The 60’s saw the popularization of bossa nova in American homes and as an admitted admirer of the music from Brazil, it is not surprising that Miles Davis would attempt an album inspired by the new craze. Having already released three strong albums together, “Quiet Nights”, would serve as the final collaborative effort from the celebrated duo of Davis and Gil Evans.

Putting aside his virtuoso ability with a trumpet, Davis’ versatility as a musician and attitude towards innovation are two of his defining characteristics. These aforementioned qualities are tested on this release.

Quiet Nights Miles Davies

Quiet Nights – Miles Davies

Accompanied by Evan’s conscientious arrangement, standards such as “Once Upon summertime” and “Wait till you see her” are performed with an unmistakably unique style that could only be done by Davis. Interestingly enough, the group also decided to delve into Brazilian traditional folk with “Song No 2.” as well as “Song No 1.” The first is a whimsical and comfortable opening track and serves more as an interesting break from the mould than a sample of what is to come.

Generally, the album tends to be a lukewarm affair with a steady ebb and flow feel to it and few high tides. The most notable exception to this comes in the form of “Corcovado.” The Jobim classic comes alive through Davis and is performed in an irresistibly sultry manner, as never done before or since. It is the crowning moment of “Quiet Nights.”

Ultimately, the album title seems quite fitting, as it accurately relates the listening experience. Miles Davis manages to do enough to keep the listener moderately engaged throughout the 27 minute course of the album but there are scarce moments where he manages to do much else.  A Quiet night indeed but not a particularly memorable one.

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Released: March 1964

Recorded: July 27, 1962 (#3, 6)
August 13, 1962 (#4-5)
November 6, 1962 (#1-2)
April 17, 1963 (#7)
October 9-10, 1963 (#8)

Genre : Jazz, Bossa Nova

Length: 26:57 original LP
39:42 1997 CD reissue

Label:  Columbia

Producer: Teo Macero (#1-7),
Irving Townsend (#8)

Side #1

1. “Song No.2 (a.k.a. Prenda Minha)” (Brazilian folk song uncredited  )

2. “Once Upon A Summertime”(Johnny Mercer, Michel Legrand
Eddie Barclay, Eddy Marnay)

3. “Aos Pes Da Cruz”(    Marino Pinto, José Goncalves)

4. “Song No. 1”

Side #2

5. “Wait Till You See Her”(Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart)

6. “Corcovado”(Antonio Carlos Jobim)

7. “Summer Night”(Harry Warren, Al Dubin)