News ·

2006-09-13 Album of the Day

Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain
Every time someone picks a favorite Miles Davis record, a jazz snob gets his wings - or is it rolls his eyes? Let's face it, you can't make anyone happy, and they're either going to say you're trying to make a statement, you don't understand Miles's career as a whole, or you should really listen to more jazz. 'Round About Midnight, Bitches Brew, and In a Silent Way are all essential in their own ways, and avoiding Kind of Blue is like what Chris Rock says about raising a child without a man: "you can drive a car with your feet if you want to, that don't make it a good fucking idea." But in the personal preference category, Sketches of Spain gets my nod, not just because it's one of the most unusual records in his catalogue (take that, On the Corner), but because it's lushly orchestrated and passionate. It sounds exactly like its title, mysterious and filled with melancholy. Though the triumph here is the opening "Concierto," check out "Saeta" with its drum march and basically perfect Miles solo. I know jazz isn't everyone's bag, and the sheer volume of work within even one artist's catalogue is extremely intimidating, but don't fear what moves you. This one is going in the time capsule, people.
Saeta (mp3)

Ariel Pink - Ariel Pink and friends launch new record label Album Announcement, Babyshambles Parlophone takes gamble on Babyshambles
Album of the Day

I love this album. There was a time in my life where I would not go to bed without having it on.

Dave Park

He tells a story in his autobiography that one of his friends in Spain played this record for a friend who happened to be a retired bullfighter. When the bullfighter heard how gracefully and emotionally an American jazz musician had interpreted traditional Spanish music, he was moved to tears and inspired to enter the ring for a final fight and to obtain closure to the powerful emotion he felt. He killed the bull.Pretty amazing story.He also told one about slapping a woman in an elevator because in a lapse of coke-fueled paranoia he thought she was in his car.Not quite as beautiful, but equally amazing.


Most unusual record in his catalogue - Get Up With It - right around the time of On the Corner - everyone seemed to pass it up somehow. But its amazing. Sketches of Spain was written for his spanish oriented wife at the time I believe, its been a while since' I've read anything on Miles. But regardless, good job matthew - I encourage digging your way through the late 60's - early 70's outside of bitches brew and on the corner. You will find goldmines.

John B

Find us on Facebook

Latest Comments