Author Topic: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?  (Read 1902 times)

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2020, 04:33:40 PM »
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.

It was released as an official latest Miles Davis album and much of it is fresh although there's some previously unreleased tracks from earlier sessions. Big Fun had already been released in 1974 and that is entirely from older unreleased sessions. Likewise Circle In The Round in 1979. They didn't feel like compilations; it was good just to have some Miles we hadn't heard before (still sounded streets ahead of anything else).

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2020, 06:20:17 PM »
This is a virtually impossible question, because there's so many possible answers and I change my mind on this very regularly.
Same, I rotate them all the time. Loving The Complete On The Corner sessions. 'Chieftan' is fucking crazy. There's a bootleg called Deep Brew with loads of rehearsals of the Bitches Brew sessions. Nice little outtakes of Miles chatting with Teo.

A lot of people write off Davis' later work, declaring that his career basically ended in 1975....but there are a few gems here and there.
I like 'The Man with the horn' from 1981. Recorded after Cicely helped him end his 6 year cocaine binge. 'Back Seat Betty' and 'Fat Time' especially.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2020, 08:40:29 PM »
Is there a specific cut off point where the sound goes from the more downbeat Sketched of Spain/ Kind of Blue stuff to the electric stuff or is there a slow fade? Of all the 'earlier' albums, aside form the 2 I've mentioned, are there any recommendations?

shagatha crustie

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2020, 10:37:45 PM »
It basically goes fully electric sudddenly with In A Silent Way, but someone cleverer and more learned than me will come along to tell me how it was a more gradual process than that.

As for earlier albums, you cant go wrong with the four studio albums he made with his first quintet ('Cookin'' is my favourite). Milestones is also great which someone mentioned before, and I really enjoy his moody soundtrack Ascenseur pour l'Echafaud.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2020, 10:56:11 PM »
It basically goes fully electric sudddenly with In A Silent Way, but someone cleverer and more learned than me will come along to tell me how it was a more gradual process than that.

As for earlier albums, you cant go wrong with the four studio albums he made with his first quintet ('Cookin'' is my favourite). Milestones is also great which someone mentioned before, and I really enjoy his moody soundtrack Ascenseur pour l'Echafaud.

Ah, cheers. I like Lift to the Scaffold too. I have wondered how much of that early stuff is cheesy covers and how much is quality. As I'm just going off the titles, I may be doing him a disservice though.

303

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2020, 11:04:44 PM »
I love electric Miles best. On The Corner is amazing but Big Fun is the one I can just lose myself in.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #36 on: July 15, 2020, 12:55:38 AM »
I've listened to all of the Miles Davis Band albums and the music's quite good. Except for the guy that makes all those "farty" sounds on his trumpet. Completely spoils the atmos. They want to give that fella his cards. And a couple of Rennies.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #37 on: July 15, 2020, 11:07:45 AM »
...I sort of think that a bit! At the very least, I think his skills as a bandleader, musical director, svengali outweigh his talents as a trumpet soloist, so he made an endless array of cool sounding records where other people do some stunning performances and his own solos I can take or leave. The persistent melancholy never breaking through into anything climatic I find frustrating. Ascenseur is a great pick, I think the title track was one time he really went for the jugular.

He had a genius for colloboration, so if you like a record of his, try the other records he made with the same musicians, them check out those musicians' solo albums and other projects.

If you like Sketches of Spain, the first thing to check out is his other records with orchestrations by Gil Evans, they made Porgy and Bess and Miles Ahead immediately before which have a similiar sound, but they did other tracks together on quite a few other tracks here and there, e.g. Moon dreams in 1949, and Mademoiselle Maubry on Filles de Kilimanjaro, the key transitional record before In a Silent Way.

If you like Kind of Blue, I second the reccomedations for the four Prestige records titled Relaxin', Cookin', Steamin' etc, which also feature John Coltrane. Also similiar to Kind of Blue's soundworld are the mellower Coltrane solo tracks like Alambama and Lonnie's Lament that he did after leaving Davis' band, and the Bill Evans records made around the same time - Saturday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby are lovely records.

The period between Kind of Blue and In a Silent Way can be summarised as
a) a drifty period where he attempts to repeat the same sound on records like Someday my Prince will Come and Quiet Nights, which are a bit boring if you ask me, though some people really like the live albums he made around this time
b) a period where he gets a good new band together and makes really good records like ESP and Miles Smiles, which, though Miles denied it at the time, are influenced by the jazz avant-garde of the time, stuff like Ornette Coleman. I really, really like Miles Smiles, though it's pure brain music, it's not evry moving.
c) Two Electric records before In A Silent Way, the first, Miles in The Sky being a bit boring and lacking intensity, the second Filles De Kilimanjaro being really good, and unique amongst his electric records in that tracks like Mademoiselle Maubry are really densely composed, there is a bit less studio wizadry involved than on the later records

Of electric stuff, there have already been some great picks, Black Satin off On the Corner was his most stunning otherworldy funk-pop-from-another-planet tune

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #38 on: July 15, 2020, 11:12:58 AM »
The persistent melancholy never breaking through into anything climatic I find frustrating.

So you haven't heard Live-Evil?

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #39 on: July 15, 2020, 11:37:28 AM »
This is an argument I'd be delighted to lose! My contention would be that a record like Live-Evil is really a splendid piece of brain candy, endlessy interesting, not one cheesy moment on it, but none of it really gives me goosebumps. But I promise I'll give it another listen this week, which tracks do you really like?

shagatha crustie

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #40 on: July 15, 2020, 11:56:37 AM »
Ooh also, to follow up Astronaut Omens' recommendation for Evans-related stuff - 1958 Miles is a great one, the first recording of Davis with Bill Evans in the band, you can hear them leaning towards the Kind of Blue vibe. I love that dreamlike opening Evans gives to 'On Green Dolphin Street.'

And I would second giving Evans' own stuff a listen if you like KOB - he's my favourite jazz musician I think. He really has a magic touch on piano - so melancholy and pretty.

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #41 on: July 15, 2020, 11:58:51 AM »
This is an argument I'd be delighted to lose! My contention would be that a record like Live-Evil is really a splendid piece of brain candy, endlessy interesting, not one cheesy moment on it, but none of it really gives me goosebumps. But I promise I'll give it another listen this week, which tracks do you really like?

Miles starts hitting the high notes almost immediately; with a wah-wah pedal and amplification, too; very voodoo chile! Both Miles and his band have never sounded more joyful than on What I Say if you're looking for a go-to track. The three tracks that he collaborates with Hermeto Pascoal are back to the usual melancholy but are also magical. Keith Jarrett is amazing throughout.

I love Miles' naive sound, though. I remember an interview with Keith Jarrett where he said he had been dabbling with the trumpet and realised that Miles had opted to hold onto the sounds that you're first able to get from the instrument, Obviously not because that's all he is capable of, but through choice. Live-Evil actually features him showing another side to his playing, for example.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2020, 09:00:41 PM »
Thanks for that, yeah, What I say is really beautiful.

I love Miles' naive sound, though. I remember an interview with Keith Jarrett where he said he had been dabbling with the trumpet and realised that Miles had opted to hold onto the sounds that you're first able to get from the instrument, Obviously not because that's all he is capable of, but through choice. Live-Evil actually features him showing another side to his playing, for example.
I forget where, but I once read that he told one of his band, when soloing, to always leave phrases uncompleted and then move onto the next phrase. I've don't know how seriously he meant this, but when I tried it out, playing a guitar solo over a guitar track, I was sisrpred at just how much that seemed to conjure up the 'electric Miles' soundworld. Maybe it's because most players are more original at the beginning of a phrase and then fall into more conventional licks towards the end of it. It seems a good way to avoid cliche... but it also seemed to make it harder to be 'expressive'. My own playing isn't good enough to prove this, but I do think this concept has something to do with the difference between the way electric Miles records make me feel- a bit emotionally disassociated- and the more conventionally enjoyable pleasures of the records some of his associated made, e.g. Herbie Hancock's Headhunters stuff.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #43 on: July 18, 2020, 04:43:37 AM »
Great posts on this page, my man.

Retinend

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #44 on: July 18, 2020, 10:33:20 AM »
Porgy and Bess or Bitches Brew

sirhenry

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #45 on: July 18, 2020, 11:50:37 AM »
Predictably, A Kind of Bloop.

A question (probably for NoSleep): are there any recordings of Davis and Stan "Does anyone here know how good he is?" Tracey playing together? They must have done so at some point at Ronnie Scott's, Shirley?

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #46 on: July 18, 2020, 12:07:59 PM »
I'm not sure how often, or if at all, he toured without his own band. I don't think this happened very much. The only recording I can think of, offhand, of him playing with "local" musicians is the Ascenseur pour l'├ęchafaud soundtrack.

sirhenry

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #47 on: July 18, 2020, 12:18:57 PM »
Poo.
and thanks; it was just a pipe dream...

buttgammon

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #48 on: July 18, 2020, 01:01:43 PM »
Thanks for that, yeah, What I say is really beautiful.I forget where, but I once read that he told one of his band, when soloing, to always leave phrases uncompleted and then move onto the next phrase. I've don't know how seriously he meant this, but when I tried it out, playing a guitar solo over a guitar track, I was sisrpred at just how much that seemed to conjure up the 'electric Miles' soundworld. Maybe it's because most players are more original at the beginning of a phrase and then fall into more conventional licks towards the end of it. It seems a good way to avoid cliche... but it also seemed to make it harder to be 'expressive'. My own playing isn't good enough to prove this, but I do think this concept has something to do with the difference between the way electric Miles records make me feel- a bit emotionally disassociated- and the more conventionally enjoyable pleasures of the records some of his associated made, e.g. Herbie Hancock's Headhunters stuff.

Speaking of Headhunters, I'm a big fan of Herbie Hancock's three album run of Mwandishi, Crossings and Sextant. There's a thickness and complexity to a lot of that music, but it also acts as something of a bridge between the stuff he was doing with Miles and his later, more immediately accessible stuff.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2020, 06:42:44 PM »
Could I ask a question too, kind of unrelated to Miles Davis? I'm not really sure what all these terms for types of jazz mean. What kind of jazz is the first 3 1/2 minutes of this piece? Is it just 'jazz' or is there some subgenre that it belongs too. I really love that mix of piano drums and brass, fucking brilliant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m1671LKKrs

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread by the way. My first ever Bill Evans album arrived today and Steamin' should arrive later in the week. Might start sme more threads once I've delved a bit deeper.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #50 on: July 18, 2020, 06:43:50 PM »
Much bigger fan of his wife's work tbh.

Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #51 on: July 18, 2020, 07:09:42 PM »
Much bigger fan of his wife's work tbh.

Absolute lunatic contrarian bullshit.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2020, 07:17:57 PM »
Yes it's really unthinkable someone might genuinely prefer funk to parpy jazz.

sirhenry

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2020, 07:18:44 PM »
Absolute lunatic contrarian bullshit.
The song about her eyes was alright.

Malcy

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #54 on: July 18, 2020, 08:43:24 PM »
The complete In A Silent Way sessions. 3 CD's of brilliance. Also the basis for Robert Glaspers 'Everything's Beautiful' album which is a worthy inclusion to the Miles Davis discography i reckon.

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUtxKQAI-tcpl_W4n1sj4RG8ty2IaxRBt

Sin Agog

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #55 on: July 18, 2020, 08:45:54 PM »
Much bigger fan of his wife's work tbh.

I know it'll all be stuff you've heard before, but did you see the recent Tales From the Tour Bus episode about her?

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #56 on: July 18, 2020, 09:00:00 PM »
Could I ask a question too, kind of unrelated to Miles Davis? I'm not really sure what all these terms for types of jazz mean. What kind of jazz is the first 3 1/2 minutes of this piece? Is it just 'jazz' or is there some subgenre that it belongs too. I really love that mix of piano drums and brass, fucking brilliant.

The only thing I can think of that's similar is some of Sun Ra's 60's music; and it's only vaguely similar, I've not really heard anything exactly like it. There's some Turkish flavour in there, naturally (Armin Ratip is Turkish). But the other guys are regular legends on the British jazz scene of the early 70's, although Harry Miller on bass came originally from South Africa (there were several South African musicians, both black and white, who had fled apartheid to London).

One other album, from 1967 that comes to mind on hearing it (coincidentally called Turkish Women At The Bath, although there are no Turkish musicians present) by drummer Pete La Roca that also features Chick Corea on piano (quite an early and pre-Scientology appearance; I especially love his early pre Return To Forever work) and a very rare outing from sax god John Gilmore away from his lifelong tenure in Sun Ra's band. But this is not exactly the same either:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ8CUqQETic

Well worth hunting a copy of this down. As Chick Corea became better known I think a version of the album came out under his name, too (I think under a different title, too).

Another thing it reminds me of is Ronnie Boykins "The Will Come Is Now". Ronnie Boykins is another Sun Ra sideman, this time on the bass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iij6Wr8uP-w

I think the thing that connects all three albums is that they don't sound like slick studio-produced albums; just people playing together in a room.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 09:10:06 PM by NoSleep »

Sin Agog

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #57 on: July 18, 2020, 09:12:06 PM »
HZJ's track is kind of 'post-bop', isn't it?  At least the way I understand it is it's not music made by people sporting crazy kaftans and laden with sitars and various other lysergia, but it's still several steps into the future from standard bebop.  Give the still phenomenal Black Saint & The Sinner Lady a spin if you've never heard it, which you really should have, although I guess that's a bit more rooted in noirish melodicism.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFA0FYQo0Gg

NoSleep

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #58 on: July 18, 2020, 09:14:19 PM »
I think there's a big dose of Ornette-style free jazz in there, too. Given it's early 70's, the kaftans had been and gone. But these are guys who had worked with Soft Machine and Keith Tippett's Centipede so they've been there done that.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: What is your favourite Miles Davis album?
« Reply #59 on: July 18, 2020, 09:20:45 PM »
I know it'll all be stuff you've heard before, but did you see the recent Tales From the Tour Bus episode about her?

I'd not, but I'll dig it out, cheers!

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