Directions (Miles Davis album)

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Miles Davis Directions.jpg
Compilation album by
GenreJazz fusion
ProducerTeo Macero
Miles Davis chronology
Circle in the Round
The Man with the Horn

Directions is a compilation album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released in 1981 by Columbia Records.[1] It collects previously unreleased outtakes that Davis recorded between 1960 and 1970. Directions was the last of a series of compilation albums - mostly consisting of, at that time, previously unreleased music - that Columbia released to bridge Davis' recording hiatus that ended with The Man with the Horn in July 1981.[2]


Directions is a double album that features previously unreleased outtakes recorded over a 10-year period by Davis. Apart from "Song of Our Country" from the recording sessions for Sketches of Spain (1960), a 1961 recording of "'Round Midnight", and "So Near, So Far" from 1963, the album's songs are from Davis' transitional period during 1967 to 1970, when he was experimenting with a fusion of jazz and rock. They feature sidemen such as saxophonist Wayne Shorter, guitarist John McLaughlin, and keyboardists Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, and Chick Corea.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[3]
Down Beat4/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide3/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[1]

Reviewing in Allmusic, critic Scott Yanow believed some of the tracks "rambled on a bit too long" but the music was nonetheless "mostly quite fascinating" and "highly recommendable to collectors with an open ear toward fusion."[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Miles Davis except where noted.

Side 1
1."Song of Our Country" (Heitor Villa-Lobos)3:27
2."'Round Midnight (Live)" (Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams, Bernie Hanighen)7:44
3."So Near, So Far" (Tony Crombie, Bennie Green)5:18
4."Limbo" (Wayne Shorter)5:33
Side 2
5."Water on the Pond"7:04
7."Directions, No. 1" (Joe Zawinul)6:51
8."Directions, No. 2" (Zawinul)4:51
Side 3
9."Ascent" (Zawinul)14:44
Side 4
12."Willie Nelson"10:21


"Song of Our Country", recorded in New York, March 11, 1960. (Reissued on 1997 CD release of Sketches of Spain.)

"'Round Midnight", recorded live at "The Blackhawk" in San Francisco, April 22, 1961. (Reissued on 2003 CD release of In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, Complete)

"So Near, So Far", recorded in Hollywood, Ca., April 16, 1963. (Reissued on the first CD of the 2004 box set Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis 1963–1964, as well as on the 2005 CD re-release of Seven Steps to Heaven.)

"Limbo", recorded in Hollywood, Ca., May 9, 1967. (Reissued on the 1998 CD re-release of Sorcerer, as well as on the second CD of 1998 box set release The Complete Studio Recordings of The Miles Davis Quintet 1965–1968)

"Water on the Pond", recorded in New York, December 28, 1967. (Reissued on the fourth CD of the 1998 box set release Miles Davis Quintet 1965–'68)

  • Miles Davis – trumpet
  • Wayne Shorter – tenor saxophone
  • Herbie Hancock – Wurlitzer electric piano
  • Joe Beck – guitar
  • Ron Carter – bass
  • Tony Williams – drums

"Fun", recorded in New York, January 11, 1968. (Reissued on the fourth CD of the 1998 box set release Miles Davis Quintet 1965–'68)

"Directions I & II" and "Ascent", recorded in New York, November 27, 1968. (All three tracks were reissued on the second CD of the 2001 box set release of The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions)

"Duran", recorded in New York, February 17, 1970. (Reissued as "Duran (Take 6)" on the second CD of 2003 box set release The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions)

"Konda", recorded in New York, May 21, 1970. (The unedited version of the track was issued on disc 4 of the 2003 box set release The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions.)

"Willie Nelson", recorded in New York, February 27, 1970. (Reissued on the first CD of the 2003 box set release The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions)

  • Miles Davis – trumpet
  • Steve Grossman – soprano saxophone
  • John McLaughlin – electric guitar
  • Dave Holland – electric bass
  • Jack DeJohnette – drums


  1. ^ a b Considine et al. 2004, p. 215.
  2. ^ Chambers 1998, p. 288 of Pt. II.
  3. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott. "Directions - Miles Davis". Allmusic. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  4. ^ Alkyer, Frank; Enright, Ed; Koransky, Jason, eds. (2007). The Miles Davis Reader. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 275. ISBN 142343076X.
  5. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 57. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.


External links[edit]