E.S.P. (2022 Remaster)

E.S.P. (2022 Remaster)

Recorded and released in 1965, this was the first album by Davis’ second classic quintet, with saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams. The last four years found the bandleader in transition from the modal work of Kind of Blue to a new thing, and the demarcation that things would now be different is quite clear here. Still a teenager, Williams lit a fire (check out “Agitation”) under the trumpeter like no drummer since Philly Joe Jones, and his willingness to do anything at anytime demanded that this crew stay on their toes or get left in his dust. This also marks the arrival of a deluge of new songs from all involved in the next three years; three here come from Carter, two from Shorter, and one each from Davis and Hancock. Standouts include the hard-charging “E.S.P.” (with its odd-metered head foreshadowing the innovations to come) and “Eighty-One,” which is anchored by a classic Carter groove and Hancock's aggressive chords. Davis still had a way with a ballad, serving up the beautiful “Little One” and an elegant riff called “Mood.”


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