Miles in the Sky

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Miles in the Sky
Studio album by Miles Davis
Released July 22, 1968
Recorded January 16, May 15-17, 1968; at Columbia Studio B in New York City
Genre Post-bop, jazz fusion
Length 51:12
Label Columbia
Producer Teo Macero
Miles Davis chronology
Nefertiti
(1967)
Miles in the Sky
(1968)
Filles de Kilimanjaro
(1968)

Miles in the Sky is a studio album by American trumpeter and composer Miles Davis, released on July 22, 1968, by Columbia Records.[1]

Background[edit]

Miles in the Sky was produced by Teo Macero and recorded at Columbia Studio B in New York City on January 16, 1968, and from May 15 to May 17, 1968.[2] For the album, Davis played with tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, drummer Tony Williams, and bassist Ron Carter.[2] Guitarist George Benson made a guest appearance on the song "Paraphernalia".[3] The album's title was a nod to the Beatles' 1967 song "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds".[1]

Composition[edit]

For Miles in the Sky, Davis and his quintet pulled further away from conventional jazz and more toward jazz-rock fusion. The album's compositions are extended and groove-oriented, and mostly have rhythms with simple 4
4
time signatures from rock music, which are embellished by Hancock's electric piano.[3] According to All About Jazz's C. Michael Bailey, Miles in the Sky is one of six albums by Davis' quintet between 1965 and 1968 that introduced the poorly-defined jazz subgenre post-bop.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[3]
Down Beat 4.5/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[5]
Sputnikmusic 4/5[6]

In a contemporary review, Down Beat magazine called Miles in the Sky one of the best albums by Davis and his second quintet because of how it shows he has been influenced by Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane "even as Miles denies it, for their assault on the popular song has pushed Miles along the only path that seems open to him, an increasingly ironic detachment from sentiment and prettiness".[2]

In a retrospective review for Allmusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine found it less adventurous than Nefertiti (1968): "Intriguing, successful jams in many respects, but ... this is less visionary than its predecessor and feels like a transitional album — and, like many transitional albums, it's intriguing and frustrating in equal measures."[3] Hernan M. Campbell of Sputnikmusic was more enthusiastic and praised the musicianship throughout, particularly that of Tony Williams, whose drumming he found "mind-blowing". Campbell felt that Miles in the Sky should not be overlooked because it marked the beginning of Davis' electric period and was one of the defining jazz fusion albums.[6]

Track listing[edit]

Original LP[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Stuff"   Miles Davis 17:03
2. "Paraphernalia"   Wayne Shorter 12:42
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
3. "Black Comedy"   Tony Williams 7:31
4. "Country Son"   Miles Davis 13:56

1998 reissue bonus tracks[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Black Comedy [Alternate Take]"   Tony Williams 6:26
6. "Country Son [Alternate Take]"   Miles Davis 14:38
  • Recorded on January 16 (#2), May 15 (#4), May 16 (#3) and May 17 (#1), 1968.[citation needed]

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Miles Davis: Miles in the Sky". Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved December 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Miles Davis - Miles in the Sky CD Album". CD Universe. Archived from the original on November 21, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Miles in the Sky - Miles Davis". Allmusic. Retrieved December 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ Bailey, C. Michael (April 11, 2008). "Miles Davis, Miles Smiles, and the Invention of Post Bop". All About Jazz. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  5. ^ RS Album Guide
  6. ^ a b Campbell, Hernan M. (March 8, 2012). "Review: Miles Davis - Miles In The Sky". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved December 25, 2013. 

External links[edit]