Miles Davis Quintet, Miles Smiles

Britt Robson

By Britt Robson

on 08.27.12 in Reviews

Miles Smiles

Miles Davis

Recorded 10 months after the Plugged Nickel gigs, Miles Smiles showcases the leader’s second classic quintet wholly comfortable in their new identity, with the rhythm section pushing and questing, Miles compellingly askance with his solos, and Wayne Shorter brilliantly pointing out avenues and trap doors to wend through the maze. The unique combination of abstraction and logic in Shorter’s compositions are crucial to the enterprise, highlighted by the definitive version of “Footprints,” unquestionably his most renowned piece. But there is also durable pleasure in “Orbits,” which seems to start abruptly in mid-sentence, pause, and circle back to the melody; and “Delores,” which had an open-ended structure that invited the bass and drums into the front line.