Five Miles Davis albums you absolutely should hear

    • Milestones (1958)

      Recorded over two scorching sessions with Miles’ “First Great Quintet”— the trumpeter plus John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones (with an assist from Cannonball Adderley)— this one’s also notable for Miles’ early foray into modal (non-chord-anchored) jazz on the title cut.

    • Nefertiti (1968)

      The fourth record made by the “Second Great Quintet”—Miles, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams—was also Miles’ final all-acoustic project. The hypnotic title track stands out, but there’s nimble, heady musicianship front to back.

    • In a Silent Way (1969)

      Edging toward the “fusion” that would define his next phase, Miles brought jazz to a sublime new space here—ambient, lush and entirely spellbinding—with help from electric guitarist John McLaughlin, electric pianist Chick Corea and others.

    • Bitches Brew (1970)

      An obvious inclusion, perhaps, but no must-Miles list should exist without the double-LP that obliterated jazz’s time-honored traditions. Strange, orchestral, noisy, intense, beautiful … Play it loud and see what it does to you.

    • On the Corner (1972)

      Derided upon release, this slab of urban funk now earns respect as one of Miles’ many great experiments. Drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Michael Henderson keep the rhythm tight, while Miles and a huge crew of regulars and guests get crazy creative.

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    Spencer Patterson

    Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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