A good friend has just sent me the following text: “New miles 4 cd set – sigh”. The “sigh” comes from a restless urge he will now feel that he must get his hands on this new Miles Davis set. It’s an urge that many will feel, I guess, and is probably most ardently experienced by those who already own a healthy number of Miles Davis CDs, and probably a few box sets too.
After all, the Miles Davis fan was well served by Columbia during the trumpeter’s life and even better served by Sony since his death. As someone who is lucky enough to have a number of those original square-boxes, complete Davis/Coltrane, Davis/Gil Evans and Seven Steps among them – I managed to acquire them having traded in my vinyl collection at a lovely little jazz shop that once existed in the Gun Quarter in Birmingham – I can attest only too acutely to the lure of these things.
But, as the repackaging and inclusion of yet more alternate takes and unreleased tracks seems to continue without any sign of the Davis recording lake drying up, how about this for a debate topic: Can one have too much Miles Davis to listen to?
To expand, how often do you return to Kind Of Blue, or Sketches Of Spain, or Nefertiti, or Bitches Brew rather than listen to some hitherto unreleased concert from the late ’70s in a completist box the size of a brick? My own favourite, and for personal reasons as well as musical ones, is In A Silent Way.
So here’s the follow-up question: Which Miles album could you not do without? If, in time-honoured Desert Island Discs fashion, a wave were to threaten your entire Davis collection, which one would you save?
Answers in Comments below, please. Oh, and by the way, that new Miles set is called Miles At The Fillmore: The Bootleg Series Vol 3, and, oh all right then, you can pre-order it here.