Miles In The Sky ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: CK65684
Label:
Columbia/Legacy
Category:
Jazz
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"With the 1968 album Miles in the Sky, Miles Davis explicitly pushed his second great quintet away from conventional jazz, pushing them toward the jazz-rock hybrid that would later become known as fusion. Here, the music is still in its formative stages, and it's a little more earth-bound than you might expect, especially following on the heels of the shape-shifting, elusive Nefertiti. On Miles in the Sky, much of the rhythms are straightforward, picking up on the direct 4/4 beats of rock, and these are illuminated by Herbie Hancock's electric piano -- one of the very first sounds on the record, as a matter of fact -- and the guest appearance of guitarist George Benson on "Paraphernalia." All of these additions are tangible and identifiable, and they do result in intriguing music, but the form of the music itself is surprisingly direct, playing as extended grooves. This meanders considerable more than Nefertiti, even if it is significantly less elliptical in its form, because it's primarily four long jams. Intriguing, successful jams in many respects, but even with the notable additions of electric instruments, and with the deliberately noisy "Country Son," this is less visionary than its predecessor and feels like a transitional album -- and, like many transitional albums, it's intriguing and frustrating in equal measures." - All Music Guide

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  • "It seems these days that metal musicians collaborate with players from other bands quite a bit. Personally, I have mixed feelings when these collaborations happen. Sure, they can make some great music, but for some reason I tend to prefer what said players do with their main bands as opposed to their cross–band work. OSI is an exception to that.Started in 2002 by Fates Warning Guitarist Jim Matheos and former Dream Theater keyboardist Kevin Moore, OSI has remained a long–distance cooperative between the two. Several guest musicians have been brought in for each of their records, such as drummers Mike Portnoy and Gavin Harrison, bassists Sean Malone and Joey Vera, and vocalists Tim Bowness and Mikael Ã…kerfeldt. This most recent effort, their fourth, sees Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) returning on drums, with Moore taking care of lyrics and main vocals. Matheos and Moore worked together on all other aspects of the music.As I said earlier, I typically listen to these kinds of albums once or twice and then return to their normal band’s material. But Fire Make Thunder isn’t an album to do that to; sure, it sounds very much like what you’d imagine this trio would create, but all three players are known for creating some great music on their own. And here, put together, they don’t disappoint.The opening track “Cold Call” and the follow–up “Guards” have a sort of sinister tone to it, but aren’t very aggressive tracks. “Indian Curse” is completely void of drums and percussion of any sort, and sounds rather bleak. It’s a good song, but don’t listen to it on a dark, rainy day in March. “Enemy Prayer” is much more metallic than its predecessors on the album, sounding a bit closer to what these two wrote in their main projects. It’s also an instrumental track, a key component of a prog metal record. “Big Chief II” continues the picked up the tempo a bit, and the guitars sound a bit angrier. But the vocals don’t really get that intense, lending a sense of control to the turmoil. “Invisible Men” clocks in at just under ten minutes long, so these two haven’t lost their touch when it comes to lengthy songs either.Thinking of something to compare this album to was difficult at first, but then it hit me. This album is like a horror movie that uses menace to scare, playing on the viewer’s mind, rather than excessive gore or monsters leaping suddenly out of nowhere. Granted, this music isn’t scary, but one can’t help but notice its dark tone. The ambience it captures is one of many things that make this album great. The album artwork is another–I like how the cover kind of reflects the primitive nature of the title, Fire Make Thunder.If the only kind of Prog Metal you’re into is twenty–minute songs with six trillion notes in them, this album won’t interest you in the slightest. None of these songs get even close to becoming exercises in technical wizardry. They are simply well written songs. Each one sounds unique enough that they don’t blend together. They’re short enough to keep just about any listener’s attention for the entire songs’ duration, and there’s enough creativity in each one to ensure that. Moore and Matheos have proved they can write material as well as any prog legend, without having to play more notes than God. This is an album both novices and prog experts will enjoy. Good job, OSI." - Muzikreviews.com
    $11.00
  • "Suddenly, Polish progressive-rock bands are infiltrating the international scene. While many of them are reaching new audiences thanks to the rise of the homeland's Metal Mind Productions, ProgRock Records in the United States managed to nab one of the best. Sandstone initially was formed in 2001 without a keyboard player. But as the band's sound evolved into a hybrid of neo-progressive and progressive-metal music – think, maybe, Arena meets Dream Theater – the quartet quickly realized it needed keys to add texture and depth to its songs.Sandstone's debut, Looking For Myself, is an expansive, six-song journey chronicling one man's struggle for nothing more than to love and to be loved. It sounds more upbeat than Riverside (arguably one of the biggest acts to come out of Poland in recent years) and less technical than Dream Theater. But the sheer ambition of these songs – only one of which clocks in at shorter than seven and a half minutes – propels Looking For Myself into the ranks of those debut discs that leave listeners not only wanting more but also wondering where else the band could take the music. The best indication of Sandstone's capabilities can be heard on "Birth of My Soul," which opens with clear and concise soloing from guitarist Jarek Niecikowski and eventually reaches David Gilmour aspirations near the song's conclusion. Vocalist Marcin Zmorzynski's thick accent is a minor distraction early on, but getting used to it is easy.As is listening to this album." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • Fronted by the fiery-tressed Charlotte Wessels, Delain is the brainchild of ex-Within Temptation keyboardist, Martijn Westerholt. Originally conceived by Westerholt as an all-star studio project, the success of the debut album Lucidity tipped his hand and Delain evolved into a full blown band. The immediate impact of their debut “Lucidity”, put Delain on tour. An instant live hit, the band’s popularity continued to grow with the release of their 2nd album “April Rain”. The band found themselves on tour through out Europe, USA, Mexico, and Brazil. Highlights of the tour included festival performances at Wacken Open Air, Sonisphere, Lowlands, ProgPower USA, and Hellfest. As the band’s popularity grew they evolved from a support act for Kamelot and Epica into full fledged headliners across Europe.“We Are The Others” is the band’s third album. It was produced by the team of Jacob Hellner (Rammstein, Apocalyptica), Fredrik Thomander and Anders Wikstrom (Scorpions, Backyard Babies). At first glance some song titles on “We Are The Others” may sound mysterious and conspiratorial, but there is a very serious background: The lyrics to the title-track were inspired by the hate-crime against a British girl named Sophie Lancaster in 2007. She and her boyfriend were beaten comatose by a gang of youths, because of their goth looks. Sophie died from her injuries. This tragedy sent shock waves throughout the world. Delain’s response to this tragic case is expressed through the song We Are The Others.The band met Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell at Wacken Open Air. As a result he guests on the track “Where Is The Blood”. The Sensory special digipak edition features four bonus tracks. The steampunk influenced cover art was created by noted pop surrealist Glenn Arthur.
    $14.00
  • Third album from a band that is essentially a mash up of members from Sieges Even, Sun Caged and Dreamscape.  Their music carries on very much in the style of the later Sieges Even albums.  In other words progressive rock that leans towards the heavier side of the spectrum.  Rush, Rabin-era Yes, Saga, and Dream Theater come to mind as influences.  Quite melodic and if you are so inclined you'll hear some incredible chops from guitarist Markus Steffen.  The band corraled Stream Of Passion's Marcela Bovio for a guest vocal appearance, dueting with Arno Menses.This is the deluxe 2CD edition.  It sports a really cool looking 3D cover.  The bonus CD is a live concert recorded in Mannheim in 2012.
    $19.00
  • Reissue of the second collaboration between Patrick Moraz and Bill Bruford. Unlike "Music For Piano And Drums", "Flags" concentrates on electronic instruments - Moraz plays the Kurzweil synthesizer and Bruford is behind an electric percussion kit. I saw this tour and it was pretty wild. CD comes with three bonus tracks.
    $16.00
  • Iconoclast is Symphony X's 8th album and debut for their new home at Nuclear Blast. All traces of the symphonic neoclassical metal that characterized their sound through V are now gone. The band made a stylistic change with The Odyssey, developed it further with Paradise Lost and now have really locked into their own identity with Iconoclast. It would be simple to call this power metal but you don't have normally hear a guitarist in a power metal band playing they type of leads that Mike Romeo conjures up. He is one of the most inventive guitarists in metal. Combined with Mike Pinella symphonic accents the progressive elements come through loud and clear. There are a lot of great vocalists in metal but some are a little better than others. Then you get vocalists like Jorn Lande and Russell Allen who are a lot better than the others. Allen comes through with another vocal tour de force. Yes I miss the days of Divine Wings Of Tragedy and Twilight In Olympus but I'm on board with the new sound. Its heavier - crunchier - more direct - but never dull. Romeo makes sure of it - he just bludgeons you with creativity. Highly recommended.
    $6.00
  • "And straight out of left field…One thing you really don’t expect to hear these days is proper gothic/symphonic metal in the classic late 90’s-mid 00’s tradition.While a few bands have recently begun making overtures towards a return to form if not revitalization of a genre that’s been effectively moribund since 2008, many of them are veterans going back to the sound that made them famous in the first place.  Leaves Eyes come immediately to mind, as does a recent surprising move to the operatic frontlines from longstanding (if previously somewhat boring) second stringers Xandria, who proved that sometimes losing a few founding members can be the best thing that ever happened to a band*.*for another glaring example of this principle, see also Theatres des Vampires, who only became a truly notable venture under the ostensible leadership of the lovely Sonya Scarlet…But what happens when we’re not talking classic acts undergoing some measure of renewal?  Moreover, when we’re not only talking a brand spanking new outfit, but one that (get this) doesn’t even hail from European climes.  Say what the hell?But here you go, a self-released gem right out of that busy musical hotspot of Minnesota (of all places…and we’re not even talking a Prince related project here!).  While not as bombastic as, say, Phantom Agony/Consign to Oblivion era Epica, Leaves Eyes or Mother Earth/Silent Force era Within Temptation, keyboardist/guitarist Damien Villarreal and vocalist Chelsea Knaack have come together to make what may be the first actual gothic/symphonic metal offering to come out of the United States.Sure, we’ve had a gothic/death metal crossover act (Echoes of Eternity, though they’re at least part Canadian) and a few lower rung gothic cum pop radio acts (remember that lone album where anyone cared about Evanescence?  Good move breaking up with Ben Moody, there, Amy…), but actual symphonic metal with operatic vocals?  This is total bizarro world stuff over here, in a nation still (sadly) dominated by aggro acts, hip hop and tuneless, emotionless math metal and prog wannabes.So once you manage to get over the shock factor engendered by their domestic origin, how does the music rate?  Well, for one thing, Knaack taps into similar vocal range and dynamics to earlier Simone Simons, albeit with a bit more stiffness that calls Carmen Schaeffer of Coronatus to mind (though I’m betting she was aiming more for earlier Floor Janssen if not Tarja Turunen stylistically).The guitars are somewhere in the middle, managing to keep Villarreal’s fingers a whole hell of a lot busier than the standard chunka-chunka single note stutter rhythms that tend to be a genre standby.  This is a good thing, as is his ability to hold down a reasonably melodic solo or harmony lead fill on occasion; these certainly enhance the sound to an unusual degree and keep the listener more on their toes than fans of the genre are accustomed to.But is he a virtuoso guitar hero on any level?  Not in the least.  Consider him a rather competent, melodically oriented craftsman with light prog leanings (you can pick out the Fates Warning by way of Dream Theater aspirations in a few of the rhythmic choices and modulations, not to mention the mostly inobtrusive but omnipresent keyboards which he also provides).Rounding out the trio is drummer Jordan Ames, who offers equally competent drumming, which appropriately for the style is never very flashy or notable, but filled with enough stuttering polyrhythms, cymbal work and a dash of double bass-inflected kit runs to show the guy to be quietly accomplished (much like what I’m trying to get across about Villarreal).  Coming from the Shrapnel school back in the day, I prefer a lot more flash in my players, but there’s nobody here who’s less than superlative in their musical competencies.The one major failing, and one I find with far too many acts these days, irrespective of genre, age or nation of origin is a noticeable lack of soul.  Like comparing Jimmy Page to Carlos Santana or the guys in Queensryche to Randy Rhoads, while in the right general ballpark, there’s something central and essential that just isn’t there.While more effusive and warm than several likeminded European acts (as befits a trio of blustery, heart on the sleeve wearing Americans), there’s a certain unexpected coldness to the sound and lack of bombast that baffles somewhat.  More of a note of constructive criticism, much akin to chiding a favored student for the mistakes that kept him from getting an A+ instead of a B, but worth noting nonetheless.All told, if you’re a fan of gothic symphonic metal in the days before that scene became overcrowded with no-talents and pop radio leanings and have some measure of respect for progressive leanings in your metal (think Ray Alder-era Fates Warning far more than Jason McMaster-era Watchtower and you’ll get a clearer picture), you really don’t want to miss out on this one.The first US overture into the gothic symphonic revival delivers a very credible and respectable showing, and gets themselves some high marks in the bargain.  Good stuff." - Third Eye Cinema
    $12.00
  • Classic fusion release given a deluxe digipak remastered treatment. Standout performance from the late great Tommy Bolin. Essential.
    $9.00
  • Arjen Lucassen's latest conceptual epic is a sequel of sorts to The Human Equation. A double disc set packed with guest stars: Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering), Floor Jansen (After Forever), Bob Catley (Magnum), Magali Luyten (Beautiful Sin), Jorn Lande, Tom Englund (Evergrey), Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian), Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), Simone Simons (Epica), Ty Tabor (Kings X) and others. After living with this disc for a month or so I've warmed up to it quite a bit. I find it a bit stronger than The Human Equation. This strikes a nice balance between Arjen's progressive rock and metal sides - sort of like a cross between The Human Equation and Into The Electric Castle. Highly recommended!
    $15.00
  • 2007 Nick Davis remix/remaster edition. Some consider this their best album - it could be hard to argue against that notion...
    $12.00
  • Double live CD + pro-shot DVD of Jorn's performance at the Sweden Rock Festival on October 6, 2010. Seventeen tracks solely focused on his solo album material.
    $11.00
  • "Borboletta is the sixth studio album by Santana. It is one of his jazz-funk-fusion oriented albums, along with Caravanserai, Welcome, Love Devotion Surrender with John McLaughlin, and Illuminations with Alice Coltrane, Jack DeJohnette and Jules Broussard. The guitarist leaves a lot of room to percussion, saxophone and keyboards to set moods ("Spring Manifestations"), as well as lengthy solos by himself ("Promise of a Fisherman") and vocals ("Give and Take", a funky guitar-led song). The record was released in a shiny blue sleeve displaying a butterfly, an allusion to the album Butterfly Dreams by Brazilian musician Flora Purim and her husband Airto Moreira, whose contributions deeply influenced the sound of Borboletta."
    $5.00
  • Yet another brilliant work from this Norwegian prog band.  The Greatest Show On Earth is the band's third effort.  While the first album Identity delved into alternative/prog realms bearing similarity to Radiohead, their second album All Rights Removed was full on Pink Floyd worship.  This latest effort carries on in similar fashion.  There are parts of the album that were written with tracing paper.  It evokes the mood and feel of Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, and maybe even a bit of The Wall.  This isn't to say the band doesn't inject any personality of their own - they do.  There are contemporary elements, its just that when they go into full on Pink Floyd mode its so apparent and so well executed that it blinds you to everything else that is going on.  What Bi Kyon Ran is to King Crimson or The Watch is to Genesis, Airbag is to Pink Floyd.  Original?  Truth be told not really.  It doesn't matter, its so well executed that you will just immerse yourself in the listening experience.  Highly recommended.
    $17.00
  • "Wow, what lovely album!When we talk about North American Metal, always comes to our minds the idea of a good level of musical technique and the use of great melodies. It’s a characteristic of their scene, and the Power/Heavy Metal trio NINTH CIRCLE is to be as melodic and catching, knowing how to be heavy and melodic on the same proportions. And their new album, “Legions of the Brave”, is an excellent sample of what your Ol’ Big Daddy here is saying.Their music is catching, elegant, heavy, full of life and energy, with good level of technique. And their music really is charming, with excellent clean vocals, great guitar riffs and solos, a rhythmic kitchen showing a good work in terms of technique and weight, and the keyboards work is lovely. And their music is not simply a mix of Heavy Metal with Power Metal aspects, but has high doses of AOR/Hard Rock touches. And it’s excellent.The sound production really is on a high level, making the band sound clear and the arrangements appear, but without losing the notion that we’re dealing with a Metal band.So, you will got in love with their work listening great and perfect songs like “After the Rain”, “Living on the Sun” (what great chorus), “The Quickening” (the great chorus and keyboards are giving a delicious taste to the music), the bold and heavier “Legions of the Brave”, and “Grinding the Bastards Down”. But don’t get the wrong idea: the album is wonderful from beginning to the end.Listen, got on the circle, and buy it. Illegal downloads are for sissies, wimps, posers and other sick mind idiots." - Metal Temple
    $6.00