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Miles Davis Plays for Lovers

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Album Review

Miles Davis Plays for Lovers collects a number of ballads from the trumpeter's mid-'50s albums to create a lovely late-night disc for friends, night owls, and couples in love. The core band for three-quarters of the album consists of trumpeter Davis, tenor John Coltrane, pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones. There's an elegant beauty to pieces like "My Funny Valentine" and "You're My Everything," featuring the rhythm section's spare, tasteful backdrop and the carefully chosen notes of Davis and Coltrane's horns. Even when this lineup shifts occasionally, the low-light mood remains. Bassist Charles Mingus lends a hand on "Smooch" and "Easy Living," while pianist Horace Silver chimes in on "You Don't Know What Love Is." There are fabulous takes of "'Round Midnight," originally recorded for Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants, and the peaceful, melancholy closer, "When I Fall in Love." Davis' refined trumpet style, with its full-bodied notes and use of quiet spaces, has reached an early peak here. One also notices the intricate ensemble work by these various groups, with each musician playing just the right number of notes. Plays for Lovers is an exquisite disc that will also serve as a fine introduction to Davis' 1953-1956 work. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Rovi

Biography

Born: 26 May 1926 in Alton, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Throughout a professional career lasting 50 years, Miles Davis played the trumpet in a lyrical, introspective, and melodic style, often employing a stemless Harmon mute to make his sound more personal and intimate. But if his approach to his instrument was constant, his approach to jazz was dazzlingly protean. To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz from the mid-'40s to the early '90s, since he was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development in the...
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