Miles Davis: Quiet Nights

The Songs:

  1. Song No. 1 (Prenda Minha)
  2. Once Upon A Summertime
  3. Aos pés da cruz
  4. Song No. 1
  5. Wait Till You See Her
  6. Corcovado (Quiet Nights)
  7. Summer Night
  8. The Time Of The Barracudas (Bonus Track)

Personnel:

  • Miles Davis – trumpet
  • Gil Evans – arranger and conductor
  • The Gil Evans Orchestra
  • Victor Feldman – piano (Track #7)
  • Ron Carter – bass (Tracks #7 & #8)
  • Frank Butler – drums (Track #7)
  • Herbie Hancock – piano (Track #8)
  • Tony Williams – drums (Track #8)

Quiet Nights was the last of four albums that Miles Davis and Gil Evans collaborated on for Columbia Records. It has always been regarded (and perhaps rightly so) as inferior to the first three, which are important classics of jazz history. Davis regarded the project of bossa-nova tunes as incomplete, (the original album was under 28 minutes in duration), and did not want it released. The fact that long-time producer Teo Macero released it anyway created a four-year rift between the two. Columbia wanted to get the recording out to cash in on the bossa-nova craze created by Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Charlie Byrd, the Paul Winter Sextet, and others.

Nevertheless, the small amount of music on it still contain great playing by Miles and the always innovative arrangements of Evans. Most of the album was recorded in 1962, with “Summer Night” coming from the 1963 sessions that produced album Seven Steps To Heaven. When the album was released on CD, the bonus track, “The Time of the Barracudas,” was added, which was also recorded in 1963 as incidental music for a play. Although Miles admits in his autobiography that he wasn’t really into the music, Quiet Nights remains an important document of his lyrical trumpet playing in the bossa-nova style, particularly on the title track, and of his final work with Gil Evans. (Buy it here.)

Selected Reading:

Frank Alkyer (ed.). The Miles Davis Reader: Interviews and Features from “Downbeat” Magazine.

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