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Showing 1-10 of 134 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 258 reviews
on September 16, 2016
Sketches of Spain was brought to my attention after a radio interview in which the person interviewed mentioned it as a work that allowed him to release personal stress. Hey! If anyone needs stress relief it is me and after all it's Miles Davis. I can say that this is a serious work of musicianship, that is very much a personal project for Mr. Davis and arranger and conductor Gil Evans and that it may not be every persons cup of tea. I have listened to this recording and it is becoming clear to me that what these two musician have presented is going to take some time, work,and effort on my part to fully understand this work. I fully intend to put in the work required to do so and recommend that all who wish to experience a beautiful artistic work of music that will not only take you out of your present state of mind but deliver you Sketches of Spain should give this CD a listen. Recommend listening while viewing a sunset anywhere.
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on January 14, 2017
Miles Davis went though a number of different styles (from Hard Bob to late Electric Miles). Some of these periods are more of an acquired taste. But many people love the lyrical work from the late 50s. The most famous album from this period is "Kind of Blue," and justifiably so. But if you looking to branch out a bit, and yet want another Miles Davis album with the same quiet lyrical qualities of this period this is a great one to move to next.
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on December 28, 2013
This is a review for the vinyl MONO reissue. In 1960 (the year Sketches of Spain was recorded) and until about the mid to late 1960's "stereo" recordings were the less favoured version of an album's release. Most people still had single speaker systems and so the recording emphasis was focused almost entirely on the MONO version. The stereo was more of an after-thought, and even at that, it was not true stereo as people are familiar with stereo today - it was essentially three channels (left, centre, right). So what advantage does the MONO (the original MONO) version have? It is louder overall, more clear, and more representative of what you would hear at a live concert. We hear in MONO, not stereo, so this recording is more representative of what one would experience if you were actually in the studio during the recording sessions.

Sketches of Spain is perhaps one of the absolute best collaborations between Miles Davis and Gil Evans. The lush orchestration is juxtaposed with Miles' sublime playing bringing out the desperation in the music, the laughter, and the folk dance nature - all at appropriate times. The range of sound and the depth of playing is among Miles Davis' best work. This is also the record to play for people who blurt out "I don't like jazz". Sit them down, and drop the needle on this wax, and they might reconsider what jazz can be for them.
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on August 23, 2011
My most exciting recent discovery while browsing the Amazon website has been the album Gershwin by Grofe performed by the New York Harmonie Ensemble conducted by Steven Richman. Never before have I heard the 1920s so authentically brought to life in brilliant sound quality. And when I saw the same team had revisited the classic Miles Davis/Gil Evans Sketches of Spain I couldn't wait to check it out. Incredibly it's an improvement on the original with more polished ensemble playing and better sound balance. The bass work is particularly effective and Lew Soloff does an amazing job of channelling Miles Davis' distinctive style. In fact much of Miles' work on Sketches was written out for him by Gil Evans, even though it sounds improvised. Contrary to what some reviews have said, Steven Richman follows the original arrangements to the letter with the same number of instruments (not fewer).
It is evident from Steve's other recordings of Copland, Dvorak and Stravinsky with his Harmonie Ensemble that he is right at home in the worlds of jazz and classics, proving in a way that these are artificial categories and that he knows good music when he hears it. Unsurprisingly, Steve's next project is an Ellington/Tchaikovsky one with one half the famous Ellington/Strayhorn reading of the Nutcracker Suite and the other Tchaikovsky's. No doubt it will achieve the same level of perfection evident in the above projects. But grab the Sketches while it's still around, as well as Gershwin by Grofe if you don't already own it. Both are highly recommended.
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on October 3, 2016
My mom had this on vinyl when I was a small child. I grew up to these cuts and learned to love Miles Davis from a very early age. I've had it on vinyl and cassette myself, but can no longer play those. This is AWESOME and brings my hear great joy!
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on May 15, 2017
I was very skeptical in purchasing this album, knowing how Miles can be a bit "out there." A friend only had this album and played it for me. I was hooked and immediately purchased it. Very pleased.
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on July 5, 2016
This is a great album but don’t buy it from Amazon. I did and I didn’t get the auto rip and the disk is so protected you can’t rip it to put on your player. you can only play it on a cd player. I like my music to be portable . Boo on Amazon
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on September 11, 2007
Since my interest in jazz is very limited, I felt it was only fair to write some comments on the album, rather then call this a review because I am sure that I am missing something that makes me have a hard time understanding this album. OK, my Miles Davis collection consist of only "Kind of Blue" which is an amazing piece of work. I also have some albums on which Miles is jamming with other muscians. I felt that I give "Sketches of Spain" a whirl, and even though I can understand the complexity it must have took to put this album together, it just doesnt quite have the vibe that I was looking for. I have listening to it over and over, and even though it is growing on me, I find it to be a difficult listen as it is really laid back. I am more into "Busy" jazz, and this is a very slow album. Its almost has more of a classical music type of vibe, and it feels more in that direction, then it does Miles Davis. In other words, I feel that Miles is more background with most of the works, since he is of course, playing with a symphoney. I would only rate it as just average for now, but I gave it an extra star just for the quality of musicanship on the album. SO my only advice is really for the those new to jazz or a casual jazz fan. I would start with "Kind of Blue" and then work my way around Miles stuff from the 60's. Then as you get into him more, try this out. YOu might like it. I admit its still growing on me, but it seems like a difficult listen.
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on February 9, 2017
it's the kind of gorgeous music that makes you swoon and grabs your heart and twists it. Miles Davis, as everyone knows, was a master musician, but here, he interprets these classical pieces into something greater and different than their intention.
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on July 4, 2013
with his own version of the "concert for aranjuez" and other tracks in the same spanish way, Miles captures the escence of the peninsular, heart beating music with his own, identifiable stlye. His trumpet warms the blood in several passages, and the arrangements, specially the plates, triangles and all the percussion in general are incredible. May be one of the first approaches from an American to music from other cultures, and boy, what a fresh start!. With Miles, it couldn't do another way...
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