Tuesday, December 22, 2009

1043 - Mojo 25. Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain (1960)

Track Listing

1. Concerto De Aranjuez
2. Will O' The Wisp
3. Pan Piper
4. Saeta
5. Solea


This one is a hard to categorise album, is it jazz? Is it classical music? Is it a little bit of both and none of them really. Basically Miles reinterprets Spanish classical and popular music to be played with his trumpet.

At moments this idea works very well indeed. At other times it's a bit uninteresting, but it is always original. It doesn't really sound like anything before or after it, the way in which the music becomes kind of adapted, meaning it does not sound pristine exactly, there is a kind of improvisational quality not present in the originals it is based on.

This is in fact the most interesting thing about this album, the way Miles' virtuoso playing can work with written down music. And it works. Still some of the music is a bit overplayed, such as the two first tracks, not necessarily in Miles' version but just in general (maybe living in Portugal has to do with the overexposure to Concierto de Aranjuez and El Amor Bruxo). Which is why Saeta is really my favourite track here and none of the obvious ones.

Track Highlights

1. Saeta
2. Will O' The Wisp
3. Concerto de Aranjuez
4. Solea

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Sketches of Spain is considered to be one of the most accessible albums of Davis's career: the most recent edition of the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD describes it as "elevated light music". Less improvisational than much other jazz, contemporaries suggested that Sketches of Spain was something other than jazz. Davis replied (according to Rolling Stone magazine), "It's music, and I like it".


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