Miles Davis: Miles Ahead (+19) - JazzWax

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February 10, 2009


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Larry Kart

I didn't know about the Jeri Southern and Kitty White connections and had forgotten about the Jamal version of "I Don't Wanna Be Kissed." Fine post, many thanks. The mellow, walking ballad-like Carisi-Urbie Green "Springsville" struck me as quite a contrast to the Gil-Miles version, as is the excellent one that Carisi made with a smaller group under his own name for RCA (first issued on a probably o.o.p. CD "The Arrangers").

Bill Kirchner

Nice work! Re "Springsville," it was originally written by Johnny Carisi as "Spring," a ballad for Charlie Parker and Strings. The chart went unrecorded until 2005, when Warren Vaché did it on DON'T LOOK BACK (Arbors).


Another brilliant reconstruction. I bought MA in college back in the early Sixties, loved it, must have worn out three LP copies over the years (losing that sailing woman cover Miles disliked too). But the biggest revelation for me was the song My Ship which led to a lifelong fascination with Kurt Weill and his cohorts. Jazz is definitely a matter of improvised connections.

Ivan Santiago

Kudos for this approach - connecting Miles' (and Gil's) oeuvre to likely influences! The probable ties to Kitty White and Jeri Southern were particularly interesting to me.

raul bernardo

Hi Mr. Myers,
As always a nice work. I have just one comment; is the Duke by Brubeck dedicated to our Duke Ellington, or to actor John Wayne as he was known ?
Best regards

Bill Forbes

Thanks for a really interesting post, Marc! For me, it nicely complemented David Brent Johnson's "Birth of the Cool Songbook" on "Night Lights" on WFIU, in which he looked at other musicians' use of the compositions from that earlier session involving Miles and Gil. Both sessions are distinguished by choice of material which is of the highest quality and truly original - so different from favorites for recording sessions in their times. My impression, though, is that MA has not resulted in a "songbook" of later versions to quite the extent that the earlier session has. And I imagine that very few of the "Birth of the Cool" compositions had already been recorded by others, unlike the MA material.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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