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Miles Davis & Gil Evans

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In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Miles Davis recorded a series of albums with Gil Evans, often playing flugelhorn as well as trumpet. The first, Miles Ahead (1957), showcased his playing with a jazz big band and a horn section beautifully arranged by Evans. Tunes included Dave Brubeck’s “The Duke”, as well as Léo Delibes’ “The Maids Of Cadiz”, the first piece of European classical music Davis had recorded. Another important feature of the album was the innovative use of editing to join the tracks together, turning each side of the album into a seamless piece of music.

In 1958, Davis and Evans recorded Porgy and Bess, an arrangement of pieces from George Gershwin’s opera of the same name. This album featured members of his contemporary band including Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. Davis named the album one of his own favorites.

Sketches of Spain (1959-1960) featured tunes by contemporary Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo and also Manuel de Falla, as well as Gil Evans originals with a Spanish theme. Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall (1961) includes Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, along with other songs recorded at a concert with an orchestra under Evans’ direction.

Sessions in 1962 resulted in the album Quiet Nights, a short collection of bossa nova tunes which was released against the wishes of both artists. That was the last time that the two created a full album again. In his autobiography, Davis noted that “. . . my best friend is Gil Evans”.

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  • schavira

    I think it should be a Miles Davis tag only. This is like crediting 'Off the Wall' to Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones.

    30 Nov 2010 Reply
  • LondonLouis

    last.fm probably undercounts the impact of this two-some since, when I play their work on Spotify, it ends up purely under Miles' name.

    7 Aug 2010 Reply

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