5 STARS DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE ( 1958)
THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL ALBUM JAZZ TRACK, CONSISTING OF A SUITE OF MILES' MUSIC FOR LOUIS MALLE'S FILM ASCENSEUR POUR L'ECHAFAUD (FIRST ISSUED ON A 10-INCH FRENCH LP WHICH APPEARS HERE IN ITS ENTIRETY) PLUS AN OUTSTANDING SESSION BY DAVIS' SEXTET WITH JOHN COLTRANE, BILL EVANS AND CANNONBALL ADDERLEY. AS A BONUS, THIS EDITION ALSO INCLUDES A COMPLETE QUINTET SESSION WITH SONNY ROLLINS.
Ascenseur pour l'echafaud wasn't the first film to use a jazz soundtrack or to feature jazz musicians. However, the novelty of films such as Louis Malle's Ascenseur pour l'echafaud was the absolute integration of jazz music to a feature film whose story had nothing to do with jazz or even with music itself: the utilization of jazz music to emphasize the dramatic action and develop/support the film's climax. Miles Davis' improvisations fit the dark atmosphere of the film perfectly and contributed greatly to underline the many subtleties of the story and the internal thoughts of its characters. And the most amazing fact of all is that this entire body of music was improvised in the recording studio. The current release includes the complete original suite for Ascenseur pour l'echafaud as presented on the original LP Jazz Track, which also included three tracks from an amazing 1958 session by the Miles Davis sextet including Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, John Coltrane and Bill Evans. The session's fourth tune, Cole Porter's "Love for Sale", has been added to this edition, as well as a complete 1956 session by a Miles Davis quintet featuring Sonny Rollins which had originally appeared on the album Collector's Items.
MILES DAVIS, trumpet on all tarcks, plus::
(1-10) Sound track for the film Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud (Frantic/Lift to the Scafflold)
BARNEY WILEN (ts)
RENE URTREGER (p)
PIERRE MICHELOT (b)
KENNY CLARKE (d).
Paris, December4 & 5, 1957.
(11-14) JULIAN "CANNONBALL" ADDERLEY (as)
JOHN COLTRANE (ts),
BILL EVANS (p),
PAUL CHAMBER (b),
JIMMY COBB (d).
New York, May 26, 1958.
BONUS TRACKS (15-17)
Sonny Rollins (ts), Tommy Flanagan (p), Paul Chambers (b) & Art Taylor (d)
Hackensack, New Jersey, March 16, 1956.
01 G´N'RIQUE 2:50
02 L'ASSASSINAT DE CARALA 2:11
03 SUR L'AUTOROUTE 2:20
04 JULIEN DANS L'ASCENSEUR 2:09
05 FLORENCE SUR LES CHAMPS-ELYSEES 2:52
06 DENER AU MOTEL 3:58
07 EVASION DE JULIEN 0:54
08 VISITE DU VIGILE 2:06
09 AU BAR DU PETIT BAC 2:54
10 CHEZ LE PHOTOGRAPHE DU MOTEL 3:55
11 ON GREEN DOLPHIN STREET 9:49
12 FRAN-DANCE 5:49
13 STELLA BY STARLIGHT 4:43
14 LOVE FOR SALE 11:46
15 IN YOUR OWN SWEET WAY* 4:38
16 NO LINE * 5:42
17 VIERD BLUES * 6:51
TOTAL TIME 75:36.
"An absolutely fascinating release. The French group is completely dominated by Miles, though Wilen manages to play very well in his brief solos and Klook's brushes are delightful. But it is Miles one remembers from these tracks; he conveys the concentrated beauty and stark drama of, say, Billie Holiday. His sadness is devastating here, just as his lyricism is exquisite and the pain of his beauty almost insupportable. Some of the very best, if not the best, Miles solos are contained on the Elevator side of the LP."
Ralph J. Gleason