Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Miles Davis, Vol. 2
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Miles Davis had an unparalleled track record for setting musical styles, often defining what jazz would sound like for years to come. Along with his sheer inventiveness, he also had special talents for synthesis and for pu... more »
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Miles Davis had an unparalleled track record for setting musical styles, often defining what jazz would sound like for years to come. Along with his sheer inventiveness, he also had special talents for synthesis and for putting together remarkable bands. It's all apparent in this 1953 sextet session, with Davis foreshadowing hard bop with a mix of complex charts, forceful sidemen, and an intensely pointed focus all his own. More remarkable still, he managed to do it without writing any of the music himself. J.J. Johnson brought two tunes to the session, as well as his consummate trombone playing: the up-tempo "Kelo" and "Enigma," a gorgeous ballad in the style of Tadd Dameron, while tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath brought his "C.T.A.," which was en route to becoming a jazz standard. Each piece here is a model of compressed energy, a taut construction less than four minutes in length and usually stretched between Davis's pensive trumpet and Art Blakey's exploding percussion. Bud Powell's "Tempus Fugit" is a masterpiece of rhythmic tension, its melodic line seeming to drag against the seething undercurrent. "I Waited for You," with just Davis and the rhythm section, demonstrates Davis's ability to create complex, elusive moods on a standard. The remastering by Rudy Van Gelder breathes new life into this significant music, highlighting the subtle voicings of "Enigma" while restoring the luster to Davis's trumpet and the thunder to Blakey's drums. --Stuart Broomer
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Scott McFarland | Manassas, VA United States | 08/31/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Pretty mediocre stuff, not as well-done as Miles' other 2 Blue Note sessions (available on the "Volume 1" disc). The tunes just kind of lay there for the most part.In his autobiography Miles discusses this session indirectly. He says that he and some of the other players were getting high (heroin) during the recording. Specifically he says that he & Jimmy Heath went out of the studio together to carry in a box of reeds - the one guy went out to do it, the other volunteered to help him. The comedy of course is that a box of reeds hardly weighs anything, and this is not a two-man effort. The players were not at their best, and the music is not noteworthy."
Nice, Boppish Miles from the early 50s
G B | Connecticut | 08/04/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"1953 wasn't a good time for Miles Davis -- he was still in the throes of a heroin addiction, making steady work hard to find. Nevertheless this is a welcome Rudy Van Gelder remaster of a recording from the most overlooked period of the trumpeter's career. Miles is joined by some fine company: Jimmy Heath on tenor, J. J. Johnson on trombone, Gil Coggins on piano, Percy Heath on bass, and Art Blakey on drums. The style is mostly bop, plus two ballads that hint at Davis's future mastery in this setting. Miles's playing, which was often erratic in the early 50s, is strong throughout; he sounds confident on the more up-tempo tunes and his balladeering on "I Waited for You" is wonderful. This is not the best place to start a Miles Davis collection (I'd recommend at least 20 other CDs before this one), but if you're looking to explore the period between Birth of the Cool and Walkin' then you might as well dive in here. If you like this album, be sure to check out the RVG master of Volume 1. And if none of this appeals to you, buy it just to hear Blakey's monster drumming on the master take of "Tempus Fugit"!"