Ten of the Best Miles Davis Tracks

As my colleague Michael Cuscuna sagely pointed out about another recent list of Miles Davis albums, it’s hard to go wrong with any suggestion of recordings emanating from this artist. So here, in this list of ten “of the best” Miles Davis recordings compiled by Angus Batey in The Guardian, is a slew of tracks demanding repeated attention. Miles’s Adagio from Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez deservedly makes the list, and I appreciated the inclusion of Generique from the soundtrack to Ascenseur pour l'Echafaud. Any jazz fan reading a list like this – even one as persuasively reasoned as this – naturally fights the compulsion to assemble his or her own list of tracks equally deserving. But then, when the subject is Miles, any list that results is pretty certain to be worth a serious listen.

-Nick Moy

Read the list…

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On this day in music history: July 18, 1960 - “Sketches Of Spain”, the thirty-fourth studio album by Miles Davis is released. Produced by Teo Macero and Irving Townsend, it is recorded at Columbia 30th Street Studios in New York City on November 15 - 20, 1959 and March 10, 1960. Barely three months after the release of the landmark “Kind Of Blue”, Miles Davis returns to the studio to begin recording the follow up release. Having previously worked with arranger Gil Evans on “Miles Ahead” and “Porgy And Bess”, Davis once again calls on the Canadian born musician to collaborate once again. Initially the project is started without a central concept or theme, at first recording the piece “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Spanish composer  Joaquin Rodrigo. A composition originally written for guitar, Evans and Davis transform it into an epic orchestral jazz masterpiece. It features Miles accompanied by his core band of musicians including Jimmy Cobb (drums), Paul Chambers (bass) and Elvin Jones (percussion), backed by brass and woodwind instruments. The nearly side long recording becomes the centerpiece of the new album, with Gil Evans writing the Spanish tinged “Saeta” and “Solea” as well as the band recording early 20th century composer Manuel de Falla’s “Will O’ The Wisp” from the ballet “El Amor Brujo”. In spite of the challenging nature of the material, compositionally as well as technically, it sees Davis and Evans both at the peak of their creative powers. Miles’ control and command of his instrument is apparent from the first note to the last, displaying extraordinary degrees of sublitity and nuance. Released in the Summer of 1960, “Sketches Of Spain” receives unanimous acclaim from fans and critics alike, recognizing that Miles Davis and Gil Evans have again raised the bar for jazz music. In time, it is regarded as one of the most important albums of the 20th century. It wins Davis and Evans their first Grammy Awards for Best Original Jazz Composition in 1961. Originally released on CD in 1983, it is remastered and reissued in 1997 with three additional bonus tracks. It is remastered again in 2009 by Sony Legacy as an expanded two CD edition, featuring more outtakes and alternate recordings from the sessions. Reissued numerous times on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is most recently reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2011, with the long out of print mono mix being released in 2012. “Sketches” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1997. “Sketches Of Spain” peaks at number thirteen on the Billboard Jazz Album chart, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.


Miles Davis - The Pan Piper

Sketches of Spain (1960) was a crucial installment in the Miles Davis-Gil Evans series, which began with 1949′s seminal cool-Jazz LP, Birth of the Cool. As an early piece of european classical-Jazz fusion, it has been widely lauded as the among the most groundbreaking results of their collaboration. With Miles at his most expressive (just after the recording of Kind of Blue) and Evans providing his ever tasteful, brooding band arrangements in support, it’s 50s NYC’s contemplative take on age-old spanish folk melodies and polyrhythms.


David Roberts (1796–1864, Scotland)

Picturesque Sketches in Spain Taken During ye Years 1832 & 1833

David Roberts was a Scottish landscape painter, known for a prolific series of detailed lithograph prints of Egypt and the Near East that he produced from sketches he made during long tours of the region (1838–1840). These and his large oil paintings of similar subjects made him a prominent Orientalist painter. He was elected as a Royal Academician in 1841.

anonymous asked:

Hi! My native language is English and I'm fluent it french. For the past few years, I have been I am learning spanish (and have completely fallen in love with it!), and I was wondering, as spanish is your native language, if you knew any (good?) spanish-speaking youtubers or any movies/tv-shows in spanish. I just really want more exposure to my favourite language! <3

I would be happy to tell you. I went on youtube to look around since most of the youtubers I watch aren’t in Spanish, but my mom/sisters recommended me some. These are youtubers that I like so they are different from the list I have seen from those learning the language as I am picky with who I watch (i.e. Yuya. I am Mexican as well and find her voice annoying, even though people seem to recommend her a lot).


TV Shows:

I have watched at least 100 novelas (soaps), so I will avoid recommending most of them since they are 200+ episodes each. You can find a lot of shows on Netflix/Hulu/Viki with subs.

  • ¿Dónde Está Elisa?: A girl goes missing and you try to figure out who in her family did it.
  • Allí abajo: Comedy
  • El Clon: Nice Spanish adaptation to the Brazilian one that is about star-crossed lovers.
  • El Señor de los Cielos: Show about a powerful drug lord
  • Gran Hotel: Like Downton Abbey 
  • If you want trashy tv, 12 Corazones is it.
  • Isabel: Like the Tudors
  • Juana Inez: Historical drama
  • La Familia P.Luche: Funny show about a dysfunctional family
  • Maria la del Barrio: Where the “___ you in Spanish” meme came from. 
  • Otro Rollo: Comedy show
  • Rebelde: High school drama that was all the rage when it came out.
  • Sin senos no hay paraiso: Novela about a girl that wants to get fake boobs so that she can escape poverty. 
  • Velvet: Romantic comedy
  • XHDRbZ: Sketch comedy show. I love it, but it has a lot of puns/slang.


Most of the movies on this list are good, so I will mention some not on there.

  • En el tiempo de las mariposas 
  • Fresa y chocolate
  • Ice Age in Spanish. The translated version was funnier 
  • Instructions Not Included 
  • No eres tú, soy yo
  • Pelo malo 
  • Te presento a Laura 
  • The Motorcycle Diaries