HQD - High Quality Disc
MILES DAVIS IN EUROPE, recorded live in France during 1963, is one of the first indications of the direction trumpeter Miles Davis would take through the rest of the '60s and early '70s. Compared to MY FUNNY VALENTINE, on which the group's free bebop aesthetic was more thoroughly defined, IN EUROPE finds the quintet bridging the modal bop of Davis's late-'50s sound with an edgier, more expressionistic style. The lynchpin of these changes was the band's new rhythm section, comprised of bassist Ron Carter, pianist Herbie Hancock, and 17-year-old drummer Tony Williams. Hancock builds on the lyricism of Bill Evans (another Davis alum), yet introduces an extremely spare chordal technique that gives the music a free-floating, spacious feel. The blistering cross-rhythms of Carter and Williams propel breakneck takes on "Milestones" and "Joshua," and add intriguing complexity to the ballads "All of You" and "I Thought About You." Saxophonist George Coleman is a formidable player with a light, fleet-fingered, and harmonically inventive approach. Davis balances his famed soft, poetic sound with a bolder attack, exploring an energized, vigorous style that would continue to grow through the decade.