Author Topic: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?  (Read 1896 times)

What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« on: July 13, 2020, 09:34:48 PM »
It's been mizzling all day and I have a weird itchy hay fever-y eye so have been listening to some of my Miles Davis albums whilst I worked from home.

I really love Sketches of Spain. It was the first album of his that I heard and I still like it most of all his records. It never seems to get mentioned as one of his best, I dunno if it's because it's more immediate than his other stuff. I'm listening to Kind of Blue now and obviously that's great too. Lift to the Scaffold's third. If I like those three, any others I would like? I really want to like In A Silent Way but I hate that electric piano. I should give it another go really.

There was another thread for this stuff 10 years ago with some great posts (and other recommendations) from the lovely Serge and the shit sodden Doomy Dwyer (although DD goes off on some weird tangent about the Birthday Party for some reason. Deleted posts?)

https://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=24392.0

Shit Good Nose

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2020, 09:41:29 PM »
I'm generally an electric Miles aficionado, but I'd honestly quite happily listen to anything from E.S.P up to and including Pangaea - not a single foot wrong in all of that and an absolutely incredible run by anyone's standards.

I probably listen to In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew most of all, but if pressed any of the live stuff from 74 and 75 would get my vote.  Blinding stuff.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2020, 09:42:54 PM »
in a silent way

Sin Agog

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2020, 09:48:26 PM »
Sketches of Spain possibly, but as a period the on-the-one Milesification of funk epoch was my jam, especially Jack Johnson and Live-Evil.

shagatha crustie

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2020, 10:27:21 PM »
Overall I prefer the pre-electric stuff, but In A Silent Way and Jack Johnson are probably my favourites.

If Get Up With It had all been like 'He Loved Him Madly' then it would be that. Dark ambient Miles.

Egyptian Feast

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2020, 10:29:48 PM »
in a silent way

I don't listen to it so much now, but this will likely always be my favourite. It was a constant when I used to have all nighters a lot more frequently, so I'll always associate it with a certain time on Sunday morning. No album sounds as good when the sun's coming up.

My current favourite is A Tribute to Jack Johnson. I love blasting that out while I'm working. Has anyone seen the film itself? I've always been curious to see it. Interesting subject and we already know the soundtrack is funky as fuck.

My favourite Miles Davis song at the moment is 'Teo', but John Coltrane has a lot to do with that. His solo is so fucking good.

Twit 2

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2020, 11:56:16 PM »
Cannonball Adderley - Somethin’ Else
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 12:33:53 AM by Twit 2 »

Brundle-Fly

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2020, 12:05:46 AM »
On The Corner. Love it.

Run with me on this one?  I do have a soft spot for Tutu because I bought it at the time (off the back of Splatch track featured on an NME front cover 7 sampler) it reminds me of a good year in my life. The album probably sounds more dated than a Kenny Ball LP now.

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2020, 06:39:34 AM »
Live-Evil is the album I've played more than any other by any artist; I've never not looked forward to listening to it once again. Second fave is Agharta.

Petey Pate

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2020, 09:22:42 AM »
Run with me on this one?  I do have a soft spot for Tutu because I bought it at the time (off the back of Splatch track featured on an NME front cover 7 sampler) it reminds me of a good year in my life. The album probably sounds more dated than a Kenny Ball LP now.

Tutu is one of Davis' better 1980s albums, but you're right that it hasn't aged well at all. If I had to choose a favourite from his post-recluse period I would pick Star People (his last with both Gil Evans and Teo Macero), though I also have a fondness for Doo Bop despite Easy Moe Bee's incredibly cheesy rapping.

A lot of people write off Davis' later work, declaring that his career basically ended in 1975, but reading George Cole's book on that era gave me some more appreciation of it. Definitely not his best, but there are a few gems here and there.

Anyway to answer the topic I'd probably say either Sketches of Spain or In A Silent Way.

buttgammon

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2020, 10:18:02 AM »
This is a virtually impossible question, because there's so many possible answers and I change my mind on this very regularly. On the Corner is my favourite at the moment, but In a Silent Way is the one I return to the most. That whole electric period is simply incredible - probably my favourite part of any musician's career.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2020, 10:22:42 AM »
I only had Bitches Brew for years and always thought it was just a one off judging by how everyone was so in awe of it, but since Lockdown I've been buying up all the "electric" CD's and love them all so far. Was blown away by how funky Jack Johnson is so that's probably my favourite, although I've just got Big Fun and I'm really enjoying that too. Looking forward to seeing the Miles and Prince footage on the new Sign of the Times box set.

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2020, 10:32:57 AM »
Almost forgot; Circle In The Round is my 3rd favourite. It's the actual track, recorded in 1967, rather than the album of the same name I come back to, and nowadays I usually play the full unedited take from the Columbia box set. But this is a landmark recording; the precursor to In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, marking a major transition toward the Electric Miles period. Well worth a listen, as it never saw the light of day in its time, only being released while Miles was on his '75-'80 sabbatical (as was Big Fun[1], another fave made up of older outtakes).
 1. Actually, maybe Big Fun is 3rd fave but Circle In The Round is a close competitor.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2020, 10:41:33 AM »
I'm listening to IASW as I write. I so want to like it but that electric piano is smothered all over it. It stopped for a few seconds at around the 12 minute mark but then it just started up again like a slinky villain in a slasher film. It's fine when the trumpet's on there too but I didn't enjoy the middle third very much. Ah, this final 5m is great.
If I don't like funky things and don't like electric piano, should I stay away from his electric stuff?

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2020, 10:45:01 AM »
Ah, this final 5m is great.

It's the exact same music from the opening, edited to the end of the track. Not played again; the same recording repeated.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2020, 10:47:57 AM »
Yeah, I did think it was very similar.

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2020, 10:53:33 AM »
Actually it is a different take or a different part of the same take. But that part is the actual composition In A Silent Way (by Joe Zawinul) and the bit you don't like is called It's About That Time.

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2020, 11:04:39 AM »
The other side (Sssh/Peaceful) is the go-to track on the album for me.

Petey Pate

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2020, 11:23:04 AM »
Almost forgot; Circle In The Round is my 3rd favourite. It's the actual track, recorded in 1967, rather than the album of the same name I come back to, and nowadays I usually play the full unedited take from the Columbia box set. But this is a landmark recording; the precursor to In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, marking a major transition toward the Electric Miles period. Well worth a listen, as it never saw the light of day in its time, only being released while Miles was on his '75-'80 sabbatical (as was Big Fun[1], another fave made up of older outtakes).
 1. Actually, maybe Big Fun is 3rd fave but Circle In The Round is a close competitor.

Some time ago I made the effort to listen to everything Miles Davis recorded circa 1967-75 in chronological order (rather than the official release dates), Circle in the Round was indeed the first to use an electric guitar[2]. I think I gave up mid way through numerous takes from one of those sessions compilations - which felt akin to watching the unedited rushes of a movie. Miles and Teo Macero spent a lot of effort editing those albums, and I think we can trust their judgement on what the best material was.
 2. Stuff from Miles in the Sky was the first recording featuring electric piano and bass guitar, and the first time Herbie Hancock ever played electric

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2020, 11:27:10 AM »
That's for sure. Teo was ace at finding the choicest cuts and compiling them. The biggest musical balls I can think of, cutting the "bad bits" out from some of the greatest performances. One particularly great bit of editing is that piano solo by Keith Jarrett on Live-Evil that happens halfway through Funky Tonk. When you compare it to the original take from the Cellar Door Sessions you can see Teo cut all the noodling out and turned it into a beautiful musical statement (one of my favourite moments on one of my favourite albums). To say nothing of how great Teo mixed Live-Evil, compared to the raw live tapes on the Cellar Door Sessions.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2020, 12:15:43 PM »
For me it's John MacLaughlin's guitar that is the stand-out feature of IASW rather than the electric piano. Blows my mind that he was never intended to be on the session but Miles met him for the first time the night before and invited him along.

And on A Tribute to Jack Johnson, Miles was late for the recording, so the band started jamming without him. You can tell when he turns up because they all go a bit quiet, wondering what he's going  to do.
 

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2020, 12:18:55 PM »
Personal fave albums that I don't think have been mentioned are Milestones, bcs it was the first one I got into and the title track is near perfect, imo; and Filles de Kilimanjaro, which I think is the first appearance of electric instruments, and Mlle Mabry is fantastic

magval

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2020, 12:55:21 PM »
My process of 'getting into' Miles Davis is probably going to take years (I started in the same places mentioned by almost everyone above) but one of I haven't seen mentioned here is Aura, which features the lovely sad track 'White'.

Any other recommendations for proper, maudlin, thoughtful dark soloing?

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2020, 01:16:49 PM »
And on A Tribute to Jack Johnson, Miles was late for the recording, so the band started jamming without him. You can tell when he turns up because they all go a bit quiet, wondering what he's going  to do.

Doesn't Herbie Hancock turn up later, finds some keyboard lying around the studio, so eventually joins in, too?

shagatha crustie

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2020, 01:55:31 PM »
Any other recommendations for proper, maudlin, thoughtful dark soloing?

Aforementioned (starts off rather freeform, but when the rhythm kicks in and the solos start around halfway through, it's some of the most dark, mournful, heavy music I've ever heard. Well worth listening to the whole thing in any case):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fc_-VZlkcM


Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2020, 03:02:25 PM »
Definitely 'In a silent way' never ceases to amaze me how perfect it is. No idea what's so bad about the electric piano. It's also something I've listened to for years and years, whereas something like Bitches Brew I need to be more in the mood for. That's definitely up there to. Live Evil and Agharta are both incredible too. Not majorly into anything after On the Corner. Whoever mentioned I loved him madly as a stand out track is dead right too. Incredible piece of ambient work, maybe my favourite track of his.

Jockice

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2020, 03:08:26 PM »
I don't think I've ever heard one. Which I suppose I should be ashamed of.

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2020, 03:14:06 PM »
Not majorly into anything after On the Corner.

Came out in 1972.

Quote
Whoever mentioned IHe loved him madly as a stand out track is dead right too. Incredible piece of ambient work, maybe my favourite track of his.

Posted in the post just before yours. Came out on Get Up With It in 1974. The whole album is dedicated to Duke Ellington who died in 1974. "He Loved Him Madly" is so-titled, as Duke Ellington would often use the catchphrase "Love you madly" when addressing his audience. He Loved Him Madly is Miles' funeral dirge to Duke.




Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2020, 03:33:25 PM »
Came out in 1972.

Posted in the post just before yours. Came out on Get Up With It in 1974. The whole album is dedicated to Duke Ellington who died in 1974. "He Loved Him Madly" is so-titled, as Duke Ellington would often use the catchphrase "Love you madly" when addressing his audience. He Loved Him Madly is Miles' funeral dirge to Duke.

Haha! damn, I was looking at the wiki discography and it's split weirdly. I always saw that one as an album in it's own right, but according to wiki it's a compilation.

I knew about the Duke tribute. I first properly noticed the track when it's mentioned in the book Morvern Callar and realised I had it, and ended up listening to it while reading it. Eerily appropriate for that too.

chveik

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2020, 03:34:12 PM »
not really a big fan but I guess one from the second quintet, Miles Smiles or Nefertiti. I can't stand the electric period, I wish I'd understand what people see in it.

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