Miles Davis Quintet

1965-1968

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Given that the music Miles Davis made with his second great quintet was incredibly rich and diverse, it's nearly impossible to summarize completely and accurately on a single disc. After all, each album had a distinctly different feel and grew musically at an astonishing rate -- the kind of growth that is best appreciated by the original albums, or the lavish box set The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings. Keeping those criticisms in mind, it has to be said that the nine-song sampler The Best of the Miles Davis Quintet 1965-1968 does as good job as it could in providing a concise chronicle of this era. Although the presence of two alternate takes is simply unnecessary advertising for the box -- let's face it, anyone that would consider purchasing this disc will want the basics, not the alternates -- the selection is good, illustrating the musical range of this fine band, while offering such classics as "ESP," "Gingerbread Boy" and "Nefertiti." Certainly, this will be of little interest to collectors, but anyone looking for an aural snapshot of what was arguably Davis' finest band at its peak should find this useful.

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