Sketches of Spain

Sketches of Spain

by Miles DavisMiles Davis

SACD(Super Audio CD)

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Along with Kind of Blue, In a Silent Way, and Round About Midnight, Sketches of Spain is one of Miles Davis' most enduring and innovative achievements. Recorded between November 1959 and March 1960 -- after Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley had left the band -- Davis teamed with Canadian arranger Gil Evans for the third time. Davis brought Evans the album's signature piece, "Concierto de Aranjuez," after hearing a classical version of it at bassist Joe Mondragon's house. Evans was as taken with it as Davis was, and set about to create an entire album of material around it. The result is a masterpiece of modern art. On the "Concierto," Evans' arrangement provided an orchestra and jazz band -- Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, and Elvin Jones -- the opportunity to record a classical work as it was. The piece, with its stunning colors and intricate yet transcendent adagio, played by Davis on a flügelhorn with a Harmon mute, is one of the most memorable works to come from popular culture in the 20th century. Davis' control over his instrument is singular, and Evans' conducting is flawless. Also notable are "Saeta," with one of the most amazing technical solos of Davis' career, and the album's closer, "Solea," which is conceptually a narrative piece, based on an Andalusian folk song, about a woman who encounters the procession taking Christ to Calvary. She sings the narrative of his passion and the procession -- or parade -- with full brass accompaniment moving along. Cobb and Jones, with flamenco-flavored percussion, are particularly wonderful here, as they allow the orchestra to indulge in the lushly passionate arrangement Evans provided to accompany Davis, who was clearly at his most challenged here, though he delivers with grace and verve. Sketches of Spain is the most luxuriant and stridently romantic recording Davis ever made. To listen to it in the 21st century is still a spine-tingling experience, as one encounters a multitude of timbres, tonalities, and harmonic structures seldom found in the music called jazz.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/05/2002
Label: Imports
UPC: 4988009450223
catalogNumber: 40691
Rank: 66476

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Miles Davis   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Flageolet,Flugelhorn
Johnny Coles   Trumpet
Elvin Jones   Percussion
Taft Jordan   Trumpet
Frank Rehak   Trombone
Ernie Royal   Trumpet
Jimmy Cobb   Drums
Danny Bank   Bass,Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Billy Barber   Tuba
John Barrows   French Horn
Albert Block   Flute
James Buffington   French Horn,fender rhodes
Eddie Caine   Flute,Flugelhorn
Paul Chambers   Bass
Earl Chapin   French Horn
Gil Evans   Conductor
Harold Feldman   Clarinet,Flute,Oboe
Bernie Glow   Trumpet
Jack Knitzer   Bassoon
Jose Mangual   Percussion
Jimmy McAllister   Tuba
Tony Miranda   French Horn
Louis Mucci   Trumpet
Romeo Penque   Oboe
Janet Putnam   Harp
Dick Hixon   Trombone
Joe Singer   French Horn
Block   Flute,Tuba,Oboe

Technical Credits

Manuel de Falla   Composer
Joaquín Rodrigo   Composer
Steven Berkowitz   Director
Gil Evans   Arranger,Composer
Kevin Gore   Director
Nat Hentoff   Liner Notes
Larry Keyes   Remixing
Teo Macero   Producer,Remixing
Fred Plaut   Engineer
Irving Townsend   Producer
Tom "Curly" Ruff   Engineer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction

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