E.S.P. (Miles Davis album)  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wiki Commons

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

E.S.P. is an album recorded in January 1965 by the Miles Davis quintet. The quintet of Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams would be the most long-lived of Davis's groups, and this was their first studio recording.

The album consisted entirely of compositions written by members of the group. Despite the profusion of new material, only one tune ("Agitation") is known to have appeared in the group's live performances. Two versions of this tune appear on the Plugged Nickel recordings from December 1965; it was played live as late as the fall of 1969.

"Little One" might be best known for being revisited on Hancock's landmark album, Maiden Voyage, recorded a few weeks later. This version is somewhat more embryonic; Carter's bass is halting, and Davis and Shorter state the theme with winding, interlocking contrapuntal lines that evoke Davis and Coltrane's version of "Round Midnight". Hancock's solo version is more precisely arranged, with Freddie Hubbard (on trumpet) and George Coleman (on tenor sax) playing in straight harmony. Hancock's solo on Carter's composition, "Eighty-One", also presages his work on that LP - particularly its title track. This is reflected in the liner notes of the 1999 reissue.

Shortly thereafter, Shorter's compositions would begin to dominate the Quintet's recordings, though here he contributes only two of the seven songs. The title track is reminiscent of Jackie McLean's "Little Melonae", which Davis had recorded with John Coltrane in 1956. "Iris", by contrast, is another Coltrane-like ballad, not too dissimilar to "Infant Eyes" on Shorter's Speak No Evil album.

At over forty-eight minutes, E.S.P. is one of the longest jazz albums of its period. Subsequent Davis recordings would be even longer.

Track listing

  1. "E.S.P." (W. Shorter)
  2. "Eighty-One" (R. Carter/M. Davis)
  3. "Little One" (H. Hancock)
  4. "R.J." (R. Carter)
  5. "Agitation" (M. Davis)
  6. "Iris" (W. Shorter)
  7. "Mood" (R. Carter/M. Davis)


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "E.S.P. (Miles Davis album)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools