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Four Classic Albums (Miles Ahead / Sketches Of Spain / Porgy And Bess / Ascenseur Pour L'echafaud)

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

Price: £8.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 April 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Avid Jazz
  • ASIN: B00BWU1S2Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,969 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

AVID Jazz here presents four classic Miles Davis albums including extracts from the original LP liner notes on a finely re-mastered and low priced double CD. 'Miles Ahead'; 'Sketches of Spain' 'Porgy and Bess' and 'Ascenseur pour l echafaud' Our first three Miles selections are a tribute not just to Miles Davis but also to the man who was perhaps his greatest collaborator, the composer, arranger and conductor Gil Evans. From the original sleeve notes for 'Miles Ahead' Miles is quoted regarding Gil....'he is the best, I haven't heard anything that knocks me out as consistently as he does since I first heard Charlie Parker'.... Another quote from British critic Max Harrison describes the resulting album 'Miles Ahead'.....'these scores represent the full expression of Evan's power.. In elaboration and richness of resources they surpass anything previously attempted in big band jazz and constitute the only wholly original departure in that field outside of Ellington's work'. Miles plays flugelhorn throughout the album which represents the first collaboration between Miles and Gil since the ground breaking album 'Birth Of The Cool'. He is joined by Lee Konitz on alto, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, Art Taylor and Philly Jo Jones on drums plus five trumpets, three trombones, three French horns and three flutes. For 'Porgy and Bess' the two men took an orchestral approach and again to quote the original liner notes 'Miles and Gil have given it a superb performance in a new idiom'. Taking as their inspiration the blues and jazz feeling of Gershwin's masterpiece for as the great man himself had said 'jazz I regard as an American folk music......................a very beautiful one which is in the blood of the American people..................'. Miles plays trumpet and flugelhorn, Julian (Cannonball) Adderley alto sax, Elvin Jones percussion, Jimmy Cobb drums plus five more trumpets, three trombones, four French horns, two tubas, four flutes, two clarinets and two oboes. 'Sketches of Spain' presented a further challenge for the two collaborators. The piece was developed from a Miles Davis idea having heard and become obsessed with Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranguez while out on the West Coast . When the pair came together to make their next album Miles played the piece to Gil Evans who immediately liked it and ended up re-writing and extending the middle section. To quote from the original liner notes 'Davis .....has rarely if ever soloed with such concentration of emotion as in several sections of this album, particularly in Concierto de Aranjuez and Saeta............it is as if Miles Davis had been born of Andalusian gypsies, but instead of picking up the guitar, had decided to make the trumpet the expression of his cante hondo (deep song)...' Miles plays trumpet and flugelhorn, Paul Chambers on bass, Jimmy Cobb on drums, Elvin Jones on percussion plus five more trumpets, three trombones, four French horns, two tubas, two oboes, one bassoon and one harp. 'Ascenseur pour l'echafaud' was the original soundtrack to the Louis Malle movie of the same name. Recorded in Paris in 1957 Miles was joined by Kenny Clarke on drums, Barney Wilen on tenor sax plus French musicians Rene Urtreger on piano and Pierre Michelot on bass. In the present of director Louis Malle and star Jeanne Moreau, Miles and the band were shown scenes from the movie on a large screen in the studio and were able to improvise in the relaxed atmosphere that had been created in the room. The results speak for themselves, the music certainly stands alone! All four classic albums have been digitally re-mastered

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By Barry McCanna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 April 2013
Format: Audio CD
The four albums on this set date from between 1957 and 1960, the earliest being "Miles Ahead". That's notable for being Miles' first collaboration with Gil Evans, which partnership progressed to "Porgy & Bess" and "Sketches of Spain", all three of which featured Miles playing against a large ensemble. In contrast, "L'Ascenseur pour l'Echafaud" was recorded during Miles' late 1957 tour of France, when he was invited to provide the score for Louis Malle's film noire, for which a quintet was used.

In order of preference I'd start with "Porgy and Bess", where Evans' arrangement provided a shimmering background for Miles' lyrical playing of Gershwin's masterpiece, producing a stunning version of that folk opera. "Sketches of Spain" was inspired by Rodrigo's Concerto, and begins with the transformation of that classical composition, followed by de Falla's "Will o' the Wisp" from his ballet "El Amor Brujo", the three remaining tunes having been contributed by Evans. I don't think "Miles Ahead" quite reaches the same heights, maybe because it was the first such collaboration. Just as an aside, the late Philip Larkin praised the surface texture produced by the shifting background of brass, French horns and woodwinds; the only problem from his point of view was that, as jazz, it was practically non-alcoholic! Finally, "L'Ascenseur pour l'Echafaud" is a film soundtrack that was integrated with the screen action, but is less effective when heard in isolation.

Judged on its own terms, this is three classic albums plus an odd one out, but sound quality is excellent, and anyone needing to replace their worn vinyl should jump at the prospect.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this set recently as a gift for a friend as I had known (and at various times owned the vinyl originals) and loved them over a period of fifty years. Looking back across that time these albums (especially the collaborations with Gil Evans) are as 'fresh' today as they were when first recorded and still considered by many to represent, not only some of the finest music (I hesitate to call it 'jazz') Davis ever recorded, but some of the finest music recorded...period. They stand testament to a wonderful and unique musical partnership.
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By C. FULLER TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 April 2013
Format: Audio CD
The plus with all these Avid releases is that you get much for your money. I know that much of this can be found elsewhere and it is now a case of the buyer doing a little research and deciding for themselves if what is on he fits their requirements. Those who have the originals can quite cheaply replace their old LPs and play the CDs in the knowledge that sound is top notch.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As ever, very enjoyable albums. Recommend you buy and enjoy especially at this price. A bargain especially if you are unsure of the music. Go for it.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Excellent quality & value for money - get yourself acquainted with Miles Davies or to add to your music collection, and you can separate the albums to separate playlists if you so wish.
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