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Aura


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Audio CD, August 22, 2000
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LIVE IN EUROPE 1969 THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 2

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What is cool? At its very essence, cool is all about what’s happening next. In popular culture, what’s happening next is a kaleidoscope encompassing past, present and future: that which is about to happen may be cool, and that which happened in the distant past may also be cool. This timeless quality, when it applies to music, allows minimalist debate – with few ... Read more in Amazon's Miles Davis Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 22, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.
  • ASIN: B0012GMZU4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,501 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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He considered it one of his best efforts.
Johnny Hodges
If you are a Miles Davis fan (as distinct, perhaps, from a jazz fan) Aura is an essential album.
Ewan Battersby
I like Kind of Blue, I like Time Out, I like Giant Steps, but I really really like this album.
Proggy McGee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James A. Bailey Jr. on March 3, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With this album, Miles takes a departure from the electronic music he had done on recent albums. Here he returns to a more orchestrated approach using a big band. However, this is not traditional big band jazz. Instead this recording has more of a classical feel. If you are looking for something commercial and "poppy", this album is not it. On the other hand, if you enjoy hearing Miles experiment with some different sounds, this is a rather enjoyable recording.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Hodges on November 11, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
According to an ever changing array of critics (cynics) over the years, Miles has "sold out!" about a dozen times. I'm old enough to remember the hue and cry when he went from bop to cool to Gil Evans to even cooler jazz to modal to a movie soundtrack to trance music to electrified jazz to jazz-rock and beyond. So if you have some familiarity with Miles, try to flense your mind of any expectations for this music before listening. It would be ideal if you heard this without knowing who it was (right away, anyway). It's really one of Miles' most affecting performances. He considered it one of his best efforts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ewan Battersby on June 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD
In a career that spanned five decades and saw the creation of albums as diverse as Kind of Blue, On the Corner and Doo-Bop, this album, Aura, remains arguably the most unusual recording Miles Davis ever made.

In December of 1984 Miles went to Denmark to receive the prestigious Sonning Prize, an award usually reserved for classical musicians. Performed at the ceremony was Aura, a suite of music for big band written by Danish trumpeter and composer Palle Mikkelborg. On that occasion Miles himself played on the last movement of the piece. Miles returned to New York, but Aura continued to haunt him and early in 1985 he returned to Denmark to record it. In the recording process the piece underwent radical alterations and what began life as a tribute became a true collaboration between Miles and Palle Mikkelborg. On the record Miles plays on eight of the ten movements, soloing extensively. In the studio he improvised new sections of music, and in response Mikkelborg reworked the instrumentation, creating around Miles's improvisations new melodic lines to underpin, accentuate or comment on his playing.

The sound of Aura is singular. It is "jazz", but firmly European in flavour, drawing as much from western classical music as it does from the blues. Harmonically, Mikkelborg is clearly inspired by 20th century classical composers like Messiaen and Stravinsky, but also by Gil Evans, whose inspiration can sometimes be heard in the way Mikkelborg voices the chords (the way the notes of the chord are "assigned" across the various instruments).
The jazzy big band is augmented by synthesizers, the electric guitar of John McLaughlin and also by electronic drums.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ on December 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is the last major work from Miles. 1985. Just as he worked with arranger Gil Evan's in the 1950s, Miles steps in and works with the orchestra of Pele Millkenberg.

Of course the music is totally different. This is dissonant almost-classical music with huge structres spread out over what was a double album. It is electronic and intense. As always, David waltzes into the maximus, and signs his glorious name with his spare soloing.

The link to the rest of Davis' work is John McGlaghlan, who shows up just like he had fifteen years before, lending his rogorous axe work to the grand composition.

This is not B-Brew, In A Silent Way, Sketches, Porky, or Birth Of The Cool, but after four years out of retirement playing light jazz and pop, the sheer ambition of this is refreshing.

If you took all the major works above, they would be bookended by Birth Of The Cool and Aura. And that makes this final moonshot essential.
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