Miles Ahead [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

Miles Ahead [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

by Miles DavisMiles Davis


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At the end of Don Cheadle's liner essay for Miles Ahead, the soundtrack for his expressionist Miles Davis biopic, he quotes Herbie Hancock from a documentary about the trumpeter's electric years: ."..I couldn't pick a piece.. Because Miles is all of the pieces." That's a fine explanation for what is compiled here. Eleven of these tunes were selected from Davis' catalog, beginning with the title track cut for Prestige in 1953. There are stops all along the way to 1981's "Back Seat Betty." In presenting such a wide selection of Davis' music for a cinema audience, judicious editing was often necessitated: "Solea," "Seven Steps to Heaven," "Nefertiti," "Duran (Take 6)," "Black Satin," and "Back Seat Betty" are all presented this way. "So What," "Frelon Brun," and "Go Ahead John, Pt. 2" are presented in full. While fans may take issue with the entire idea of edits, they serve a proper purpose inside the soundtrack concept. Interspersed are bits of dialogue by Cheadle (as Davis) and others. They are so short they don't distract. The album also includes the brief "Taylor Made" by pianist Taylor Eigsti. Titled for Davis' first wife and muse Frances Taylor, it briefly recontextualizes several important themes in the trumpeter's fakebook. There are also four new compositions written or co-written by Robert Glasper. The funky "Junior's Jam" features saxophonist Marcus Strickland, trumpeter Keyon Harrold, drummer Kendrick Scott, and bassist Burniss Earl Travis. Glasper, who plays Rhodes, perfectly captures the spirit of Davis' early electric era, with riff-like basslines, funky drums, and eerie electric pianos, while the frontline horns engage and disengage from rhythm and vamp. "Francessence" is a lilting theme piece with Vicente Archer's upright bass, E.J. Strickland's brushed drums, and Elena Pinderhughes' flute. The real highlight is "What's Wrong with That?" Framed in the film as a live concert piece, it places Glasper's Rhodes in the company of Harrold (using a mute), Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding (on electric bass), Antonio Sanchez, and guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. A loose jam based on vamps, it weaves Davis' bluesy lyricism with spacy elements of fusion, harder psychedelic funk grooves, and even the tender soul pop notions from later years. The album closes with "Gone," a hip-hop tune with Pharoahe Monch rapping over a bumping bassline, slippery snare, and hi-hat beats (Dilla style), adorned by a sampled brass section, gospel piano chords, and Harrold's soaring, muted trumpet solo. It was wise to separate most of these new sounds from Davis' sides, making the album a double portrait: One of the artist and another of how he contributed to the future. Miles Ahead is not a complete representation of Davis, and that's fine. What it does accomplish is to offer an impression of essence as an artist who changed everything by his example.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/01/2016
Label: Sony Legacy
UPC: 0889853066728
catalogNumber: 530667
Rank: 64274

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Miles Davis   Primary Artist,Organ,Trumpet
Cannonball Adderley   Alto Saxophone
Ron Carter   Bass
George Coleman   Tenor Saxophone
Johnny Coles   Trumpet
Jack DeJohnette   Drums
Bill Evans   Flute,Piano,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Sonny Fortune   Flute,Alto Saxophone
Carlos Garnett   Soprano Saxophone
Herbie Hancock   Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,fender rhodes
Billy Hart   Drums
Dave Holland   Bass,Electric Bass
Elvin Jones   Percussion
John Lewis   Piano
Bennie Maupin   Bass Clarinet
John McLaughlin   Electric Guitar
Max Roach   Drums
Wayne Shorter   Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Tony Williams   Drums
Steve Grossman   Soprano Saxophone
Frank Rehak   Trombone
Ernie Royal   Trumpet
Reggie Lucas   Guitar
Jimmy Cobb   Drums
Percy Heath   Bass
Badal Roy   Tabla
Khalil Balakrishna   Electric Sitar
Danny Bank   Bass Clarinet
Paul Chambers   Bass
Billy Cobham   Drums
Armando Anthony Corea   Electric Piano,fender rhodes
Pete Cosey   Synthesizer,Guitar,Percussion
Gil Evans   Conductor
Harold Feldman   Flute
Sammy Figueroa   Percussion
Barry Finnerty   Guitar
Foster   Drums
Bernie Glow   Trumpet
Michael Henderson   Bass,Fender Jazz Bass
Jack Knitzer   Bassoon
James Mtume   Percussion
Jose Mangual   Percussion
Marcus Miller   Electric Bass
Tony Miranda   French Horn
Louis Mucci   Trumpet
Romeo Penque   Oboe
Antonio Sanchez   Drums
Harold "Ivory" Williams   Organ,Synthesizer
Dick Hixon   Trombone
Joe Singer   French Horn
Block   Flute
David Creamer   Guitar
Taylor Eigsti   Piano
Marcus Strickland   Saxophone
Esperanza Spalding   Bass
Robert Glasper   fender rhodes
Kendrick Scott   Drums
Don Cheadle   Narrator
Keyon Harrold   Trumpet
Gary Clark   Guitar
Bill Barber   Tuba
Janet Putman   Harp
Jimmy Buffington   French Horn
Burniss Travis   Bass

Technical Credits

Miles Davis   Composer
Victor Feldman   Composer
Wayne Shorter   Composer
Gil Evans   Arranger,Composer
Ira Gitler   Producer
Teo Macero   Producer
Irving Townsend   Producer
Vince Wilburn   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Taylor Eigsti   Composer
Marcus Strickland   Composer
Robert Glasper   Composer,Producer
Don Cheadle   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Soundtrack Executive Producer
Erin Davis   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Darryl Porter   Soundtrack Executive Producer

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