Miles Davis- E.S.P.
(Numbered Hybrid SACD)
3. Little One
Miles DavisE.S.P.Numbered Edition Hybrid SACD from Mobile Fidelity
Landmark 1965 Recording Splits Divide Between Accessible Hard-Bop and Cutting-Edge Improvisation: Miles Davis'E.S.P.a Paragon of Cohesion, Chemistry, Interplay
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes: Mobile Fidelity's Reference-Caliber SACD Presents the Music In Intimate, Transformational, Balanced, Lifelike Sound
First Album Recorded by Davis' Classic Second Quintet:E.S.P.Teems With Brilliant Intensity, Energy, Emotion, Steadiness, Tension, and Interplay
A landmark recording and masterful symphony of performance, composition, and execution, Miles Davis'E.S.P.established the template jazz would follow for the following decade. The 1965 record splits the gap between accessible hard-bop and the cutting-edge approachDavisincreasingly pursued into the 1970s. Adventurous, sophisticated, and yet altogether cohesive,E.S.P.stands out not only due to its elastic compositions but via its chemistry, interplay, and feeling attained by the instrumentalists. The first albumDavis'classic second quintet made together, it's also very arguably the group's best. Never before has the effort been experienced in such transformational sound.
Mastered from the original master tapes,Mobile Fidelity's hybrid SACD ofE.S.P.treats each phrase and every note as sacred communication. This meticulously restored audiophile versionrenders the music's dynamics, pitch, colors, and textures with lifelike realism and proper scale. Reference-caliber separation, wall-to-wall soundstages, and distinct images magnify the intensity and beauty ofDavisand Co.'s creations. Whether it's the distinctive snap ofTony Williams' drum sticks against the snare head, air moving throughDavis'trumpet, acoustic thrum of Ron Carter's bass, or upper register ofHerbie Hancock's piano, the sound is better than you'd even hear in the most intimate jazz clubs. Prepare to be swayed on every level.
For many,E.S.P.looms among the decade's best albums if only because of the significance ofDavis'lineup. While Hancock, Williams, and Carter are holdovers that began playing with one another on 1963'sSeven Steps to Heaven,Wayne Shorterfunctions as the secret weapon and key addition responsible for this ensemble hitting a new peak. Indeed, the saxophonist helped pen two of the seven compositions here – notably,E.S.P.is entirely comprised originals and clocked in as one of the longest-running jazz LPs issued at the time – and, more importantly, grantsDavisthe confidence and leeway necessary for the eruption of enigma, steadiness, and tension.
As he did withJohn Coltraneyear earlier,Davishangs back and picks his moments to solo, withShorterstepping up to supply the churn. Their bandmates respond in kind, itching to take off into new stratospheres all the while keeping their improvisations grounded and connected to the piece at hand. Guided byDavis'visions and inspired by current boundary-pushing works by the likes ofOrnette Coleman,Cecil Taylor, andColtrane, the magnificentresults spark with variation, harmony, emotion, energy, and brilliant movement.
Interlocking lines drive "Little One," alternating rhythms pulse through the funky "Eighty-One," melodies soar on the balladic "Iris," the aptly titled "Mood" broods over minor-key structures, and "Agitation" – goosed by a two-minute percussive introduction byWilliams– delivers on its promise.No record – and no group of musicians – have ever balanced coherent themes and exploratory playing in better fashion than Davis' quintet onE.S.P.It's the avant-garde record even jazz traditionalists love, and essential on every level.
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(UD1S 45rpm 2LP Box Set)