Author Topic: Miles Davis ‎– Ascenseur Pour L'Échafaud OST  (Read 221 times)

wfoster00

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Miles Davis ‎– Ascenseur Pour L'Échafaud OST
« on: April 01, 2020, 03:34:02 AM »
Last week, one of the classic movie channels aired the 1958 Louis Malle film Ascenseur pour l'Échafaud which features a soundtrack by Miles Davis. Good movie, the first time I had seen it.  I'm a fan of film noir and same goes for dark, noir jazz sounds, and Miles does it well here with his achingly slow, blues-tinged themes. Below is an interesting blurb from the discogs entry about the music and the recording.

Quote
Davis was booked to perform at the Club Saint-Germain in Paris for November 1957. Rappeneau introduced him to Malle, and Davis agreed to record the music after attending a private screening. On December 4, he brought his four sidemen to the recording studio without having had them prepare anything. Davis only gave the musicians a few rudimentary harmonic sequences he had assembled in his hotel room, and, once the plot was explained, the band improvised without any precomposed theme, while edited loops of the musically relevant film sequences were projected in the background.


The famous scene with Jeanne Moreau walking down the street to Miles' trumpet is highly recommended and can be viewed here.


The complete recordings can be streamed and/or downloaded here at the Internet Archive.
(The posted album appears to be Fontana 836 305-2 released in 1988.)





Cheers,
wf



jackie kennedy

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Re: Miles Davis ‎– Ascenseur Pour L'Échafaud OST
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2020, 03:57:59 AM »
thanks wfoster00

this is a magnificent soundtrack for anyone who has not listened to it. i recommend it highly

highplainsdrifter

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Re: Miles Davis ‎– Ascenseur Pour L'Échafaud OST
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2020, 06:44:24 AM »
Good movie, great soundtrack. Just finished Ian Carr's biography on Miles Davis which goes into detail about the making of this soundtrack, how Louis Malle was so obsessed with getting Miles to make the soundtrack that he met him immediately at the airport as soon as Miles arrived to Paris. Basically the soundtrack was made overnight and mostly off-the-cuff as Miles and the band watched the film on a large projection screen and played along.

Also very important because the session pointed Miles even further into his modal style that culminated in Kind of Blue, the album many consider to be the greatest jazz album of all time. One can hear echoes of "Elevator's..." noirish themes crop up in a lot of Miles' later works.


wfoster00

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Re: Miles Davis ‎– Ascenseur Pour L'Échafaud OST
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2020, 07:32:33 AM »
Thanks for the info, highplainsdrifter (big fan of that movie, btw).  Professor of my History of Jazz class back in university said something about Kind of Blue that made me go out and buy it immediately.  Still one of my favorites.  I remember reading something about Duane Allman commenting on how it was a big influence on him.. but I digress.

Crazy that I had somehow missed this soundtrack when I was into 1950-60s jazz more.  Better late than never.