Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Excluding Kind of Blue (because I suspect that's the obvious favorite by a mile), what is your favorite Miles Davis record?
Yes! That second quintet somehow gets overlooked a lot, and electric Miles is amazing!"Kind of Blue" is a great record, no doubt about that, and it's been rightly recognized for its greatness over the decades. But it's far from my favorite Miles Davis album! Here are my favorites. Keep in mind that my taste is weird. I do lead a commercial-suicide progressive jazz/funk/fusion band on purpose, after all.
"The Sorcerer" -- my absolute favorite, I think. Incredible writing, playing, and vibe from Wayne, Herbie, and Tony, and a haunting, beautiful, inspiring, unsettling album overall.
"ESP" -- my other favorite "second quintet" album, and the first I ever heard from that particular group. This sometimes takes the top spot over "Sorcerer" depending on my mood. The two records are neck in neck for all the qualities I mentioned above and it's stellar.
"You're Under Arrest" -- yes, I actually love '80s Miles, and some of the best musicians who ever walked the earth grace this record. John Scofield in particular is mind-bogglingly awesome with both his playing and his writing.
"Live in Paris" -- if for no other reason than Kenny Garrett's solo on "Human Nature." And, again, stellar playing from everyone in the group. You gotta be ok with that '80s/early '90s aesthetic, and I certainly am, but the sounds aren't for everybody.
"Miles in the Sky" -- a beautiful transitional album between the "second quintet" vibe and the "Bitches Brew" vibe. The sense of creativity, freedom, and exploration is balanced with great writing and supremely good musicianship.
"Birth of the Cool" -- the opposite end of the spectrum, clearly, since I tend to prefer the more "modern" side of Miles. But this is a perfect album for what it is. The writing, arranging, and vibe are totally beautiful.
I like this thread. Looking forward to reading more of everyone else's favorites so I'm reminded of great albums I may have forgotten about, or learn about new ones!