Miles Davis: Au Bar du Petit Bac


Au Bar du Petit Bac


Miles Davis (trumpet)


Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Verve 836305)

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Miles Davis (trumpet), Barney Wilen (tenor sax), René Urtreger (piano), Pierre Michelot (bass), Kenny Clarke (drums).

Composed by Miles Davis


Recorded: Paris, December 4, 1957


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

As director Louis Malle projected scenes from Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (1958), his film policier (released stateside as Elevator to the Gallows) about the perfect crime, foiled by imperfect luck, Miles Davis and four Parisian jazzmen sat in a darkened studio, watching Louis's loops and improvising per Miles's deliberately sketchy instructions. Most film scores take weeks to prepare and days to record. This took four hours. Trusted to work his own way, Miles repaid Malle's respect tenfold with a sparseness that accentuates the film's starkness. Most crime jazz blows you away with a bang, but Miles's hit-man silencer is equally deadly.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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