This has to be one of the best albums ever made. Miles played at the height of his warmth throughout on his second amazing orchestral recording with Gil Evans. Gil's arrangements are also classics and masterful works of art. His lone composition on this effort, "Blues For Pablo", is a brilliant, slow Spanish blues. Miles plays this piece with perfect interpretation. John Carisi's "Springsville" is one of the album's best compositions and Miles plays the crap out of it. A great opener for the album. Carisi also wrote the Birth Of The Cool's "Israel", and "Springsville" is infinitely better. Miles returns to Spanish inflections with Leo Delibes classical piece "The Maids Of Cadiz". This piece is hauntingly beautiful and segways into Dave Brubeck's cool, "The Duke". Gil Evans really put Duke into "The Duke" on this one. Beautiful interpretations of Ira Gershwin and Kurt Weill's "My Ship" and the extraordinary Miles and Gil collaboration on the cool title track. Miles pays tribute to Ahmad Jamal with his composition "New Rhumba", which is arranged for big band. Paul Chambers plays some beautiful bass in this one. Great slow blues medley with "The Meaning Of The Blues/Lament", the latter being a J.J. Johnson composition and probably his most famous work, all of which Miles and the band play through beautifully. The finale, "I Don't Want To Be Kissed By Anyone But You" is a technically challenging and simultaneously extremely enjoyable piece with Miles trading with the big band. Check out the trumpet section: Ernie Royal smacking out the Double A at the end, Bernie Glow, another legend, and Taft Jordan, who was compared to Louis Armstrong (perhaps an unfair comparison, as NO ONE can play like Louis). These guys back up Miles perfectly. Lee Konitz can be heard on alto saxophone, although nobody really solos besides Miles. Paul Chambers plays bass and Art Taylor takes drums. Although there is no actual pianist, a few Gil Evans piano chords can be heard in certain places.
This is a wonderful album. I memorized it and played along with the whole album in one day. It is one of my favorite albums. As another reviewer already stated, the remaster is poor as the brass is way too soft. The original remaster is much better (it was released in 1993, the original album recorded in 1957). Get it!