MILES DAVIS — Filles de Kilimanjaro

Jazz music community with review and forums

MILES DAVIS - Filles de Kilimanjaro cover
4.14 | 38 ratings | 2 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 1969

Filed under Fusion
By MILES DAVIS

Tracklist

A1 Frelon Brun (Brown Hornet)
A2 Tout De Suite
A3 Petits Machins (Little Stuff)
B1 Filles De Kilimanjaro (Girls Of Kilimanjaro)
B2 Mademoiselle Mabry (Miss Mabry)

Total Time: 56:30

Line-up/Musicians

Bass – Dave Holland (tracks: A3, B3), Ron Carter (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2)
Drums – Tony Williams
Piano, Electric Piano – Chick Corea (tracks: A3, B3), Herbie Hancock (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2)
Tenor Saxophone – Wayne Shorter
Trumpet – Miles Davis

About this release

Columbia – CS 9750 (US)

Rec. June 19-21, 1968; September 24, 1968

Thanks to EZ Money, Abraxas, snobb, js for the updates

Buy MILES DAVIS - FILLES DE KILIMANJARO music

More places to buy jazz & MILES DAVIS music

MILES DAVIS FILLES DE KILIMANJARO reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
Miles Davis’, “Filles Des Kilimanjaro”, is one of the most experimental and forward looking albums in his vast discography, and it is also one of his most misunderstood. Most reviews of this album talk about it being a transitional album in between his post bop years and his fusion years, but really it is not exactly either of those musical tendencies. It is a fusion album of sorts, but not the ‘jazz-rock’ fusion that will bring Miles much money and fame in the coming years. Instead, on this album Miles begins his exploration of static musical forms, music that is somewhat the same from beginning to end, much like traditional African music, or also similar to Stockhausen’s Momente form which is based on the idea of a musical continuum with no particular beginning or end. All of this is in difference to Western notions of linear musical progressions. In Momente form, each moment is as important and pertinent as the next. Miles was influenced by Stockhausen, but also by the very African sound of James Brown’s new funk style. It all ties together. After this album, Miles will get a lot of attention with some star-studded jazz-rock fusion albums that got a big advertising push from Columbia, but after the hoopla dies down, Miles will get back to his experiments in static music with albums like “On the Corner”, “Big Fun”, “Get Up With It” and a trio of live albums recorded in Japan.

On the back liner notes of the album, Ralph Gleason offers one take on this album as being a concerto for drummer Tony Williams, and in many ways, Tony is the central glue here with everyone else backing him, or interjecting on top of him. Album opener, “Frelon Brun”, is sort of a funky RnB jam until Tony just keeps taking it further out there. The next two tracks that fill side one are almost free jazz, although they are more or less tonal and seem to hang with an implied pulse, but very little literal time keeping. If you are familiar with the barn burning, “Miles Live at Fillmore”, than you may recognize these two “Filles” tracks as supplying the scattered material that happens on the live “Fillmore” album in between the sections that have a more pronounced groove. On the side one closer, Miles plays some melodies that will show up later on “In a Silent Way”, as well as melodies that will show up in various live jam tracks and from the “Directions” album.

Side two opens with the album’s title track and is the one track where the band hits a familiar groove. It has an ear grabbing melody and an overall relaxed atmosphere. This side closes out with “Miss Mabry”, which uses a static compositional tool that is a favorite for Miles. On this track different sections repeat and come around again, but the song never really gets anywhere. This compositional technique will hit a zenith for Miles when he records “Great Expectations” for the “Big Fun” album. Its important to note that Miles wrote everyone of these tracks, instead of leaning on Wayne Shorter as he had in the past. Only Miles had the vision of what he wanted here, it would take others some time to catch up to this concept of music, and apparently very few have.
Abraxas
Who's that on the cover? The one and only Mademoiselle Mabry!

Filles de Kilimanjaro sets the definition of a 'transitional album'. From this album, there's an after and before. While Davis first introduced the Rhodes and an electric guitar one year before in Miles in the Sky to his music, the compositions on that were still pretty much standard jazz, and when I say 'standard' I mean your standard Davis post-bop with his famous Quintet consisting of Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, so it's top-notch 'standard' jazz.

In Filles there's a split, with the exclusion of Hancock and Carter for the first time in 4 years, in the first and last tune, replaced by future "lasting" members, Chick Corea and Dave Holland. However, these two tunes aren't so interesting taking in consideration the pieces where Hancock participates. The opener, 'Frelon Brun', is an energetic jazz track featuring solos from Miles, Wayne and Chick, though the highlight for me is Tony Williams' quite fierceful fills, not your average jazz drummer, that you should already know. 'Mademoiselle Mabry', on the other hand, is a very gentle tune being mainly an extension and expansion of Hendrix's 'The Wind Cries Mary', it's a nice mix of blues and jazz.

Now to the more interesting pieces, these are 'Tout de Suite' and the title track. While 'Tout de Suite' introduces itself like another tranquil and night-mood jazz tune with relaxing electric keyboards and soft drumming, its middle section, however, lasting over 8 minutes, is like a loose sort-of jam very similar to 'Shhh/Peaceful' from In a Silent Way with Hancock playing those same fast twists in the keys while Tony and Ron keep a steady rhythm.

The title track also expands further the jazz realms as it would later be known in Bitches Brew. It has a repetitive, though engaging rhythm done by Carter's bass and Williams's drums, and on top of that there's Wayne, Herbie and Miles sharing notes and dueling pacifically. A proto-typical Miles composition of his 'electric/fusion' period.

So yes, Filles de Killimanjaro and Miles in the Sky are the albums where Miles would build on top of in the next couple of years. Though not as chilling as 'In a Silent Way' or as rocking as 'A Tribute to Jack Johnson', both Filles and Miles in the Sky are excellent records of jazz delving into a primitive style of fusion.

4 stars: Highly recommended for fans of energetic and loosier jazz, and of course this is essential to understand how Miles' creativity and compositional skills progressed.

Members reviews

No MILES DAVIS FILLES DE KILIMANJARO reviews posted by members yet.

Ratings only

  • Straight11travis
  • Mssr_Renard
  • Brown Clown
  • blackbird
  • Deafmoon
  • Polynomial-c
  • karolcia
  • stefanbedna
  • Hohesc
  • MoogHead
  • lunarston
  • JimmyJazz
  • Pekka
  • liontime
  • Fant0mas
  • JohnyPlayer
  • KK58
  • Lynx33
  • Steve Wyzard
  • fusionfan94
  • yair0103
  • pinknote
  • Ryu
  • JBThazard
  • mad
  • Moahaha
  • Anster
  • mzztrd
  • danielpgz
  • Croteau
  • darkshade
  • Sean Trane
  • Drummer
  • darkprinceofjazz
  • zorn1
  • richby

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

New Start Fusion
TOM KENNEDY
Buy this album from MMA partners
Love Songs Live Avant-Garde Jazz
JOHN ZORN
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Data Avant-Garde Jazz
MATTHEW SHIPP
Buy this album from MMA partners
Peace Post Bop
SADAO WATANABE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

??·??·?·???·?·????
SADAO WATANABE
snobb· 5 hours ago
Mature Hybird Talking
FRANK GRATKOWSKI
js· 2 days ago
Perspective (Peace & Love)
ISAIAH COLLIER
js· 2 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us