The release of the movie MILES AHEAD, Don Cheadle's wildly entertaining and moving exploration of Miles Davis, will be accompanied by this new soundtrack featuring musical highlights from Miles' career and new recordings overseen by Grammy Award-winning jazz/hip-hop artist Robert Glasper. This is a perfect primer on Davis' career for the new fan and a brilliant audio keepsake of the film for those who've studied his works inside and out. The album features 11 tracks from across Miles' catalogue from 1956 to 1981, select dialogue from the film featuring Cheadle in character, and five original compositions written, co-written, produced or performed exclusively for MILES AHEAD by Robert Glasper. These cues include "What's Wrong with That?" a jam that closes the movie imagining Cheadle as Miles playing in the present day with guest performers Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Gary Clark, Jr. and Esperanza Spalding; plus "Gone 2015," an end-credits song featuring guest verses from rapper Pharoahe Monch. Cheadle also pens new liner notes for the album discussing the selection and creation of the songs on the soundtrack.
This album is perhaps most significant for the process it set in motion – the collaboration between Gil Evans and Miles Davis that would produce Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain, two of Davis' best albums. That said, this album is a miracle in itself, the result of a big gamble on the part of Columbia Records, who put together Evans and Davis, who hadn't worked together since recording the critically admired but commercially unsuccessful sides that would later be issued as The Birth of the Cool. Columbia also allowed Evans to assemble a 19-piece band for the recordings, at a time when big bands were far out of fashion and also at a time when the resulting recordings could not be released until two years in the future (because of Davis' contractual obligations with Prestige).
This album is perhaps most significant for the process it set in motion – the collaboration between Gil Evans and Miles Davis that would produce Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain, two of Davis' best albums. That said, this album is a miracle in itself, the result of a big gamble on the part of Columbia Records, who put together Evans and Davis, who hadn't worked together since recording the critically admired but commercially unsuccessful sides that would later be issued as The Birth of the Cool.
Working with arranger Gil Evans for the first time since Birth Of The Cool, Davis created a set of lush, lyrical recordings backed by a 19-piece band.
With IN A SILENT WAY, the elements of popular music, blues and electronics that had been implicit in Miles Davis' previous recordings now came center stage, and the trumpeter never looked back again. IN A SILENT WAY is Miles' BIRTH OF THE COOL/MILES AHEAD/KIND OF BLUE for the rock generation. Gone are the rhythmic and harmonic trappings of bebop. In their place, Miles conjures a hypnotic, subliminal dance pulse and an airy, celestial drone of electric keyboards. Miles fell in love with the bell tones and flute-like textures of Fender/Rhodes electric pianos, and in the hands of Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul (who doubles on organ), they create layer upon layer of choral texture, in great reverberant washes of color and counterpoint.
THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS compiles all of Miles Davis' collaborations with composer/arranger Gil Evans. Included are the original and alternate versions of the four albums that Davis and Evans made together–MILES AHEAD, PORGY AND BESS, SKETCHES OF SPAIN and QUIET NIGHTS–as well as various outtakes and unreleased tracks. More than half of the material is previously unreleased. THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS won 1997 Grammy Awards for Best Historical Album, Best Album Notes (by George Avakian, Bob Belden, Bill Kirchner and Phil Schaap), and Best Recording Package - Boxed.