Quite simply a perfect modern jazz album, an enthralling blend of mildly avant-garde styles with post bop modal jazz.
I have always thought Miles Smiles was like Kind of Blue in how the music really opens up.
I also get this feeling of suspended time on tracks like "Circles," just some gorgeous Miles muted playing as well.
Over the the last 15 years I have grown to believe this was the greatest working jazz group ever assembled. When you consider the creativity of Ron Carter on bass, Tony Williams on Drums, and Herbie Hancock on Piano, can you think of any better on their instruments?
Even if I do have to concede Hancock not being the best, he sure fits like a glove with this group, Carter and Williams I don't believe have been surpassed on their instruments at all 45 years later.
Shorter is the heart and soul of this band, being equal to Miles in my opinion.
I have often felt that Wayne was the real indispensable one in this group, "including Miles himself," if that were even possible.
Check out "Footprints," Wayne Shorter's vehicle with the hypnotic droning bass. The killer Williams' ride cymbal, the latter is Williams having a conversation with himself.
Williams' creativity is off the charts. Wayne comes in with that combination Coltrane and Hank Mobley tone, I just recently started hearing shorter in that light.
The down home vibe is stripped, and this off kilter Eric Dolphy like wobble reshapes the tune. "That's my way of saying avant-garde/free jazz.
It's just not easy to describe music this good, you need to hear it to understand. I picked up both of the pictured LP copies for 10 bucks a piece, both in near mint condition.
I am not typically a mono/stereo guy, meaning I don't have to have both, but when they were both available I jumped on both vinyl copies of Miles Smiles.
A lot of people swear by the sound of mono, my experience tells me 50/50, sometimes mono is better, I personally prefer the stereo version of Miles Smiles.