Miles In Tokyo

Miles In Tokyo

Originally recorded in 1964 and released in Japan five years later, Miles in Tokyo wasn’t issued Stateside until 2005. Davis was renowned for assembling great bands. This one had the rhythm section that would become part of his second classic quintet: pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams. Also on this gig (on Williams' recommendation) was Sam Rivers; his avant-garde–leaning playing didn't appeal to the bandleader, which explains the 41-year wait for the release. Even so, this doesn’t sound particularly awkward (particularly in light of the fire-and-ice thing Davis had with Coltrane). The biggest surprise here actually comes when Davis counts off a loose double-time version of “So What” and opens with an aggressive solo that will come as a shock to those who've completely internalized the dark, swinging studio version. Conversely, “Walkin’” has tons of energy yet is closer to the studio version. Of the standards, “If I Were a Bell” crackles with life. There’s really no good reason why it took this long for this to come out.

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