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Water Babies
Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock
Water Babies
Genre: Jazz
Japanese DSD mastered reissue of the late jazz icon's 1976 album. Packaged in a limited edition miniature LP sleeve for the first pressing.


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CD Details

All Artists: Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Chick Corea, Dave Holland
Title: Water Babies
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Tristar
Release Date: 8/19/1994
Album Type: Import
Genre: Jazz
Styles: Jazz Fusion, Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 766928087720


Album Description
Japanese DSD mastered reissue of the late jazz icon's 1976 album. Packaged in a limited edition miniature LP sleeve for the first pressing.

CD Reviews

Outtakes that we're fortunate to have seen released
Christopher Culver | 08/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Columbia's opening of the vaults has unleashed a great deal of Miles Davis recordings outside of the albums he approved of before his retirement in the mid-1970s. Most of this music is of mediocre quality and the label's box sets and reissues with extra tracks generate a whole lot of profit but not much artistic interest. Nonetheless, even among the leftovers there are some gems. WATER BABIES, recorded in 1967 and 1968 with the Second Great Quintet and their successors, but not released until the late Seventies, is one such worthy release.

The first three tracks were recorded in '67 with the Second Great Quintet: Miles Davis (trumpet), Wayne Shorter (saxophone), Herbie Hancock (piano), Paul Chambers (bass) and Tony Williams (drums). This is all solid post-bop: short, finely-worked tracks that many jazz listeners don't warm up to until they'll followed the genre for a while, but which offer immense awards for afficionados. "Water Babies" is a classic Shorter tune. What makes it really special here is Williams' drumming, which here makes use only of cymbals, but generates a wealth of timbres. "Capricorn" is another uptempo post-bop creation, while "Sweet-Pea" is a solid ballad.

With "Two-Faced" we jump ahead to the '68 sessions, which feature a somewhat different lineup. This is most immediately evident in the more expressive bass, as Dave Holland has replaced Carter, as well as the plink-plonk of Chick Corea's electric piano (in spite of the liner notes, Hancock wasn't even there). "Two-Faced" is one of the longest tracks of this era, clocking in at 18 minutes. In terms of form, it bears a closer resemblance to the later wild antics of BREW, a mish-mash of everyone doing their own thing, than to the cool unity of Davis' subsequent album IN A SILENT WAY. However, this idiom is nearly completely acoustic, and contains none of Teo Macero's cutting and splicing. "Two-Faced" may be a curiosity in the Miles Davis catalogue, but it's a fun one. "Dual Mr. Anthony Tillmon Williams Process" exists really to let Tony Williams show off his stuff. Davis only briefly announces the theme at the beginning and then backs off, only entering with Shorter nearly halfway in. One of the best expositions of this great jazz drummer's skill.

"Splash" is the only weak track here, some noodling where it's obvious why it wasn't released on an album. However, "Splash" is a recent addition to the CD issue, never appearing on the original release of WATER BABIES in 1976, so it seems Columbia got it right the first time.

Other reviewers have criticized the fact that WATER BABIES doesn't hang together as an album. Well, considering its origin in two different recording sessions, that's understandable. However, each track is excellent in its own right, and besides, for Miles' post-bop period at least this listener prefers just one track at a time instead of a whole album."