Miles Davis: My Funny Valentine (1964)

Track

My Funny Valentine (1964)

Artist

Miles Davis (trumpet)

CD

The Complete Concert 1964 - My Funny Valentine + Four & More (Legacy/Columbia)

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Musicians:

Miles Davis (trumpet), George Coleman (tenor sax), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Tony Williams (drums).

Composed by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart

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Recorded: live at Philharmonic Hall, New York, February 12, 1964

Albumcovermilesdavis-completeconcert1964-myfunnyvalentine-plusfourandmore

Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

Without a doubt, this is an essential Miles Davis recording. Full essays have been written about this performance, and there's no way to do it justice in a couple hundred words. So, assuming you already know that Miles and his second quintet perform one of the most amazing transformations of a popular song, let's focus on a pair of important highlights. First, there's Miles and his sound. Unlike the tightly controlled Harmon-muted sound of his Prestige recording, here he plays through open horn with a tone that seems bruised. If the earlier version sounded like the nervous anticipation of a new love affair, the later version is the pained sound of a messy aftermath. It is well documented that Miles was having a tough time in his personal life during this period, and it's not much of a stretch to feel that pain reflected here. The other important highlight is the sensitive work of Tony Williams. He was 18 years old in 1964. Now think of every 18-year-old drummer you've ever heard (are you cringing?), and then listen to Tony on this recording. Not only did he play with extreme taste and restraint, he knew when not to play! In fact, during about 5 minutes of this 15-minute recording, he doesn't play at all. Would there be more musicians with that amount of good sense.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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