Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Miles Davis, Gil Evans|
The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
From their first work together on the Birth of the Cool sessions in 1949, Miles Davis and Gil Evans forged a unique relationship as great soloist and brilliant arranger. The real opportunity to explore their shared vision ... more »
From their first work together on the Birth of the Cool sessions in 1949, Miles Davis and Gil Evans forged a unique relationship as great soloist and brilliant arranger. The real opportunity to explore their shared vision didn't come until 1957, however, when Davis had forged a relationship with a major record label able to support it. Though a product of the big-band tradition, Evans was never limited by sectional voicings and riffs. He had an interest in unusual instrumentation and a talent for creating subtle mixes of distinct voices, adding French horns, oboe, bassoon, and harp to the conventional big band and thinning its saxophone, trumpet, and trombone sections. His arrangements for Davis are like settings for the finest jewels, whether he's creating rich, brass chords or adding only light percussion to the trumpeter's solitary lament. Together Davis and Evans produced three orchestral masterpieces: Miles Ahead (1957), Porgy and Bess (1958), and Sketches of Spain (1960). They're all here, along with less-inspired, later projects like the Quiet Nights bossa nova album. What most distinguishes the box set is the archival work of Phil Schaap, who has compiled a wealth of alternate takes. They reveal much about the processes that went into these works, including extensive editing and even some overdubbing. As early as 1957, Evans and Davis were already beginning to use the studio itself as an integral part of their music. --Stuart Broomer
The music -- perfection! This package -- a rip-off!
NomDePlume | Philadelphia, PA, USA | 02/05/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this awhile back, and I wish I hadn't. The music, of course, cannot be over-praised -- five stars just aren't enough. I am infinitely grateful that this music graces our planet, and my life. Thank you, Miles and Gil and company!
So what's the problem? This package (Columbia 67397, $110 at this writing) is awful. It's at least sixty percent alternate takes, rehearsal fragments, and studio chatter. If that stuff interests you, great -- I just want the core music. The physical package stinks, too. The discs are in cardboard sleeves, difficult to extract, and the book can't be read at all unless it's removed from the binding (and, in my opinion, there's very little of interest in the book).
All four original discs, with the same remastering and all the significant alternate takes, can be purchased right here at Amazon for $45. The only new (previously unreleased) material, "Time of the Barracudas" is included on "Quiet Nights," so you're not missing out on anything. Spend the $65 difference on more music, not pretty packaging and filler."
George Grella | Brooklyn | 05/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great collection. Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain are three of Miles' greatest works, meaning three of the greatest jazz albums, and Porgy and Bess may be the finest recording of that music ever.The collaboration with Gil Evans was an odd one if you consider the two personalities, but a wonderful one musically. Both were always curious and restless about what could be done, and Evans created this beautiful sound [heavily indebted to Stravinsky] as a bed for Miles' lyricism.What the set collections is every bit of recording behind the original albums; not just alternate takes but false starts. It's interesting to hear how these extras show that the ensemble flaws in Porgy and Bess are probably attributable to Evans conducting. There are plenty of other curiousities, especially the 'Quiet Nights' session, which, although Miles vehemently objected to its release, is not a bad record, just not up to the previous standards. Another thoughtful bit is the bit of empty space that can be programmed in to break up the constant flow of one tune to the next on Miles Ahead.I think the previous reviewers complaints about the transfer are unfounded. I've gone through the original vinyl, the first CD reissues and now this set, and while this set is superior to the first CDs, it is also no inferior to the vinyl. The CD sound is brighter and more transparent, and while the bass has less presence than on the LPs, it also has a clearer tone and timbre, where it is often just a thud. It's a matter of taste, and this set is the sweetest of all."
Sean M. Kelly | Portland, Oregon United States | 09/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The old addage goes that opposites attract, and in the world of music, this is, in many cases, a recipe for absolute disaster or absolute inspiration. In the case of Miles Davis and Gil Evans, only inspiration came from this.The works that comprise the lps "Miles Ahead," "Porgy and Bess," "Sketches of Spain," and "Quiet Nights," are meshing jazz with orchestral sensibilities, with Miles' lyricism not dissimilar to Nat King Cole singing standards behind an orchestra. More than many of his jazz lps, the depth of Miles Davis is found in his ensemble playing on these recordings. The works were no easy task for him to play- demanding parts, to be sure- but Miles rose to the occasion again and again, with Evans' parts coaxing pure magic from the Man With the Horn.The heretofore bootlegged unreleased tracks from Miles X-Mas songs to a session from 1968(!) are even more valuable additions to your collection and again show the breadth and depth of Miles as both a loyal friend to Evans, and as a player.Amazing tracks, and an amazing collection."