Miles Davis: Moon Dreams


Moon Dreams


Miles Davis Octet


Birth of the Cool (Capitol 7243 5 30117 2 7)

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Miles Davis (trumpet), Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax), Lee Konitz (alto sax), J.J. Johnson (trombone), Max Roach (drums),

Gunther Schuller (French horn), Bill Barber (tuba), Al McKibbon (bass)


Composed by Johnny Mercer & Chummy MacGregor. Arranged by Gil Evans


Recorded: New York, March 9, 1950


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

Miles Davis, artwork by Michael Symonds

Miles Davis once studied a Gil Evans chart "for days, trying to find the note I heard" when superimposed chords produced a mysterious overtone. Miles decided the note "didn’t even exist.” Here, after a passage ascends seamlessly from tuba through baritone through alto, Lee Konitz sustains a high note as the other instruments fall away. In the moment before Miles reenters, there's a faint sound that may be a squeak from Lee’s reed, a tape glitch, or perhaps a phantom Gil Evans overtone. This uncertainty contributes to the eeriness of “Moon Dreams,” among the most haunting orchestrations in jazz history.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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