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The Best of Miles Davis

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Album Review

The Best of Miles Davis opens with a spectacular version of "A Night in Tunisia," with trumpeter Davis and pianist Red Garland circling around the melody and playing against Oscar Pettiford's bass and Philly Joe Jones' backbeat. The connection between the players and the edginess of the solos leave the listener with one fear: Will anything on the disc be able to equal "A Night in Tunisia"'s intensity? Despite the challenge, Davis and colleagues like tenor John Coltrane, pianist Horace Silver, and drummer Max Roach meet the high mark again and again. First there are pieces like "Doxy" and "Airegin" featuring tenor Sonny Rollins, Silver, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Kenny Clarke. "Airegin" in particular, really cooks, with Heath's bass driving the horns forward for some stellar solo work. Then there are the pieces like "If I Could Write a Book," "Oleo," and "The Theme" with Coltrane, Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and Jones. The rhythm section here has snap, providing an edge for the soloists to play against. The Best of Miles Davis closes with the sunny "When Lights Are Low" from 1953, offering a signpost to just how far Davis had traveled between 1953 and 1956. For anyone wondering what jazz's best-known trumpeter was doing in the mid-'50s, this disc should fit the bill. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Great Stuff

I like this compilation because it doesn’t try to collect Miles’s entire career, and instead focuses on the two year period when he started putting together his first great quintet. If you think they sound good on this album you should hear them five years later on Kind of Blue, ’58 Sessions, and probably Cannonball Adderly’s Somethin’ Else. Also, did TheRealOhioPl think Miles Davis played the saxophone!? Please rate his review as unhelpful.

I like it!!!

Lately I've been expanding on what genre's of music I listen to, and I've been keeping a really open mind on music. So I wandered over here, in the Jazz section, and fell in love with jazz! Miles Davis' music is really relaxing and it overall musically amazing. I highly recommend anything by Miles Davis to people who just love music!

Even kids love him!!

I really love his music, one of my students wrote about him and told me that someday he wants to play just like Miles, he plays in the band at school. I was curious about Miles music and went on to find out about him, I totally loved his music from now on, I'm planning to get his music and play it in my classroom during morning work.


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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