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The diverse talents of Miles Davis...
on 25 January 2011
Miles Dewey Davis III (1926-1991) the American trumpeter, bandleader, and composer was widely considered one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century. Miles Davis was at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and jazz fusion. This album took him yet another direction and one which showed the versatility of his playing. Miles Davis "Sketches of Spain" recorded between November 1959 and March 1960 at the Columbia 30th Street Studio in New York City brings together Davis with arranger and composer Gil Evans, with whom he had collaborated on several other projects, on a program of compositions largely derived from the Spanish folk tradition. The five compositions with a huge orchestral backing are amongst the most famous of his performances. As one might say today they have that "wow" factor. The album was originally well received and its release now as part of a 2 CD set by Not Now music will be a sought after event. Released by Columbia Records in 1960. The sound quality is excellent and the running time of this album is approx 41 minutes. The pairing of "Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants" is a perfect alternative being the traditional small group. Made up of sessions dating from 1954 & 1956 for Prestige Records. Most of the album comes from a session on 24 December 1954, but "'Round Midnight" is from the sessions by Davis's new quintet in 1956 which resulted in Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet and three other albums to fulfil Davis's contract with Prestige Records. The recordings feature Milt Jackson-Vibraphones; Thelonious Monk-piano; Percy Heath-Bass & Kenny Clarke-drums. "Round Midnight" has John Coltrane-tenor sax; Philly Joe Jones-drums; Red Garland- piano & Paul Chambers-bass. Listen to the 2 versions of "The Man I Love" and these echo the very sound that the Gershwin's were aiming for. The first take (track 5) of "The Man I Love" has a false start caused by Monk asking when he should start playing, and an exasperated Davis telling engineer Rudy Van Gelder, "Hey Rudy, put this on the record, man - all of it!". The sound quality is once more excellent. This album has a running time of approx 42 minutes. The liner notes are by Peter Gamble and the bright packaging echoes the original 1960 release. More magic from Not Now Music and at a great price too. A must for all jazz collectors.