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  • Miles Davis
  • Miles Ahead
  • Released: 1957
  • Recorded: May 6, May 10, May 23, May 27 and August 22, 1957 at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City
  • Genre: Jazz
  • Style: Cool Jazz
  • Length: 37:21 (Original LP) / 51:57 (CD reissue)
  • Label: Columbia (CL 1041)
  • Producer: George Avakian, Cal Lampley

Miles Ahead is a jazz album by Miles Davis that was released in 1957 under Columbia label as CL 1041. This was the first album following Birth of the Cool that Davis recorded with Gil Evans, with whom he would go on to release albums such as Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain. Gil Evans combined the ten pieces that make up the album in a kind of suite, each following the preceding one without interruption; the only exception to this rule was on the title track since it was placed last on side A. Davis is the only soloist on Miles Ahead, which also features a prominent horn section of 16 players. Art Taylor played drums on the sessions and current Miles Davis Quintet member Paul Chambers was the bassist.

A fifth recording date involved Davis alone (re-)recording material to cover or patch mistakes or omissions in his solos using overdubbing. The fact that this album originally was produced in mono makes these inserted over-dubbings rather obvious in the new stereo setting.

ReceptionEdit

The Penguin Guide to Jazz gave Miles Ahead a four-star rating out of a possible four stars, and called the album "a quiet masterpiece... with a guaranteed place in the top flight of Miles albums."[1] Of Davis' flugelhorn, Kevin Whitehead of Cadence wrote that it "seemed to suit [Davis] better than trumpet: more full-bodied, less shrill, it glosses over his technical deficiencies."[1]The Penguin Guide, on the other hand, opined that "the flugelhorn's sound isn't so very different from his trumpet soloing, though palpably softer-edged.... [S]ome of the burnish seems to be lost."

Track listingEdit

  1. "Springsville" (John Carisi) – 3:27
  2. "The Maids of Cadiz" (Léo Delibes) – 3:53
  3. "The Duke" (Dave Brubeck) – 3:35
  4. "My Ship" (Kurt Weill) – 4:28
    • Ira Gershwin wrote lyrics for this song, but this recording is instrumental.
  5. "Miles Ahead" (Davis, Evans) – 3:29
  6. "Blues for Pablo" (Evans) – 5:18
  7. "New Rhumba" (Ahmad Jamal) – 4:37
  8. Medley Pt. 1: "The Meaning of the Blues" (Bobby Troup, Leah Worth) – 2:48
  9. Medley Pt. 2: "Lament" (J. J. Johnson) – 2:14
  10. "I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)" (Jack Elliot/Harold Spina) – 3:05

A current CD reissue contains alternate takes of "Springsville", "Miles Ahead" (incorrectly labeled as being one of "Blues for Pablo"), a complete rehearsal take of "The Meaning of the Blues," and "Lament" (recorded as a continuous track by Avakian as a contingency plan) and "I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)".

PersonnelEdit

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