Customer Reviews


15 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another favourite LP by Miles Davis....
Louis Malle's Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud (Lift to the Scaffold) was in many ways the definitive Nouvelle Vague crime movie (later relations included Bande a Part and Tirez Sur La Pianiste); it's soundtrack was also definitively 'new wave.' The great Miles Davis, breaking from his earlier collaborations with Charlie Parker & Gil Evans was on a three-week tour of Europe &...
Published on 3 July 2004 by Jason Parkes

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wrong track listings
I bought this CD yesterday (not from Amazon) and was perplexed because the CD cover showed the tracks that were on the original LP as tracks 17 to 26. Listening to it and popping it into iTunes confirmed that the CD actually has them as tracks 1 to 10. Jason Parkes had this correct in his review from 2004. Yet the Amazon site has the tracks mislabelled as per my CD. This...
Published on 7 May 2012 by A. N. Jack


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another favourite LP by Miles Davis...., 3 July 2004
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Louis Malle's Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud (Lift to the Scaffold) was in many ways the definitive Nouvelle Vague crime movie (later relations included Bande a Part and Tirez Sur La Pianiste); it's soundtrack was also definitively 'new wave.' The great Miles Davis, breaking from his earlier collaborations with Charlie Parker & Gil Evans was on a three-week tour of Europe & somehow ended up scoring Malle's movie in a single-mythic night-time session (which very much seemed to mirror the improvised nature of many New Wave works). Jazz would also be key to several other Nouvelle Vague films, famously A Bout de Souffle (1959) & films such as Le Souffle Au Coeur & Lacombe, Lucien- which used the music of Charlie Parker & Django Rheinhardt respectively.
This Miles is the one that appeals most- the earlier incarnations (e.g. The Birth of the Cool) don't appeal that much to me- it was really 'Flamenco Sketches' that blew my mind (& that came out of this kind of sound). Ascenseur Pour l'echafaud could be seen as a precursor to Davis' more ambient works, notably In a Silent Way & Agharta. This 2003 reissue comes with a wonderful cover (featuring snaps of the gorgeous Jeanne Moreau, one of the film's stars, hanging out with Miles) & great sleevenotes. The original 10-track soundtrack LP is present & remastered; while tracks 11-26 take in a wealth of outtakes: this is certainly great value!
As a previous review has noted, this LP seems very much overlooked in the Miles-canon and along with Kind of Blue (1959) it probably represents the best introduction to the many joys of Miles Davis. To me this sounds like the kind of music you should play on endless sunday mornings as Jeanne Moreau or Jean Seberg flip between feminine and masculine and you smoke Gitane endlessly...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles' Hidden Gem, 26 Feb 2002
By A Customer
Often overlooked (partly) because it has not been available in many High Street shops, L'ascenseur catches Miles in yet another defining moment during a short stay in Paris. Free flowing music, composed on the spot whilst seeing the movie.
Much more sober in its arrangements, this music score is great jazz - much less boppy and much less orchestrated than much of his previous works. Certainly a "must have" for any Miles fan and a good buy for any newcomer to jazz.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT, 19 Nov 2009
Maybe I'm biased, since this is one of my first Miles Davis LPs I bought (no, I don't own the CD), but this is BRILLIANT music,
and Miles show how he could adapt to the cinematic visions of Louis Malle and at the same time remain a magnificent, instantly recognizable MILES. This is one of the most revered fruits of Miles love affair with France (where he felt much more human and appreciated as a musician than in the US; read his autobiography...)...

The European participants of this session are by no means stand-ins for US musicians; Miles works with them beautifully and they work back equally beautifully. Moody, sensitive, inquisitive music, highly recommended to fans of modern jazz, Miles Davis, jazz trumpet, film music...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles Davis in his prime, super-cool with a dark and sophisticated European flavour, 17 April 2011
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This recording session from the night of 4-5 December 1957 is one of a very few Miles Davis ever composed in Europe for a European project, in this case the soundtrack to Louis Malle's film noir `Ascenseur pour l'Echafaud' (literally `Elevator to the gallows'). The film was a dark and ironic tale with a convoluted plot involving a planned murder last thing on a Friday afternoon, staged to look like suicide, following which the scheming murderer gets stuck in the building's elevator whilst leaving, as the electricity shuts off for the weekend. The original album cover showed a monochrome still from the movie: main protagonist French actress Jeanne Moreau in a classic and arresting pose.

Louis Malle was a great fan of Miles' music and asked him personally to compose and record the film's score: Miles was inspired and delighted. Recorded in one night-time session in an atmospheric old building in Paris to inspire the mood, Miles was joined by Barney Wilen on tenor sax, Rene Urtreger on piano, Pierre Michelot on bass and Kenny Clarke on drums, to sublime result. It's super-cool night-time jazz at its very best, in the loose modal style shortly to characterise Miles' revolutionary `Kind of Blue' period, with numbers mainly slow, dark and atmospheric and a few lighter pieces, spiced with a couple faster and more up-tempo for the movie's scenes of chase and movement. The predominant note is however slow and midnight-moody, perfect dinner-party background music of impeccable taste and ultra-cool; intelligent and thoughtful, and in mood reminiscent of `In a Silent Way'.

The CD contains the original 10 final cuts from the movie soundtrack, plus a number of alternative takes for several pieces. This is Miles at his very best, from one of his most productive and innovative periods spiced with an unusual, dark and sophisticated European flavour; definitely one of his top ten recordings. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wrong track listings, 7 May 2012
By 
A. N. Jack (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this CD yesterday (not from Amazon) and was perplexed because the CD cover showed the tracks that were on the original LP as tracks 17 to 26. Listening to it and popping it into iTunes confirmed that the CD actually has them as tracks 1 to 10. Jason Parkes had this correct in his review from 2004. Yet the Amazon site has the tracks mislabelled as per my CD. This could be a pain for someone who wanted to download an individual track or two.

Nothing wrong with the music. 5 for Miles, 0 for the packaging/presentation
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great music, daft compilation..., 8 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The power of this music comes in part from its haunting quality - by which I mean how the simplest of refrains can imbed itself into the memory, sometimes for all eternity. None more so than the opening track. So why repeat it FOUR times in succession, to the point where it becomes everything it wasn't intended to be... a total irritation? Same with the second track - why THREE times in succession? Patently absurd! If you must have multiple takes, stick them at the end - then at least we have a choice of walking away. Much better in my opinion is the MD CD 'Jazz Track' - it has single takes of most of the music here (there was only 18 minutes of actual music in the original film apparently) plus 4 tracks with the MD Sextet from 1958, and another 3 with the MD Quintet featuring Sonny Rollins - a much more listenable alternative for the majority I would suggest. And if anyone wants an in-depth account of the whole psychology and history of what is rightly considered a classic film score, they could do worse than read John Szwed's outstanding MD biography 'So What' - it has four fascinating pages of background information and commentary on this masterpiece. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE GREAT MANS BEST, 13 May 2013
I can only think of maybe 2 or 3 Miles records that I would put above lift to the scaffold. Miles was greatly influenced and inspired by his time spent in paris and you can really hear this on the record. Very emotional stuff in a dark and haunting way. Excellent!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating!, 31 Jan 2011
By 
J. C. Finch (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Miles Davis hit the nail on the head with this extremely seductive and mesmerising soundtrack -- from beginning to end, loved it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Cool Jazz, 12 Jun 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Lift to the Scaffold) (MP3 Download)
Here Miles Davis writes and performs backing tracks for a French Film. A bit wierd - listening to short takes on this and that but the overall ambience brings that cool muted sound of the trumpet to the front. Early Miles - pre-dating Blue on Green etc.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Top Ten Desert Island Disc, 28 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If there are only a few discs worth buying to have with you when you travel, in the car - or when you get stranded on a Desert Island - this is one of them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews