Miles Davis~ Second great quintet





By Rashid Booker "The Jazz Aficionado"

Miles Dewey Davis III the African-American bandleader and composer was born on 26th May 1926. He attended Julliard School of Music and was at the forefront of jazz musicians for decades, setting trends and exploring musical styles.


Among his many influential recordings are: 'Birth of the Cool' 'Kind of Blue' 'Sketches of Spain' and 'In a Silent Way'. Davis' music will be remembered for its profound depth of feeling and intricacy.


He won many prizes and honors during his lifetime including a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1984; he received Denmark's prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize and in 1989, and he was also awarded the Grande Médaille de Vermeil by the city of Paris.


Davis died on 28th September 1991. In December 2009 a congressional resolution was unanimously passed to honor the album 'Kind of Blue' on its 50th anniversary.


1964-1968: Second Great Quintet


Mobley, Kelly, Chambers, and Cobb all left Davis by the end of 1962, and during 1963, he struggled to maintain a steady line-up. By the late spring, he had hired the core of the Second Quintet with Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and wunderkind Tony Williams on drums. Initially with George Coleman or Sam Rivers on tenor sax, the final piece of the puzzle would arrive in late 1964 with saxophonist Wayne Shorter.


The performance style of the Second Great Quintet was often referred to by Davis as "time, no changes", incorporating elements of free jazz without completely surrendering to the approach, allowing the five men to contribute to the group as equals rather than as a leader and sidemen peeling off unrelated solos.


 This band recorded the albums E.S.P., Miles Smiles, Sorcerer, Nefertiti, Miles in the Sky, and Filles de Kilimanjaro, and the live set considered by The Penguin Guide to Jazz to be their crowning achievement, The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965.


When Davis began to become more interested in the rock, soul, and funk music of the late 1960s, the Second Quintet unraveled. Carter departed during the sessions for Filles de Kilimanjaro, and Williams left in early 1969 to start his own band, the Tony Williams Lifetime, staying on with Davis to record the ground-breaking In A Silent Way.


Davis would continue his innovations into jazz fusion with the album Bitches Brew and his work in the 1970s.


As a result, the Second Quintet came to an end. Players on In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew would go on to form the core jazz fusion bands of the 1970s away from Davis: Shorter and Josef Zawinul to Weather Report; John McLaughlin and Billy Cobham to the Mahavishnu Orchestra; Hancock and Bennie Maupin to Headhunters; and Chick Corea and Lenny White to Return to Forever.



Rashid Booker