miles Davis played the trumpet in a lyrical, introspective, and melodic style, often employing a stemless Harmon mute to make his sound more personal and intimate. But if his approach to his instrument was constant, his approach to jazz was dazzlingly protean. To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz ... Read more in Amazon's Miles Davis Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Miles Smiles + Nefertiti + Sorcerer
Price For All Three: £17.66

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Oct 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Columbia Legacy
  • ASIN: B0000247P5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,221 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Orbits 4:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Circle 5:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Footprints 9:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Dolores 6:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Freedom Jazz Dance (Evolution Of The Groove) 7:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Gingerbread Boy 7:44£0.99  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite 60's Miles Album 8 Mar 2002
Format:Audio CD
In 1967 Miles Davis recorded what was to be the last album before venturing into his electric period. Soon he would be using the Fender Rhodes and the Fender Bass, so it could be seen as his last truly acoustic album. Many jazz purists see Miles Smiles as his last true jazz album because of the above. However beneath the superficial details, it can also be seen as rhythmically one of the trumpeters most explorative works. One has only to listen to Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and Ron Carter work on the multi-tempo track Footprints to hear this. There are so many subtle rhythmical implications within this piece that it leaves me feeling this was my favourite Miles rhythm section, as much as I love Miles fifties Columbia band. Being a rhythm section player myself, I can constantly find enjoyment and inspiration within this track alone.
Miles himself plays out of his skin throughout and stretches out in a manner far different than what I have heard previously or since. Whilst never being known as the most technically dazzling of trumpeters, he produces some absolutely mind-boggling solos, which leaves me wondering if some critics sat down and listened to this album instead of panning his technically weaker work with Parker, they might give him more credit than he's been allowed for. Tone wise it's generally conceded that Miles was beautiful and Miles Smiles is no exception. Circle showcases some of his most intimate and pleasant moments.
The writing is mostly Wayne Shorter's. Wayne, one of Jazz's most gifted writers never allows the arrangements to inhibit the soloists. In fact it inspires them to greater heights, his own playing included.
If I was to name my top five jazz albums of the sixties, I would like to think this would be in there.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Beautiful 4 Nov 2006
Format:Audio CD
I'm a massive Miles fan and i think this ranks right up there with his best albums. Every member of this hugely important quintet plays there ass off on this album creating music which shows how free and abstract this style of jazz can get while still being immediately and viscerally attractive.

Buy this album!.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles Smiles and so do I. 26 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD
Along with E.S.P. this is one of the best jazz records ever and I think the best one the quintet recorded.
The empathy between Miles,Shorter,Hancock,Carter and Williams is beyond belief!
If you like your jazz on the deep and inventive side you will love this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles' sophisticated masterpiece 6 April 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Although widely acknowledged by many as the greatest small group of all time in the history of jazz, it is still surprising just how good this collection of single takes by Miles' second quintet is. I understand that these records did not sell as well at the time as his earlier work and perhaps the fact that themes such as "Dolores" and "Gingerbread boy" are almost limited to motifs made the records less appealing than the records he put out in the 1950's. With the passage of time, it is possible to see that the "Downbeat" readers who voted this the best jazz record of 1967 were the ones who were correct as there is a density of "real" music on "Miles Smiles" which surpasses nearly all other groups.

It is difficult to single out any particular track and all five performers are at the absolute peak of their game. There is an aggression with Miles' trumpet that marks this out as one of his finest performances in the studio and I feel that Herbie Hancock's piano is stunning on the record throughout even though his solo on "Circle" is rightly singld out for praise by critics and scholars. Elsewhere, Wayne Shorter is hugely compelling both as a soloist and composer (particularly "Orbits") and Tony William's crashing symbol work engulfs the band with an intense level of energy. The unsung hero for me is bassist Ron Carter whose playing is shown on this record to be pivotal to the overall success of the quintet . Check out the album's best track "Freedom Jazz Dance" which slips in and out of various grooves, at one time popping out a really funky line against the tsunami of William's symbols.

Rightly praised, this record represents the conclusion of a 2 year hiatus for the quintet in the studio after their debut "ESP" and shows just how much they had grown as a band.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Davis' Classic 60s Quintet 29 Feb 2012
By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Recorded in October 1966, Miles Smiles features the second incarnation of the Miles Davis Quintet, which, in addition to Davis, featured Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass) and Tony Williams (drums). This version of the quintet, which initially featured George Coleman on sax, followed Davis' classic 1950s quintet with John Coltrane and pre-dated his move to his 'electric period', which is generally regarded as having started with the classic album In A Silent Way, recorded in 1969.

Miles Smiles actually starts in relatively low-key mode with the Wayne Shorter composition Orbits (most notable for a great Davis solo) followed by Davis' own composition Circle, which, whilst containing some nice muted playing from Miles and some dextrous ivory tinkling from Hancock, is also, for me, a fairly middling composition.

It is not until we reach track three that the album really takes off with Shorter's superb (and renowned) composition Footsteps. This ten-minute masterpiece is somewhat reminiscent of the Davis classic All Blues, as Ron Carter's bass lays down the track's motif, over which both Davis and Shorter excel with outstanding solos. Of course, Footsteps was originally recorded a few months earlier in 1966 by Shorter with his own band (also featuring Hancock) and included on his Adam's Apple album (released the same year). Next follows the equally impressive Shorter composition Dolores, which, as well as virtuoso soloing from the two horns, also contains some superb playing from Hancock - Dolores is actually one of the three tracks on the album, along with Orbits and Gingerbread Boy, on which Hancock only played right-hand chords - these jazz players!

The final two compositions are non-band written tunes - both outstanding.
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