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Miles Smiles

Miles Davis Quintet

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

The second album from the second classic quintet, Miles Smiles is where that group really hit their stride. This is partly due to the group’s rerecording of the haunting Wayne Shorter–penned “Footprints” (it’d appeared first on Adam’s Apple), which is now one of his most recognizable tunes and a jazz classic. But the measure of what this band was capable of is Shorter’s “Dolores,” with five sections of varied lengths; two parts feature the mighty Tony Williams on drums and bassist Ron Carter. Throughout this album, the band seemed to internalize the songs, with each reinterpreting the melodies and harmonies in their own way while still fitting with the others. This is most noticeable to the untrained ear on the tricky but slow ballad “Circle.” Remarkably, these were all first completed takes—while bands often can (and do) do that with a blues piece or a standard, the innovative songwriting here offered a real challenge for even the most skilled players. One wonders how many times they practiced the unanchored intro to “Orbits” before getting it right, but probably not many.

Customer Reviews

Freedom Jazz Dance

This song took my breath away from the first time I heard it.

Biography

Born: May 26, 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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