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' 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 plus have been digitally re-mastered