Sketches of Spain


After Miles Davis and his wife went to a flamenco performance in New York in 1959, Davis was totally inspired. He went to his record store, bought every record with traditional Spanish music he had and totally delved into it. Being a musician, some musical creativity had to follow. Sketches of Spain has two major pieces that are derived from classical Spanish pieces: Concierto d’Aranjuez by Roberto Rodrigo and Will’o the wisp from Manuel de Falla’s opera El amor brujo.

The reactions to this album are very mixed. It hangs somewhere between jazz and classical music, and somehow that is never a good place to be. Jazz magazine Downbeat described it as intellectual yet passionate. The suggestion is that the two do not combine well, and that is probably why it was hard to stomach for many jazz lovers.

Interestingly, I bought this record just a week before my first date with a newly found Spanish love. I think I wasn’t aware of that connection at the time. Something else I only realise now that I listen to it again, is that this special 180 grams pressing is monaural. Why do I never spot that? Must be because it is so unexpected, certainly for a collector’s edition.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *