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Aura

10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 2, 1989
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Editorial Reviews

Miles Davis ~ Aura

1. Intro
2. White
3. Yellow
4. Orange
5. Red
6. Green
7. Blue
8. Electric Red
9. Indigo
10. Violet

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 2, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia Records/Sony
  • ASIN: B0000026VG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,352 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "Catbird" on February 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Aura was composed by Palle Mikkelborg who was also the producer.

If one is familiar with Miles Davis' work, one will see that the

stages of color from white to purple relate to the stages of Miles' career, from BeBop to Cool to Orchestra to post-Bebop to

modal then electric, with the blues always remembered. The music chosen by Miles Davis to play over Palle Mikkelborg's orchestration is all imporvised, and meant to fit the portion of the era being

protrayed. ( Miles even was heard to say that Palle knew more about the history of Miles Davis's music than he did. And it

shows.)

The music is not easy to get into, it takes time to absorb.

It isn't like a four or five minute set of standards. It's a

complete concept, a tribute to Miles Davis and his music. The

presence of John McLaughlin adds to the flavor of a retrospective

and reminds us that this is a record looking back, performed by

musicians of the present--or the present when it was performed.

Miles made artistic decisions on the record, it wasn't all

a work scored that Miles would simply play on. In the manner of

Gil Evans, Mikkelborg wrote out the music for the orchestra but

left Miles to improvise the lead. One song has no Miles Davis

trumpet on it, Indigo, because Miles said the record was full

enough without his trumpet in it. That shows artistic integrity.

And he was right.

The record is different from his usual trumpet redordings

because he is fronting a huge orchestra.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is not one of Miles' greatest albums, but it is a quality work. Miles plays really well, for the last time in his recorded career--all albums after this one had markedly worse playing by him. The compositions are interesting and there is an attempt to create artistic statements, which is also lacking in all of the albums after this one. Not all of the music works completely, but the failures on this album are those of an artist straining to achieve art, not the failures of later Miles albums which are the failures of a cynic who has abandoned any pretense at creating art. This album is often compelling and enjoyable to listen to, and in historic context, is the last gasp of Miles' career.
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Format: Audio CD
Wow, the colors may, indeed, represent Miles' musical history, but on a purely formulate level, the chordal structures in the Primary colors are mixed and found in the complimentary, as in pigmented art, RYB POG (not art from light RGB).

On a pure "music-math" level, look at the track numbers. (This is not to minimize the 10 note serial approach to the composition, as listed in ALLMUSIC.com, each note having it's own color - where we get the added Electric Red - note how the electrice combines with the acoustic more so in balance than just the Red track! Amazing. Remember from Music classes, kids, serialism does not alway smean 12-tone! 12-tone is just one of many tome rows one can conjure)

Now, listen to the meter (and time signature) pulse of each track. Notice how track 1 has no real discernible time. Track two has a 2-feel. Track three is a waltz. 4 is rock. 5 is in 5/4 (trk 10 is in 10/8), trk 6 in 6/8 and at times also waltzish. And with some of the same musical melodic lines from the trk 3 waltz, just altered a bit.

And, yes, trk 7 is in 7, 8 in 8 (or a slow 4), 9 is in a combined 5-4, then 3-3-3,.

Trk 10 holds some of the same ethereal feel of 1, but now has an 10/4, sometimes borrowing from the trk 4+6 combined, then 6+4 time presented (that was barely implied in trk 1)

It's there, all there. Just listen. Again, and again, and yet again.
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Format: Audio CD
Mr. Schultz' excellent review is completely correct in the assessment of AURA following the phases of Miles' career. One thing for those who are fans of the "Jazz Miles" or the "Rock Miles" to remember, is that he had a massive appreciation for Classical music. His first big job was with Charlie Parker, whose Classical intake has been well documented. In the Sony/Columbia DVD, "The Miles Davis Story," Miles' second wife of ten years Frances Taylor, relates that Miles never listened to Jazz at home; only Classical. His daughter also names off several Classical composers she remembered him studying. Frankly, AURA having been shunned by the Jazz and Rock enthusiasts, has been pushed into the Classical category only by the addendum of the words Modern or Fusion. AURA is a unique mix of all these things, and the fact that Miles greatly enjoyed this project should grab any Miles fans' attention. Maybe you like him because he played Jazz, Fusion, or Rock; but there are those of us who liked Miles because he often took us to a place he knew about but we hadn't heard of, and AURA is one of those places. The track "Green," for instance, is an amazing piece of Miles, as he improvs over a new age keyboard that merely 'colors' the space and a tenuously connected chromatically arpegiating bass. Imagine "Green" without Miles, and you are left with superfluous nonsense. Now imagine him creating the lines he plays over that nonsense, turning it into something substantial and resounding. The same goes for the chimes at the end of "Blue," and the rest of this hour long piece of work. AURA is quite possibly the last GREAT album of his career, a chance for him to colaborate on a Modern Classical composition and a summation of all that came before. Viva Miles.
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