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Reviews: Miles Davis: Milestones

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Reviews: 4

Review by JW July 29, 2003 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Another JSACD of great quality. If you're not in Japan the only (expensive) way is importing these but I can tell you it's worth it, both sonically and for the music. You cannot believe this is an 45 year old recording. This is an acoustic, classic jazz album and the one and only time Miles Davis recorded with his original sextet; Julian "Cannonball" Adderly (asax), John Coltrane (tsax), Red Garland (p), "Philly" Joe Jones (dr) and Paul Chambers (b). Wow, what a line up!

The overall feeling of this album is uptempo blues/be-bop. "Milestones" is credited with introducing modal music into Jazz. In "modality" there is freedom to emphasize various degrees of a scale, and also to mix octaves or modes. The musicians can play on various degrees of a scale (or mode), using whatever emphasis they deem appropriate at the time.

On "Milestones" this is easily audible in the solo's that explore the various scales and parts of scales throughout the tracks. It can make for some chaotic tunes, but not so on this album where it sometimes can get a bit hectic but the band never looses track of rhythmn, swing and melody. If you want to know what I mean have a listen to 'Straight, No Chaser' where the piano of Red Garland plays a more traditional role compared to his bandmates. But it is by no means the only example.

This JSACD contains the following tracks:
1. Dr. Jackle (Mclean) - 5:45
2. Sid's Ahead (Davis) - 12:59
3. Two Bass Hit (Gillespie/Lewis) - 5:10
4. Milestones (Davis) - 5:42
5. Billy Boy (Traditional) - 7:10
6. Straight, No Chaser (Monk) - 10:34
7. Two Bass Hit [alternate take/*] (Gillespie/Lewis) - 4:29
8. Milestones [alternate take/*] (Davis) - 5:59
9. Straight, No Chaser [alternate take/*] (Monk) - 10:26

*bonus tracks

Jw

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Review by Sckott April 18, 2005 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Totally agree with JW. For some reason, this title sounds better than ever on SACD. Possibly one of my favorite early Miles releases for Columbia. The 24bit CD sounds good, but this is a real notch above. Superb performance and sonics. Straight, No Chaser really "flies".

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Review by DeSelby May 22, 2005 (2 of 5 found this review helpful)
Sonics:
very good sound

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Review by Claude September 26, 2006 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
The sound of this disc varies between the tracks, recorded during two sessions in March and April 1958. It is a bit too thin and bassless for my taste, making the saxophones sound slightly strident. At the same time the top end is missing. On some tracks the drums sound too diffuse.

The overall sound of this JSACD is quite similar to the US CD. Both were mastered by Mark Wilder. The SACD has the edge with a more subtle and detailed treble, which makes the bright sound more acceptable.

Given that the recording quality throughout the album isn't as good as on other Miles SACDs like "Kind of Blue" or the later 1965-68 sessions, I can give no more than 3.5 stars on average.

The JSACD is worth getting for fans who want the best sounding version of this essential album, but it's not an audiophile demo disc.

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