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MILES DAVIS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Miles Davis biography
Miles Dewey Davis III - May 26, 1926 (Alton, Illinois, US) - September 28, 1991

Miles Davis was not only a gifted musician (trumpet and composition) but also a major artist of the twentieth century. He was in a constant search for new forms of expression. Having been a painter himself, and not unlike Pablo Picasso he tried to renew himself in all periods of his life. He played on various early bebop records, recorded one of the first cool jazz records, developped modal jazz, and was a pioneer in jazz rock . Only a few musicians have mastered like him to shape new forms and set aesthetic milestones.

The "electric" period of Miles Davis started in 1969 and ended in1975 when Miles retired due to health problems until the end of the seventies. In these years Miles distributed an important part to jazz rock. Columbia released four studio records 'In a silent way'(1969), 'Bitches Brew' (1970), 'A tribute to Jack Johnson' (1970), 'On the Corner' (1972) and an important number of live records (some released on vinyl only in Japan) : 'Black Beauty'/Live at the Fillmore West (1970), 'Live-Evil' (1970), 'Dark Magus' (1974) 'Agharta' (1975), 'Pangaea' (1975). A great part of the studio tracks recorded during these years were only released in the second half of the 70's and first half of the 80's on various compilations.

Beginning with 'In a silent way' Miles used mainly riffs or short segments and more often just simple rhythmic figures that would serve as a base for collective improvisation. At the same time the rhythmic changed from tertiary jazz rhythm to binary rock rhythm. Guitarist John Mc Laughlin became one of the key elements of the electric Miles sound. Influenced by Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, Miles Davis used during this period for the first time new studio techniques, new electronic instruments (among them the Fender Rhodes electric piano) and new sound devices, (Miles would use heavily the Wah-Wah pedal, popularized by Hendrix) to enlarge the sound spectrum of his music. Miles was among the first musicians to realize the full potential of modern recording studios. He and his longtime producer Teo Macero recorded non-stop whole sessions, with the intention to choose and assemble the material afterwards. They would use this technique in an extensive way, especially on 'Bitches Brew', creating musical "puzzles" through multiple edits, up to a point where the original tracks are barely recognizable. ('Pharaoh's Dance'on Bitches Br...
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MILES DAVIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MILES DAVIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 20 ratings
First Miles
1945
3.40 | 10 ratings
Boppin' The Blues
1946
3.10 | 10 ratings
Cool Boppin'
1948
3.00 | 11 ratings
Blue Period
1951
3.44 | 27 ratings
Blue Haze [Aka: Miles Davis Quartet]
1954
3.68 | 19 ratings
The Musings Of Miles [Aka: The Beginning]
1955
3.53 | 27 ratings
Blue Moods
1955
3.69 | 13 ratings
Collectors' Items
1956
3.70 | 28 ratings
Miles Davis And Milt Jackson [Aka: Quintet/Sextet]
1956
3.69 | 16 ratings
Miles Davis And Horns
1956
3.28 | 21 ratings
Miles [Aka: The New Miles Davis Quintet]
1956
3.94 | 44 ratings
Bags' Groove
1957
4.17 | 142 ratings
'Round About Midnight
1957
3.73 | 45 ratings
Miles Davis All Stars: Walkin'
1957
4.08 | 59 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Cookin'
1957
3.95 | 57 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Relaxin'
1957
3.85 | 59 ratings
Miles Ahead
1957
4.16 | 168 ratings
Milestones
1958
3.32 | 44 ratings
Ascenseur Pour l'蒫hafaud (Lift To The Scaffold)
1958
3.69 | 26 ratings
Miles Davis And The Modern Jazz Giants
1958
3.86 | 17 ratings
Jazz Track
1958
4.12 | 90 ratings
Porgy and Bess
1958
4.08 | 61 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Workin'
1959
4.35 | 1102 ratings
Kind of Blue
1959
4.02 | 192 ratings
Sketches Of Spain
1960
3.68 | 52 ratings
Miles Davis Sextet: Someday My Prince Will Come
1961
4.13 | 63 ratings
The Miles Davis Quintet: Steamin'
1961
3.41 | 39 ratings
Quiet Nights
1963
4.08 | 74 ratings
Seven Steps To Heaven
1963
3.85 | 70 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: E.S.P.
1965
4.20 | 130 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Miles Smiles
1966
4.01 | 86 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Sorcerer
1967
4.09 | 128 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Nefertiti
1967
4.04 | 95 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Miles In The Sky
1968
3.96 | 90 ratings
Filles De Kilimanjaro
1968
4.28 | 773 ratings
In A Silent Way
1969
4.25 | 763 ratings
Bitches Brew
1970
4.21 | 229 ratings
A Tribute To Jack Johnson
1971
3.86 | 127 ratings
On The Corner
1972
4.29 | 108 ratings
Big Fun
1974
4.17 | 109 ratings
Get Up With It
1974
3.47 | 56 ratings
Water Babies
1976
3.56 | 39 ratings
The Man With The Horn
1981
3.19 | 40 ratings
Star People
1983
2.55 | 37 ratings
Decoy
1984
2.67 | 38 ratings
You're Under Arrest
1985
2.51 | 73 ratings
Tutu
1986
3.53 | 53 ratings
Aura
1989
3.64 | 42 ratings
Amandla
1989
2.40 | 55 ratings
Doo-Bop
1992
2.96 | 5 ratings
Rubberband
2019

MILES DAVIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 10 ratings
Birdland 1951
1951
3.87 | 15 ratings
At Newport
1958
3.44 | 20 ratings
At Carnegie Hall
1961
4.00 | 24 ratings
Miles in Berlin
1964
4.15 | 33 ratings
My Funny Valentine: Miles Davis in Concert
1965
3.61 | 18 ratings
Miles in Tokyo
1969
3.17 | 39 ratings
Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East
1970
4.12 | 89 ratings
Live-Evil
1971
3.21 | 30 ratings
In Concert: Live at Philharmonic Hall
1972
3.35 | 34 ratings
Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West
1973
4.60 | 67 ratings
Dark Magus
1974
4.35 | 65 ratings
Pangaea
1975
3.57 | 73 ratings
Agharta
1975
3.47 | 29 ratings
We Want Miles
1982
3.13 | 8 ratings
Live In Warsaw
1983
3.12 | 6 ratings
Miles Davis And The Lighthouse All-Stars: At Last !
1985
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Second Spring
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Live
1991
4.37 | 19 ratings
The Complete Concert 1964 My Funny Valentine + Four & More
1992
3.88 | 15 ratings
Live At Montreux (with Quincy Jones)
1993
4.62 | 13 ratings
The Complete Live at The Plugged Nickel
1995
3.16 | 16 ratings
Live Around the World
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bye Bye Blackbird
1996
4.00 | 1 ratings
Fat Time
1997
4.09 | 19 ratings
It's About that Time: Live at the Fillmore East, March 7, 1970
2001
3.00 | 3 ratings
Olympia - Jul. 11th, 1973
2002
4.58 | 12 ratings
In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, Complete
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
European Tour '56 (With the Modern Jazz Quartet and Lester Young)
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Moondreams
2007
4.44 | 9 ratings
MIles Davis Quintet - Live In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. I
2011
3.74 | 15 ratings
Bitches Brew Live
2011
3.00 | 2 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet - The Unissued Japanese Concerts
2011

MILES DAVIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.50 | 4 ratings
Miles in Paris
1990
4.07 | 5 ratings
The Miles Davis Story
2002

MILES DAVIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.12 | 59 ratings
Birth of The Cool
1949
3.53 | 19 ratings
Dig
1956
4.00 | 5 ratings
Miles Davis: Volume 1
1956
4.25 | 4 ratings
Many Miles of Davis
1962
5.00 | 3 ratings
Miles Davis Vol. 1
1963
0.00 | 0 ratings
Plays For Lovers
1965
0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
1967
2.26 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits
1969
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Man Ahead
1970
4.00 | 1 ratings
Tallest Trees
1972
4.45 | 20 ratings
Circle In The Round
1979
4.29 | 7 ratings
'58 Sessions Featuring Stella By Starlight
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Miles Davis (Collection)
1993
4.50 | 2 ratings
This Is Jazz: Miles Davis Acoustic
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Masters - 100 Ans De Jazz
1996
3.83 | 22 ratings
The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions
1998
3.35 | 7 ratings
Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974
1998
4.86 | 7 ratings
Best of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-'68
1999
4.97 | 10 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: The Complete Studio Recordings, 1965-'68
1999
4.37 | 21 ratings
The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions
2001
4.50 | 4 ratings
The Essential Miles Davis
2001
3.63 | 10 ratings
The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
2003
4.15 | 15 ratings
The Cellar Door Sessions
2005
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Best Of Miles Davis & John Coltrane (1955-1961)
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best Of Miles davis: The Warner Bros. Sessions 1985/ 1991
2007
4.72 | 15 ratings
The Complete On the Corner Sessions
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
Milestones
2007
2.00 | 1 ratings
Double Best Collection: Miles Davis
2007
5.00 | 1 ratings
Collections
2009
5.00 | 7 ratings
The Complete Columbia Album Collection
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Perfect Way: The Miles Davis Anthology - The Warner Bros. Years
2010
4.15 | 8 ratings
Miles Davis Quintet: Live in Europe 1969 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 2)
2013

MILES DAVIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Miles Davis And His Orchestra Vol. 2
1953
4.00 | 1 ratings
Classics In Jazz Part 1
1954
2.00 | 1 ratings
Green Haze
1955
4.00 | 3 ratings
Collectors' Items
1957
3.50 | 2 ratings
Someday My Prince Will Come
1962
2.00 | 1 ratings
Blow / Fantasy
1992
2.95 | 3 ratings
Plugged Nickel Sampler
1995
2.00 | 1 ratings
Miles
2008

MILES DAVIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kind of Blue by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1959
4.35 | 1102 ratings

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Kind of Blue
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Look at the year: 1959! Progressive rock was not born yet, and neither was jazz rock, here we are in the field of pure jazz, and undoubtedly this record is a milestone in the history of jazz.

I am not a jazz listener, though! I listen to rock, and prog rock, and this has nothing to do with prog rock, nor with fusion music!

Therefore it is difficult for me to evaluate this record, I can only say that I like it very much even though I don't like jazz, it is certainly a class record but I don't have many terms of comparison.

However,

Miles, Coltrane, Adderley, Chambers, Bill Evans on piano and Jimmy Cobb on drums improvised in the studio, never rehearsing, these five jazz pieces (they are not songs), recording them in two sessions (two days).

The first side includes 1. So What (9:25), sustained, led by Chambers's double bass and an intense Davis solo,

2. Freddie Freeloader (9:49), more relaxed, almost a ballad, but with a nice saxophone solo

3. Blue in Green (5:37), the only "short", atmospheric, slow, romantic piece, maybe my favourite piece.

On the second side there is the long 4. All Blues (11:35) which owes the Bebop

5. Flamenco Sketches (9:25), which is perhaps the album's masterpiece, where Miles Davis' modal jazz is clearly visible, it's innovative.

Total Time 45:51

Five great pieces.

The idea of ​​modal jazz was immediately perceived as revolutionary and it was basically a music that simplifies harmony and emphasizes melody.

This is a fundamental album in the history of jazz... it's JAZZ! It has nothing to do with progressive rock, even on a historical level. I should give it 5 stars, but in my opinion it is absurd that it is in the Top 50 of progressive rock records ... because it is not Prog !!! So, I give it 4 stars.

In fact can you imagine going to a big site of Prog experts and looking at their ranking of the best records in all of prog history and finding "Kind of Blue" at the top? Come on! Nobody would give credit to that ranking, because it's not Prog.

 The Miles Davis Quintet: Steamin' by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1961
4.13 | 63 ratings

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The Miles Davis Quintet: Steamin'
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kurtrongey

4 stars One of a series of contractual obligation albums Miles Davis and his "First Great Quintet" recorded for Prestige in 1956 as they prepared to hit the big time with Columbia. I think I enjoyed this most out of the bunch. All the tracks except one here come from the earlier of the two dates, May 11, 1956. Surrey with the Fringe is blessed with a decidedly non- run-of-the-mill solo by Coltrane and features Red Garland at his most elegant. For the muted-Miles romance mode, When I Fall In Love can't be beat with one of Garland's loveliest chordal solos. There's some fast playing too on Salt Peanuts but the somewhat less steamin' ballads are the best on this.
 Rubberband by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.96 | 5 ratings

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Rubberband
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars MILES DAVIS (1926 -1991) is without a doubt one of the biggest figures in jazz history. As the liner notes in this posthumously finished album say, "he was never a man to rest on his laurels". He had made a great impact on the history of jazz and especially on fusion, and still in his late years he was keen to make modern music with the new generation. Rubberband is "the lost Miles Davis album" recorded in mid-80's but shelved at the time; instead Davis recorded the album Tutu. Rubberband was finished last year by several producers, after three years' dedicated work, with a host of young guest artists. According to the liner notes, "Davis was bursting with ideas for potential musical collaborators when he moved to Warner Bros". Co-producer Attala Zane Giles explains that Davis "wanted to mesh what we were doing as young musicians, which was commercial and funk".

So, there we have it, the reason why this album won't much win the hearts of the prog-oriented listeners. (BTW, funnily each of the four reviewless ratings this far differ between five stars and one star.) I personally don't enjoy r&b flavoured funk, and I probably would have only run thru this album just once using the skip button frequently, but I think the least this unique case deserves is one informative review.

The very funky opening song is sung by a female artist called Ledisi. I like the way Miles Davis's trumpet joins the party. Instrumental 'This Is It' has a heavy funk rhythm and tight electric guitar playing. 'Paradise' has some steel pan and vocals of Medina Johnson; this is very joyful piece, and the trumpet is only the icing of the cake.

'So Emotional' featuring Lalah Hathaway has that nasty, sweaty r&b beat I nearly hate, but apart from that it's a well produced, sensual mid-tempo r&b ballad. On the following instrumentals the amount of hard-edged funk heaviness in the arrangements really begins to be too much for me to bear. 'I Love What We Make Together' was written for Al Jarreau, who finally heard it 30 years later but sadly died before he sang it. Randy Hall does a good job as another male singer.

This is purely commercial stuff, r&b and funk, and hardly much enjoyed by an average prog listener. But nevertheless, in addition to writing (or rather, finishing) another chapter in Miles Davis's discography, in this particular genre it's a fine release combining the 80's world and the up-to-date production, and it features pretty good musical contributions, Davis's trumpet being just one of the many. 2?stars rounded upwards.

 Kind of Blue by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1959
4.35 | 1102 ratings

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Kind of Blue
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars Upon looking at and reviewing Dave Brubeck's Time Out, it struck me that of what little cool jazz I've heard so far, I've really just not enjoyed it much at all, with the one exception to this being quite possibly the most obvious album for it to be. Kind Of Blue is an album that everyone and their dog has heard of by this point I'm sure, being cited as the best-selling jazz albums of all time, along with both incredibly good and influential to the genre as a whole. While these claims may not be things to influence my personal opinion at all, it's still impossible to deny the immense legacy of the album, a legacy that the album quality itself manages to represent quite cleanly. One aspect of this album that's definitely especially interesting for me is how it manages to be both considered quintessential newcomer jazz, yet is one that continues to reveal more of its greatness after coming to know the genre better.

I feel like the big aspect of this album that separates it from the cool jazz I've heard, and honestly a lot of more mellow jazz as a whole, is the immersive atmosphere and incredibly prominent overarching feel of the album, giving more weight to even the more mellow stuff. The album has a consistently soothing, nocturnal atmosphere to it, being remarkably chilled out and just evoking a lot of warmth and comforting night-time imagery. Each element of the band just plays off each other perfectly as well, with moments like the way the bass and piano play off each other in So What, each bringing their own masterful little melody to the table and elevating one another perfectly, never overlapping, and ultimately serving to highlight both halves of this little exchange. The album as a whole feels extremely unified, with its sound being extraordinarily consistent without getting repetitive or too samey, with that core atmosphere and a bit of a bounce to the rhythm being 2 especially consistent aspects. This isn't to say that the album is also without character either, with moments like the intro to Freddie Freeloader sounding like So What but with longer held notes, or the repetitive trumpets of All Blues definitely serving as very memorable aspects of this all.

Another thing that really separates this album to a lot of other mellow jazz albums is the way that it has slightly more of an edge to it comparatively. While I'm not saying there's anything here that is particularly energetic or intense at all, I feel that the improvisations do pack that bit more of a punch to them compared to what I'd typically expect, with moments such as Coltrane's solo in So What being especially notable for picking up the pace and volume slightly. This of course wouldn't be something I'd consider worth particular positive mention if not for the fact that as with everything else on the album, the execution of it is immaculate, managing to complement the mood of it without sounding as if there's any forced restraint to the playing either, sounding very subdued without sounding underdeveloped. I feel that Blue In Green deserves special mention for being the epitome of what I find this album to stand for, taking that relaxing feel to a whole new level, everything being significantly more subdued than even anything else here, each component acting as just something else to elevate Miles passionately playing his heart out for the majority of it. Bill Evan's piano here evokes a profoundly lonely, yet comforting tone that works perfectly with this, along with the very hazy sort of sound that the track as a whole has, which overall feels like a bit of a culmination of the album as a whole.

While it may be generic to say, it doesn't change the fact that I do believe that Kind Of Blue is a masterpiece and largely deserving of its incredible amount of acclaim. While the album may never sound particularly exciting nor as immediately ear-grabbing as some others, it succeeds at being a remarkably well crafted, understated album that is very evocative and exhibits a band working in absolute perfect harmony. Its title as an entry level album is one that I'm a bit mixed on however, because while I do think that this is essential listening, it follows the similar issue I have with Brubeck's Time Out, that being that if one's issue with jazz is feeling that it sounds inoffensive to them, this album has a good chance of not changing that thought process due to its very similar sound throughout and lack of energy. Even so, this still is an album I recommend early on for newcomers to the genre, as I believe it to be essential listening, but also heavily recommend it to be one to revisit multiple times at different points down the line, as my personal love for the album has only grown the more I've explored the genre.

Best tracks: So What, Blue in Green

Weakest tracks: None

 Bitches Brew by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.25 | 763 ratings

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Bitches Brew
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

5 stars One of the most influential records in the history of jazz and fusion, especially around that time. Although, it has not dated as well as some later 70's fusion attempts by the band youngsters. The line-up is actually who's who in fusion, spawning extreme talent, ambition and craftmanship. The free flow of the record that does not have much of direction differentiates the record from more rocking attempts. It is a huge improvisational effort, unfortunately only with brass instruments taking leads, the guitar is non distinctive and rhythm section very much audible throughout the whole record. After all, there are multiple drummers/percussionists contributing. The rhythm effort is the first difference from the usual jazz record and use of electric instruments the second. Electric pianos are masterfully played with nice touches rather than typical fusion aggressive soloing.

I prefer more rhythmic pieces like "Spanish key" or "John McLaughlin" with its enigmatic clarinet. This record has a lot of substance to be discovered and is recommended to all fusion and jazz enthusiasts.

 In A Silent Way by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.28 | 773 ratings

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In A Silent Way
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars If you heard "In a silent way" back in 1969 or 1970, you must have been pretty blown away by it's progressivity, vision, execution and promising youngbloods. This was a revolutionary album.

If you are younger and started with later 70's fusion a la RTF, Mahavishnu Orchestra or Weather Report like me, you may be less impressed after listened to this output. This album has been an important milestone in Davis career not only because of developing and streamling the sound towards jazz-rock/fusion but also introducing a very stellar star-filled line-up. All musicians are top jazz-based jammers with eyes open to experiment with electric instruments. If you expect some other clearly defined compositional moments, you're wrong. This is a very loose concept album full of layers, revolutionary interplays, medium to low tempo speed and quite relaxing mood. It's easier to appreaciate this highly influential album after several spins. An important milestone in the history of jazz-rock/fusion.

 Agharta by DAVIS, MILES album cover Live, 1975
3.57 | 73 ratings

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Agharta
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

2 stars In early and mid-seventies Miles Davis was heavily criticized in the jazz community for 'turning pop'. I always though this was objectively ridiculous, but listening to this 2LP live set 'Agartha' I sort of changed my mind. Before you stop reading, let me paint my background as a Miles Davis listener. I love some of his old works, even performed 'Flamenco Sketches' on lead-guitar on my final musical exam of my study, music therapy. I was initially shocked by the simplicity of 'In a Silent Way' but came around liking it. I consider 'Bitches Brew' one of the pinnacle creative outbreaks of the jazz genre, though I mostly like the influence it has had on bands like Nucleus and many others.

Now on this double live album the fusion formula is just too worn out. There are no stand-out ideas; melodies / riffs / chord progressions / leads to be found anywhere. Just some funky jamsession music with lots of solo's. No chord progressions at all. Just those one chord vamps that drag on. For me art (albeit music, poetry, movies) is about getting across meaning and content and this album is just to damn empty for me. The musical talent involved is clearly there. The psychedelic guitar solo's might have actually sounded great on an interesting chord progression. The recording quality is quite good. This is the first Miles Davis album I've encountered that enables you to totally forget you're actually listening to.. Miles Davis!

 In A Silent Way by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.28 | 773 ratings

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In A Silent Way
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars MILES DAVIS didn't become one of the jazz world's most recognizable name by chance. This relentless composer and performer never for a single moment lapsed into any sort of complacency and was constantly advancing his art form to the next level. It would have been easy for DAVIS to rest on the laurels of his lauded 1959 modal jazz masterpiece "Kind Of Blue" which propelled him to the top of the jazz world's highest echelons however he immediately steered his craft in a completely new musical direction with the following "Sketches of Spain" which tackled the complexities of third stream and orchestral jazz competently infused with Spanish ethnic folk traditions. The 60s found a consistent stream of jazz recordings from DAVIS and a mere ten years later, DAVIS shocked both the jazz and rock worlds once again with this eclectic release IN A SILENT WAY which not only began DAVIS' own eclectic period that would extend into the 70s but also gave the green light for jazz and rock artists to commingle and open the doors for the wildest jazz-rock hybridizations to come.

While on the top of his game in the jazz world, DAVIS had a knack for keeping his pulse on the musical scenes at large and had a keen command of not only the rock and pop world but also steadily incorporated the most advanced techniques of Western classical music into his style. While jazz-fusion had been slowly but steadily building throughout the 60s by the likes of various artists like Herbie Mann, Gabor Szabo and even Jean-Luc Ponty, many of these hybrids were based on incorporating ethnic and world musics into the annals of the jazz universe. Rock was clearly considered inferior subject matter and although Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were beginning to display the fertile possibilities of such desegregation, it wasn't until MILES DAVIS released IN A SILENT WAY that it was considered a bona fide musical expression. All this despite DAVIS adding more fusion elements on the two preceding albums "Miles In The Sky" and Filles de Kilimanjaro" which steered the post-bop flavored compositions with rock music elements such as rhythm and blues, funk and other unthinkable things like electric instruments, repeated melodies and improvised jamming fortified with steady constant time signature flows.

While considered DAVIS' first true jazz-fusion album, IN A SILENT WAY owes more to the world of classical music in that its two lengthy tracks "Shhh"/"Peaceful" and "In a Silent Way"/"It's About That Time" are arranged in the classical sonata form which finds the two tracks featuring an exposition which presents the main theme, a development which moves the compositional themes through various keys and other technicalities and finally engaging in recapitulation which creates an alternative reality of the exposition. The two tracks in their entirety both extend past the 18 minute mark with each swallowing up an entire side of the original vinyl editions that emerged on 30 July 1969. Despite the classic nature of this album and its groundbreaking approach that has influenced jazz musicians ever since, the entire album was assembled from a short sessions from Studio B at CBS 30th Street Studio in New York City in February of 1969 with only a few extras recorded. The magic of the album came not only from the musicians involved but was more the product of the production and mixing laid down by producer Teo Macero. IN A SILENT WAY eschewed the post-bop gymnastics that allowed jazz musicians to exhibit their highly developed techniques but rather imbued an otherworldly atmospheric approach. Personally i would call this either spiritual jazz or dream jazz as it exudes a placid altered state of consciousness that drifts by serenely.

While the musical aspects of IN A SILENT WAY take a back seat to the atmospheric characteristics, the album is chock full of the best talent of the late 60s jazz world and successfully launched the careers of many of the newer members on board including guitarist John McLaughlin, bassist Dave Holland and keyboardist Chic Corea. While DAVIS' trumpet prowess is usually the star of the show, on IN A SILENT WAY, he remains rather obscured by the various waves of sound that oscillate with a heavier emphasis on the electric piano trade offs of Corea, Hancock and Austrian keyboardist Joe Zawinul who composed the exposition and recapitulation parts of the title track. Perhaps the most subdued role in this mellow style of jazz fusion are the drum parts of Tony Williams who propels just enough percussive drive to keep a slow steady beat which is perhaps why the jazz purists were so against this sort of development in DAVIS' evolution. Many saw this as selling out since rock music was ruling the commercial aspects of music supreme at the end of the 60s, however the jazz aspects were fully exercised with the complex harmonies and improvisations and the wind instruments which found Wayne Shorter's sax squawking and DAVIS' familiar trumpeting kept the music grounded in the world of jazz. Overall the album walked a very nice tightrope act between the jazz and rock paradigms. McLaughlin's guitar antics may have made him a huge star in the future fiery Mahavishnu Orchestra but on IN A SILENT WAY, his style is subtle and one must struggle to distinguish it from the tapestry of sound that flows like a cosmic river of time.

IN A SILENT WAY didn't exactly perform well upon its release as it went over the heads of many who were stuck in their respective expectations of what jazz or rock should be but historically, this album is now regarded as one of the most influential albums of the entire 60s as it unapologetically opened a completely new Pandora's box of musical mingling that changed the entire playbook for both rock and jazz. While a beautiful album indeed, this is one that i think gets rated so highly for its impact rather than its performances. While pioneering an entirely new reality of creative fertile cross-pollination, i don't find IN A SILENT WAY to be exactly the masterpiece that it is purported to be. On the contrary i find it as a mandatory first step for the music of the more magnanimous jazz-fusion expressions that DAVIS would conjure up with "Bitches Brew" and "Get Up With It." Those albums tackle the logical conclusion of what is presented here. Overall this album seems to just coast on like a nice road trip with no stops to see the sites. It merely presents a new idea to the audience without ramping up the extremes that would erupt onto the scene in a very short time. As a classic influential album, this indeed is a historical triumph but as a specimen of musical expression in its own right, i find it a tad on the tame side and due to the fusion creeping into both the jazz and rock worlds in the preceding years, isn't quite as revolutionary as "Kind Of Blue," however no one could ever argue that this album doesn't deserve its status as a benchmark for a new explosion of more artistic expressions of rock and jazz engaging in a hitherto unthinkable syncretism.

 'Round About Midnight by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1957
4.17 | 142 ratings

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'Round About Midnight
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Jazz is a genre of music that I tend to struggle being able to make much connection with, no matter how much of it I've tried listening to, as while pleasant, I personally find understanding what makes certain songs better than others a fairly difficult thing to do in the genre, a lot of it blending together when there's a lack of complete focus on the music. I'd say that my favourite jazz album would be whatever good sounding one I heard last (as don't get me wrong, a lot of it is exceptionally beautiful, just not always for me, at least so far), but then that would be disregarding Round About Midnight.

There's a certain sense of tranquility to be found here, even during the 2 more energetic songs of Ah-Leu-Cha and Tadd's Delight, which have a very relaxing quality about them despite being quite bombastic in performance, not to mention the alluring bassline of Ah-Leu-Cha especially. It's ultimately this sort of pleasant tone permeating the album that makes it one that I'll find myself returning to far more than any other jazz album, having that slight edge at times without becoming overbearing, but also being able to maintain consistent interest throughout. While these faster paced songs may be decent however, it's the more subtle moments that really shine, the title track and All Of You especially. The slow, soft piano brings out the beauty in the trumpet improvisation nicely in the title track, filling out the empty space in between the various solos between Davis and Coltrane, the increase of technicality throughout not even slightly disrupting how soothing and warm the sound is. All Of You has a near perfect melody that's further highlighted by the absolutely incredible interplay with the bass, while Bye Bye Blackbird manages to hit hard with its almost wistful mood and exceptionally passionate trumpet performance.

Each and every track on this album manages to be at least great, a soothing atmosphere permeating everything within without losing its subtle beauty at any point or becoming dull. The complexities rife throughout the compositions manage to enhance this album greatly, the seemingly simple melodies being complemented by the countless smaller details throughout, and the large amount of improvisation that goes on never really feels too much, instead simply perpetuating the tranquility felt throughout. While I find it hard for jazz to connect with me, this is an exception.

Best tracks: Round Midnight, Ahe-Leu-Cha, All Of You, Bye Bye Blackbird

Weakest tracks: Tadd's Delight

Verdict: An absolutely lovely jazz album that manages to perfectly maintain a balance between soothing beauty and excellent mucisianship to create an extremely pleasant listening experience through and through, and currently one of the few jazz albums to connect with me.

 Bitches Brew Live by DAVIS, MILES album cover Live, 2011
3.74 | 15 ratings

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Bitches Brew Live
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Derived from two live sets about a year apart - one from 1969, one from 1970 - this album focuses on Miles' and his groups' performances of Bitches Brew material in the wake of completing that album. It forms an intriguing missing link between Bitches Brew itself and the more overtly funk-influenced fusion material which followed it, with the material gaining a swagger here which the more ethereal performances on the original studio album don't really convey. The two performances by themselves wouldn't necessarily add up to much, but sequencing them one after the other is a great way to tease out how the material evolved and mutated in the live context.
Thanks to alucard for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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