This is another masterpiece by one of the finest, if not the best, jazz musician ever. Released one year after Kind of Blue
in 1960, this album is not quite as captivating as Kind of Blue
but I assure you that the listener will not be dissappointed by this album full of beauty and power, and this really is not like Kind of Blue
at all. This album has a very spanish feel to it, hence the name. But it is not as heavy as one would think, In Rolling Stone it says that they weren't out to play Spanish music but to "suggest" it. The man who is responsible for arranging and conducting the music on this album is none other than Gil Evans. Evans has collaborated with Miles on two previous albums, Miles Ahead
and Porgy and Bess
. And in fact this album could just as easily be credited to Gil Evans instead of Miles Davis. I guess that at the time Miles Davis was so big that the records would sell a lot better under his name.
1. Concierto de Aranjuez
- The album starts off with an epic masterpiece. The horns weave in and out as the castanets climb down to bring you into a drifting peace. The light bass line is perfect along with the flawless trumpet playing. Clocking in at 16 minutes but never getting dull, The sheer ambience of the horns is just mind blowing. It almost feels like they have achieved musical perfection, it is very hard to explain.
2. Will O' the Wisp
- A muted trumpet sound over the strange feel of the percussion that is perfect. You can tell by what the song is suggesting the standout trumpet line is the wisp and it stands over the rest of the band as it leads you through the song. The main line of the song played by the horns is a little eerie sounding and it seems like the song is suggesting an almost depressing nature to the melody as it drowns out at the end of the track.
3. Pan Piper
- The flutes seem to bring a brighter mood as you come out of the last song. The flutes and woodwinds really bring out the beauty of this piece. When the rhythm section joins in the song just feels much more jazzier than the earlier part of the song.
- There is a sort of marching beat at the beginning of the song with the horns playing an accompaniment to the drums as you hear the other trumpet playing a much more depressing tune and kind of bringing the rest of the band down with it as it eases to take the lead of the song. The trumpet playing is just so perfect and incredible as always.
- I would say that this is the most spanish sounding song on the album because of the backing rhythm and horns. It is a much more brighter mood than the other tracks. The rest of the band is playing at a dancable rhythm when Miles just takes you away on this incredible song.
A fine album that is not quite jazz nor is it quite spanish music. One thing it is is an excellent album. I really would reccomend this to any fan of jazz music or to music in general. If you are new to Miles you would probably be best off starting with Kind of Blue. By the way, this album on CD actually includes three bonus tracks that I didn't include in the review. I don't review bonus tracks because I feel that if they weren't originally released with the album then they really aren't part of the album as a whole. But that's just my opinion.