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Very cool but a little soporific.
on 14 February 2013
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 slightly rock-tinged edge. But this is most definitely still a jazz record.
As is fairly well known, the first and last tracks were recorded at a different time to the central tracks and with different players. This is clearly audible if one listens to the album in one sitting. The outer tracks are identifiable by their urgency and harmonic richness, whereas the inner tracks are based around one just chord and sound more relaxed.
Unfortunately, if one is attempting to listen to the album in one sitting, the last two tracks run for just a little too long for comfort. The effect isn't exactly infuriating but soporific. By the last minute of 'Mademoiselle Mabry', one is almost out for the count and it sounds like the musicians are too!