Miles Davis: Filles de Kilimanjaro

Miles Davis: Filles de Kilimanjaro

Mobile Fidelity  UDSACD 2148

Stereo Hybrid


Miles Davis

Abandoning his bebop roots and chasing electric dreams, rock-based rhythms, and ostinato pulses, the icon gives life to new music forms on Filles de Kilimanjaro, a titanic release prized for its historical significance and lasting beauty. Grounded and focused, the five compositions unfold like a unified suite. Such peak lyricism, flourishes, and phrases are experienced in the highest-possible fidelity on Mobile Fidelity’s SACD.

Indeed, the exotic sound, touch, and feel of the songs on Filles de Kilimanjaro are as crucial as the melodies. To that extent, listeners can now enjoy the expressive tonalities and lush colors from each instrument in full-range glory. Voicings, harmonics, and pitches are rendered with exquisite detail. The manners in which the textures and phrases rotate what seems like a unified tonal center places you at the original recording sessions, executed in July and September 1968.

The final appearance of Davis’ classic second quintet bears fruit on three of the record’s cuts, including the title track and R&B-tinted “Frelon Brun.” Sparked with restrained funk, driving grooves, and bluesy accents, Filles de Kilimanjaro maintains an instinctive flow and controlled fredom that permit Davis to oversee an innovative blending of alterations, improvisation, and cycles. Comprised of multiple sections, “Petits Machins” is a lesson in perfectly played melodic complexity, with chromatic riffs, dominant chords, syncopated progressions, and switching meters forming a singular mosaic.

Filles de Kilimanjaro also represents a jumping-off point for Davis’ lineup. For the September sessions, Chick Corea replaced Herbie Hancock while Dave Holland relieved Ron Carter. The new additions speak a different albeit common language, fitting in with Davis’ desire to draw from rock and weave funk into open-minded excursions filled with exoticism, soulfulness, and wonder.

More than 40 years ago, this record epitomized the future of jazz. Davis even announced such aspirations with the tagline “Directions in Music.” With the jazz world still trying to wrap its collective mind around its genius, it still does.

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Analogue recording
1. Frelon Brun
2. Tout de Suite
3. Petits Machins
4. Filles de Kilimanjaro
5. Mademoiselle Mary
Comments (3)

Comment by Mark Powers - October 27, 2015 (1 of 3)

I just recieved this disc yesterday and looking forward to a listen.

Comment by Mark Powers - October 31, 2015 (2 of 3)

Great sounding disc. Loved when I listened to it. The performance is VERY complicated. At times it seems all musicians are playing a different track, but at the same time it works. Very engaging performance for the listener. I always love the MFSL discs.

Comment by Downunderman - March 1, 2016 (3 of 3)

If there is a god then Miles Davis will be on high rotation in heaven.

This title is a bit choppy in that it is a story of two different halves, something that works fine on vinyl but can make for a disjointed listen on CD/SACD. That said, Miles & Co. are in very good form here.

One thing that struck me about the last half of the disk was how similar it was to 'Listening Techno' in its vibe and musical construction. Quite beautiful as a listening experience.

Sound quality wise MFSL have been on something of a roll with their Miles Davis reissues of late. I'm constantly amazed by how wonderful these old recordings sound. Lots of air, detail and analogue warmth. The players could almost be in the room with you.