crackle and pop: miles davis – nefertiti

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This was another rescue from the bargain bin of my local department store record section. It was the first album of Miles Davis I ever bought and I now have around 60. I probably bought this in 1969 or 1970. I had become a great fan of Soft Machine and their individual take on jazz rock and Miles by then had gone fully electric. I had always liked jazz and I had inherited a few jazz records from my brother. So I decided to take a punt on this, swayed I’m sure by the fantastic cover photo and how cool Miles looked.

I didn’t love it immediately, it’s strange repetitive themes and skittering rhythms I found alien at first. But repeated plays drew me in until I came to love Tony William’s busy driving drum patterns in particular and Miles’s and Wayne Shorter’s stabbing horn phrases. This was to be the last fully acoustic album from Miles and he is taking this quintet to the edge of where formal jazz could go. Ahead lay his great electric adventures, but here we can luxuriate in the last recordings of this fantastic group of musicians, restless, questing, always moving forward.

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