Miles in the Sky

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Miles in the Sky
MilesDavis MilesInTheSky.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 22, 1968
RecordedJanuary 16 and May 15–17, 1968
StudioColumbia Studio B in New York City
GenrePost-bop, jazz fusion
Length50:56
LabelColumbia
ProducerTeo Macero
Miles Davis chronology
Nefertiti
(1968)
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 May 15–17, 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, often with rhythms that, according to Stephen Thomas Erlewine, "are straightforward, picking up on the direct 4/4 beats of rock, and these are illuminated by Herbie Hancock's electric piano".[3] In the opinion of All About Jazz's C. Michael Bailey, Miles in the Sky was 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
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[3]
Down Beat4.5/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide4/5 stars[6]
Sputnikmusic4/5[7]

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 had 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, 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 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.[7]

Track listing[edit]

Columbia – CS 9628[8]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording session[9]Length
1."Stuff"Miles DavisMay 17, 196817:00
2."Paraphernalia"Wayne ShorterJanuary 16, 196812:38
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording session[9]Length
1."Black Comedy"Tony WilliamsMay 16, 19687:26
2."Country Son"Miles DavisMay 15, 196813:52
Total length:50:56
  • Sides one and two were combined as tracks 1–4 on CD reissues.
CD Reissue (Columbia – CK 65684)[10]
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording session[9]Length
5."Black Comedy" (Alternate Take)Tony WilliamsMay 16, 19686:23
6."Country Son" (Alternate Take)Miles DavisMay 15, 196814:38
Total length:1:11:57

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Miles Davis: Miles in the Sky". Sony Music Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. 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. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 58. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  7. ^ a b Campbell, Hernan M. (March 8, 2012). "Review: Miles Davis – Miles In The Sky". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  8. ^ "Miles Davis – Miles in the Sky". Discogs. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "Miles Davis – Miles in the Sky". milesdavis.com. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
  10. ^ "Miles Davis – Miles in the Sky (CD)". Discogs. Retrieved February 4, 2017.

External links[edit]