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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz abstraction and blues diffraction
Its 1968 and its a heady brew of highly original, dark, intense, ethereal jazz from Davis.
Personnel: Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock or Chic Corea, Ron Carter or Dave Holland and Tony Williams.
Williams has ants in his pants throughout. What energy. He is phenomenal.
Its a very unique sound even for this band.
Hancock or Corea play both piano and...
Published on 30 July 2002 by Mr P

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very cool but a little soporific.
The best thing for me about this album is its atmosphere. Whereas Davis classics like 'A Kind of Blue' and 'Bitches Brew' both have a heat surrounding them, 'Filles de Kilimanjaro' emanates a pleasant coolness. The sound is wide and spacious, with neither instrument attempting to grab the limelight. The tracks, some short, some quite long, swing along nicely with a...
Published on 14 Feb. 2013 by Alexander J. Dunn


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz abstraction and blues diffraction, 30 July 2002
By 
Mr P "radletteer" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Filles De Kilimanjaro (Audio CD)
Its 1968 and its a heady brew of highly original, dark, intense, ethereal jazz from Davis.
Personnel: Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock or Chic Corea, Ron Carter or Dave Holland and Tony Williams.
Williams has ants in his pants throughout. What energy. He is phenomenal.
Its a very unique sound even for this band.
Hancock or Corea play both piano and electric piano.
The horn players come out with some weird haunting melodies.
You can certainly hear the influences of rock creeping in. (James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Cream)
As the sleeve notes put it: "bestrides the fault line between jazz abstraction and blues diffraction" Could not have put it better myself, whatever it means.
The closing 16 minutes of the final track Mademoiselle Mabry is the highpoint of a staggering piece of work.
Recommended.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles Magic, 5 May 2004
By 
Ian Thumwood "ian17577" (Winchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Filles De Kilimanjaro (Audio CD)
The album "Filles de Kilimanjaro" has been heralded by critics as marking the point at which rock began to influence the trumpeter's work. Forty years later, the influence of rock is barely discernable as contemporary musicians have very much absorbed these ideas to such an extent that they have become part of the jazz mainstream. Indeed, Dave Douglas' recent "The Infinite" is very much a homage to this earlier album as it too features the electric piano in an otherwise acoustic setting. (The exceptance being the judicial use of electric base.)
Curiously, this album therefore sounds more contemporary than much of Miles' subsequent output and, for this reviewer, marks a creative highpoint.It is a fitting, adventurous swan song for his classic Quintet of the 1960's.
Throughout Miles' tailors his style to fit the new grooves that the band were now playing. Primarily noted as a cool player, it is doubtful as to whether his groups played any hotter than on "Felon Brun" and "Petits Machins", the two of the most exciting tracks in the Davis discography. His playing is also particularly delicate on "Mademoiselle Mabry." Shorter continues his harmonic explorations and throughout the tracks Tony Williams, the star of the show, whips up a maestrom behind his kit. Elsewhere, the excitement is generated by the electric piano playing of either Herbie Hancock or Chick Corea who prompt the soloists with jabs of exotic colour or scurrying runs up and down the keyboard. Even on the slower tracks, you can feel the energy bubbling away. Bass duties are shared between Ron Carter and a young Dave Holland.
Miles Davis sub-titled this album "Directions in music" and he clearly sensed that he was onto something new when he recorded it. There is plenty of opportunity for extended solo's, although many of the moody passages have clearly been expertly arranged. The harmonies played by the band are as startling as those conjured up ten years earlier on the Davis albums with Gil Evans, who I believe also had a hand with this effort.
"Filles de Kilimanjaro" is an album that deserves to be better known and if your knowledge of the great man is limited to "Kind of Blue", you will do your ears a treat by investigating in this neglected gem.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typically brilliant, 4 Oct. 2007
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This review is from: Filles De Kilimanjaro (Audio CD)
Filles de Kilimanjaro is one of Davis' best albums. It takes a bit of getting into, but it really is worth the effort. Hard to know where to start as the music sort of defies description, but the percussion of Tony Williams on this music is dazzling: not overbearing or thudding, but ever present, driving forward the bluesy, mellow improvisations. Bass and keyboards are very pared down, spare and relaxed, and the main action is between Williams, Shorter and Davis.

Struggling for words, I'd say it's the kind of music that only a band this good could get away with - the improvisations really push the shape of the music to its outer limits. But Davis, Williams, Hancock and Shorter are the best of their generation on their particular instruments and the end product is sparkling, joyous and groovy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Building to that peak period., 4 Oct. 2002
By 
Jason Parkes (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Filles De Kilimanjaro (Audio CD)
Davis is of more interest to me from the mid to late 1960's up until his retirement in the mid 1970s. These are the 'directions in music' that lead both to and away from the classic Bitches Brew album.
Fille de Kilimanjaro is an example of this development, Davis accompanied by regular players Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Chick Corea and Wayne Shorter. Recorded in June and September of 1968, Davis moves from the 'Miles Smiles' period of transition to another period of his music which would be as much influenced by Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone as Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong...This is an album that feels like one long piece, in five phases- and is best listened to next to Nefertiti and Sorcerer- prior to In a Silent Way (also reissued with this) and Bitches Brew. The story didn't end with BB- as Davis developed a more funk orientated take on this type of jazz with the excellent Jack Johnson and On the Corner albums (the coda to this era is Get Up With It- particularly the timeless He Loved Him Madly). Fille de Kilimanjaro is initially hardwork, but repeated listens will reveal its qualities. This edition comes with superior notes to the prior version and an alternate take of Tout de Suite (which is as nice to have as the other bonus cuts on recent reissues). Not sure about the change from red to grey on the cover, but this is another Davis album you have to own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of Miles' best late 60's works, 25 July 2009
This review is from: Filles De Kilimanjaro (Audio CD)
yes - i have loved this lp for many years now. for me - its one of his most accessible and coherent later era lps (from 1968), where Miles' sounds still retains the "classic" lyrical trumpet playing that made him famous in the late 50's (on the lp "kind of blue" most famously) yet the sound on "filles" although still cool and minimal from his earlier years, is moving towards his electric era from the following year onwards. slow, late night,bluesy grooves mark the sound to be found here with exquisite solos form Miles himself with empathetic support and counter-point from luminaries Wayner Shorter, Anthony Wiliams, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and new arrivals in waiting :Chick Corea and Dave Holland.

the inclusion of both acoustic and electric instruments on the lp mark this album as a pivotal yet a deeply satisfying work jusr prior to Bitches Brew etc. buy without doubt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mystery of Miles, 11 Nov. 2014
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Filles De Kilimanjaro (Audio CD)
It took me a while, but once this music got through to me, I knew I would keep it near me for the rest of my life.
It came at the end of Miles's immaculate late sixties run of albums that began with the perfect ESP, and either ended with this or In A Silent Way, depending on your view of the stages of his career. For me, IASW and Bitches Brew were the beginning of a new phase, in which electric keyboards played a larger role, and Miles began to entertain a rather harsher muse.
Truthfully, that sea change started here, and on tracks - only five on the original recording - that are mostly so in touch with what makes Miles's music sometimes so breathakingly beautiful that criticism falls away, and one is mesmerised by what these musicians are playing, with such loving attention and such measured pace and leisurely momentum.
Four of the tracks (including a welcome alternate take of Tout De Suite) feature Miles with his illustrious recent partners in crime Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, while the other two play host to Chick Corea and Dave Holland in place of Hancock & Carter.
I can't adequately describe this music, though yet again Williams gives a subtle masterclass in the drum as musical instrument - and what a great drummer he was! When Miles himself takes a solo it's as if a shy moon has emerged from behind drifting clouds to beguile the time. He really does play some gorgeous phrases and runs on these tunes.
The lengthy, hypnotic title track and equally long-breathed Mademoiselle Mabry (written by Miles for his new wife Betty Mabry) are standouts, accumulating their own life, like a slow vessel picking up barnacles and seaweed, as they unfold over many minutes. They don't outstay their welcome for a moment.
There's a mystery to this music too, as if you need, as I did, to hear it several times before it even begins to show its gradually revealed colours.
These 2002 remasters are marvellous things to own, with excellent booklets, and the music in pristine sound as befits such a class act.

Beautiful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Davis In Transition, 23 Jan. 2013
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Filles De Kilimanjaro (Audio CD)
As is widely recognised, this 1968 album from Miles Davis represented a significant point of transition for the man and the musician. September of that year saw Davis marry singer Betty Mabry (his 2nd of three trips to the altar), and the same month saw Davis and band enter the recording studio for the second session to put down some of the tracks for the Filles De Kilimanjaro album. The album saw Davis take his blues and, increasingly, rock/funk influences to a new level and provided clear pointers to his following two records - the more renowned In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew - and whilst, for me, Filles does not quite live up to these follow-ups (In A Silent Way has even more haunting melodies and Bitches Brew takes innovative and dynamic rhythm to unprecedented levels) it is still a fine, and groundbreaking, recording.

Indeed, on repeated listens, it becomes apparent that all the music on Filles has 'a point' and an intoxicating mix of appeals. Although the music does have a naturally flowing, and progressive, nature (almost suggesting a single musical suite), my listening has led me to think of the album in two distinct segments which, maybe coincidentally, fit with its structure of 'two album sides' (in old parlance). First up is Frelon Brun (Brown Hornet), which calls to my mind material from his earlier Miles Smiles period, being relatively conventional, but with 'out there' solos from Miles and Wayne Shorter. The following tunes Tout De Suite and Petit Machins (Little Stuff) are a different proposition, however - the former showcases drummer Tony Williams' amazing rhythmic dexterity (in effect, playing lead), whilst the number's 'beat' is maintained by Herbie Hancock's staccato electric piano and Ron Carter's bass, whilst the latter (an album highlight) is a brilliantly dynamic exposition on which Chick Corea's electric piano excels - both numbers providing a foretaste of things to come on Bitches Brew.

The 'second side' of Filles, on the other hand, is more closely paralleled with the exquisite beauty (and perhaps more conventional structure and sense of melody) that Miles was to encapsulate on In A Silent Way. The album's title track (and my favourite) is built around a sublime theme, played in harmony by Davis and Shorter, and provides virtuoso displays from both horns at their most subtle, calling to and fro to Hancock's piano, whilst Williams is 'relegated' to more conventional rhythmic duties. Similarly, Mademoiselle Mabry (Miss Mabry) is another perfectly judged example of restrained playing - suggestive of an African blues - witty and entrancing by turns, as Williams weaves his intricate spell around Davis and Shorter's lyrical solos.

Undoubtedly, one of Miles' (most) neglected ones.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Miles starts to go electronic & looks to the future, 2 Sept. 2012
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Filles De Kilimanjaro (Audio CD)
`Filles de Kilimanjaro' recorded in two sessions and released in 1968 sits between `Miles in the Sky' and the landmark `In a Silent Way' where Miles' new electronic music style defined the jazz fusion groove. The album title FdK is an ironic reference to Pablo Picasso's painting `Filles d'Avignon' (`girls of Avignon') because although the pieces all have French names the music is definitely not French in style but something far more exotic. Compositional credit for all five pieces goes to Miles himself.

This outing was the last for Miles' mighty second quintet: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams who feature on the middle three numbers, but also introduced pianist Chick Corea and Brit bass player Dave Holland on the opening track `Frelon Brun' and the closer `Mademoiselle Mabry' (dedicated to Miles' wife, Betty Mabry whose face is used for the album cover image). Corea played electric piano - a very cheap instrument with poor sound and dynamic range made available for the sessions reportedly annoyed Corea, but he made the most of it and the result is impressive indeed - and Holland played both double bass and electric bass. The resulting sound is an intermediate hybrid between the acoustic jazz era a la `Miles Smiles,' and the future electronic fusion sound which was soon to be heard on `In a Silent Way' and `Bitches Brew'. You can hear already the fusion style emerging, with longer compositional pieces like `Tout de Suite' and `Mademoiselle Mabry' feeling out Miles' future direction. The title track `Filles de Kilimanjaro' sounds like it was lifted straight from the sessions for `In a Silent Way' (minus John McLaughlin) and would not be out of place on that 1969 landmark album.

FdK is a great album, a `pre-fusion' masterpiece of improvisation introducing rhythms from rock and soul into the jazz groove and featuring some superb playing from Miles. Less well known than some of Miles' bigger selling albums like KoB and BB, it's nevertheless outstanding and IMO should be in every jazz collection.

The `bonus track' on the deluxe edition is an alternative take of `Tout de Suite' which sticks to the main theme rather than developing in the adventurous direction of the original album track.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Miles in exploratory mode..., 6 Aug. 2012
By 
os - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Filles De Kilimanjaro (Audio CD)
'Filles De Kilmanjaro' represents one of a series of recordings from the mid-60'pre-electric period('Miles Smiles'/'ESP'/'Nefertiti'/'Miles in the Sky')where Miles was taking his music in a direction where rock and funk ideas were starting to feature quite prominently.The music is on occasion rather dense,abstract and on occasion given to an air of floaty introspection,there is no denying the attempt by Miles to create something that is fresh and interesting.From the bass driven 'Frelon Brun' to the delicate but dynamic 'Toute De Suite' and the spaced out melodiousness of 'Mademoiselle Marby' there is much to for the listener to get to grips with. For careful listening reveals these performances to be a sort of bubbling musical brew,where percolating up from the molten depths come powerful shifting rhythms,complex ambiguous harmonies and little moody melodic fragments that push the soloists (mainly Davis and Shorter)to respond creatively to the challenges thrown down by their band mates. It's like we are listening into an extended attempt at spontaneous composition where ideas are presented by each band member throughout the course of each tune in order that the others can react to the new rhythmic or harmonic climate. However it would be wrong to suggest that this is free-form jazz. The musicians are 'free' within the context of the material yet there is a respect for form and the appropriate creation and release of musical tension.

As an album I have always found 'Filles De Kilmanjaro' an enjoyable listen,but only when I feel up to it! It is never less then stimulating and there are many moments of brilliant musicianship and great band inter-play but it does demand that attention is paid to what is going on.'Filles De Kilmanjaro' has the drive of rock and the pulse of funk but it's foundation is built upon a fearless investigation by Davis and co to use their momentous technique and imaginative powers to see where their music takes them. As a musical quest, few albums are as engrossing as this one. Recommended to all intrepid listeners!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars miles goes african township, 4 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Filles De Kilimanjaro (Audio CD)
Miles Davis was unique in that he kept reinventing himself and over the years introduced several different ways of playing jazz . On this album he sounds like the leader of an African township band as he leads a dance through five brilliant numbers . Listen in particular to the superb drums of Tony Williams . Williams was capable of playing four different time signatures with hands and feet at the same time - hard to believe but true . This is not Davis at his absolute best but it still sounds pretty incredible .
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