Welcome to Feature Fridays! Every week, AU music library staff will highlight a different CD or artist from our collection. This week, Student Assistant Jacob Tracey reviews Sorcerer by Miles Davis.
It is no secret that Miles Davis is one of the most amazing trumpet players to ever grace this earth. His ability to take melodies both soft and tough and play them with such ease never ceases to amaze me. Over the years as an artist, Miles played with many greats along with releasing and producing a countless number of albums. While many will stand that one of his most famous records Kind of Blue or In a Silent Way may be the contextual king of his discography, many of his other lesser known albums get pushed under the rug. One of my favorite albums by Miles happens to be one where he plays more to the tough and loud side as opposed to the softer side. That album is Sorcerer.
1967 was a critical year in Miles Career. He recorded a lot of tracks with his band which all roughly became three separate albums, one of them being Sorcerer. Sorcerer is the 3rd studio LP by the group that also had one of Miles closest friends and partners Wayne Shorter on the saxophone. The album became almost a road map for future players in the free-boppers genre. It became a bold statement of an album that was favored by critics but not much by listeners and longtime fans of Miles.
The album opens with the brilliant track “Prince of Darkness” opens with one of my favorite melodies and licks from Miles. It’s a great introduction to the album letting listeners know it won’t be like his previous works. It was also the song that made me fall in love with this record. Miles is king of the smooth cool Jazz but hearing him take on some more ambitious material was a dream come true. Some other stand out tracks from this record include the Spanish inspire “Masqualero,” the title track, and “Nothing Like You.”
Front to back this album is a masterpiece of freeform and bop inspired jazz. Next time you are in the music library make sure to check this one out and give it a listen! Alos, be sure to check out other great Miles Davis albums at the Music Library!