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The Intersection of Science, Art, Music & Humanities

Miles Davis: Autumn Leaves

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Itís been reported that Miles Davis didnít think the tunes on his Autumn Leaves album, a mix of studio and live songs, were good enough to release in the late 1960s.

This album once again reminds us that Miles's music, considered not good enough to get released back in the day, is certainly good enough to knock our socks off in 2018.

If you enjoyed Miles's Kind of Blue, this album and tune are for you, particularly if you embrace melancholy moments when the leaves start to fall. 

During the late 1960s, Miles Davis was well into his cool jazz period. The tunes are all laid back and showcase his signature style of music-making that played just the right notes at the right timeóat least for us. 

The delicious Miles album includes four tunes:

"So What," "Walkin", Victor Young's "Stella by Starlight,"

and the beautiful French tune written by Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prevert,  "Autumn Leaves," still too often credited solely to Johnny Mercer, because he was the first American to record the beautiful tune and translate the French lyrics. 

The falling leaves
Drift by the window
The autumn leaves
Of red and gold

I see your lips
The summer kisses
The sunburned hands
I used to hold

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I'll hear
Old winter's song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall

It is a shame that Miles's spectacular Autumn Leaves album will probably stay an obscure import, since it includes compelling music perfect for cool, early Sunday Mornings in bed with great coffee, the Sunday Times of your choice, and someone special, or not.

Have a lovely and thoughtful day.

Ellen Troyer, with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff