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  • Sketches of Spain [VINYL]
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Sketches of Spain [VINYL]

51 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B000050F7B
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  Mini-Disc  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,118,920 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By F. Sweet on 16 Mar. 2005
Format: Audio CD
The first time I heard Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo for Spanish guitar and symphonic orchestra it was performed by virtuoso Narciso Yepes. It was the most incredible music I had heard, decades ago. The world agreed because since Yepes first recorded Rodrigo's concerto four decades ago literally hundreds of different artists recorded this ethereal music. Enter Miles Davis.
Davis adapted the guitar solo to trumpet and created yet another kind of ethereal music. For his original guitar composition, Rodrigo balanced the gentle tones of the solo instrument with orchetral brass .... which often plays dissonant chords, but with soft understatement. What Davis produced is not simply transposing guitar to trumpet and the symphonic orchestral parts to a large brass section. Rather, Davis created a new sound by fusing American jazz styles with Spanish undertones. Rather than softening the brass so as not to drown out the acoustic guitar, the volume was raised in Davis' rendition and now the powerful solo trumpet carries on a dialog with an occasionally competing, and at other times counterpointal, brass section.
I imagine that when Rodrigo wrote Concierto de Aranjuez, he couldn't have imagined how far removed from his native Spain this music would travel ... reinterpreted by the American jazz world. But there it is. Had Narciso Yepes never played the concerto and the world only heard Miles Davis' rendition then the world would still have been quite happy. But now there are both kinds of music, and the lucky listener can decide to move between the two worlds of Davis and Yepes. What a triumph for modern music!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mr P VINE VOICE on 13 Nov. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Miles lays his trumpet down against Gil Evans arrangements of Rodrigo's Concierto De Aranjuez (Normally features classical guitar) and De Fallas Will O' the Wisp. The other three tunes were penned by Evans. The orchestration is exquisite and repays repeated listenings. Over this Davis solos in a restrained manner but the emotion of his playing continually shines through.
This is a very original album and sounds like nothing else.
A masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AfterTheEvent on 14 Aug. 2008
Format: Audio CD
I originally bought this album as a boxed set of three LP's, Kind of Blue, Porgy and Bess were the other two. It tends to be loathed by "true believers" largely, I think, because it was one of the most popular. Therefore: it was a sore trial to the sort of deaf elitists that you find at Jazz and Orchestral music events. (People who clap harder as the music gets worse.)

It does have it's faults, the over use of castanets, which is like adding atmosphere with ketchup. The gushing orchestration which pervades the collection like cheap perfume in dance-hall. Occasional shrieking trumpet - where MD definitely looses the thread.

It's still a great album and well worth a listen. It maybe the weakest of the three albums mentioned. It's still worth five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Guardian TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD
"Sketches of Spain" recorded in 1959-60 was the third project resulting from the long collaboration between Miles Davis and innovative master of orchestral arrangements Gil Evans. The album explores the musical styles of the Iberian Peninsula and has a distinctive feel quite different from any of Miles' other work, often described as something of a musical landmark. A listener familiar with classical music who has never been able to connect with jazz might find this collection an immediately accessible gateway.

The opener is an extended re-interpretation of the second movement of J. Roderigo's modern impressionist-classical piece "Concierto di Aranjuez", which Miles listened to repeatedly in 1959 and declared "I couldn't get it out of my mind." Gil's orchestration for an ensemble of brass and woodwind anchors the melody, is faithful to Roderigo's score and captures the spirit of the original to perfection. It is more classical (i.e. rigid) in structure than normally found in jazz, allowing only constrained improvisation around the melody. In re-interpreting the original score for the guitar, Miles responds to the more formalised framework with understated mastery and works with the orchestra to fine result: a satisfying and distinctive mood-piece which lingers in the memory. Roderigo, by the way, didn't like it: the brass-dominated orchestral sound too much of a departure from his vision; the absence of the Spanish guitar at the heart of the piece, and the second movement of the concerto removed from the context of the faster and more upbeat first and third movements not at all to the composer's taste. However, in the context of the other pieces on Miles and Gil's "Sketches of Spain" it fits perfectly and sets the mood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Guardian TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD
"Sketches of Spain" recorded in 1959-60 was the third project resulting from the long collaboration between Miles Davis and innovative master of orchestral arrangements Gil Evans. The album explores the musical styles of the Iberian Peninsula and has a distinctive feel quite different from any of Miles' other work, often described as something of a musical landmark. A listener familiar with classical music who has never been able to connect with jazz might find this collection an immediately accessible gateway.

The opener is an extended re-interpretation of the second movement of J. Roderigo's modern impressionist-classical piece "Concierto di Aranjuez", which Miles listened to repeatedly in 1959 and declared "I couldn't get it out of my mind." Gil's orchestration for an ensemble of brass and woodwind anchors the melody, is faithful to Roderigo's score and captures the spirit of the original to perfection. It is more classical (i.e. rigid) in structure than normally found in jazz, allowing only constrained improvisation around the melody. In re-interpreting the original score for the guitar, Miles responds to the more formalised framework with understated mastery and works with the orchestra to fine result: a satisfying and distinctive mood-piece which lingers in the memory. Roderigo, by the way, didn't like it: the brass-dominated orchestral sound too much of a departure from his vision; the absence of the Spanish guitar at the heart of the piece, and the second movement of the concerto removed from the context of the faster and more upbeat first and third movements not at all to the composer's taste. However, in the context of the other pieces on Miles and Gil's "Sketches of Spain" it fits perfectly and sets the mood.
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