I don’t tend to listen to greatest hits albums. They usually seem disjointed to me and the quality control is normally pretty lacking. Luckily, Miles Davis Plays for Lovers isn’t a greatest hits; it’s a themed compilation. This collection consists of ballads and romantic standards from several periods of Davis’ career. It works well as a complete piece or if you dip into the titles you recognize. Miles Davis was always one of the most forward-thinking musicians and bandleaders in jazz so he might seem like an odd choice for a collection of love songs but it all works very well. These songs aren’t sappy cash-ins, they’re just another side of a multi-faceted musician. Davis led some of the most legendary groups in music history and many of them are represented here. Each track is given the full treatment and nothing feels rote or mailed in.
If you are planning a romantic dinner or even if you will be spending Valentine’s Day with your favorite bottle of wine, this album will be the perfect accompaniment. There’s nothing harsh or atonal so it can work as background music but the playing is so inventive and the rhythms often so lively that you can pay close attention and be rewarded. The band interplay is untouchable and the tracks chosen suit the mood as well as possible. So if you’re a lover or just a lover of jazz, there’s plenty to find here. I even recommend this to make your candlelight dinner a little more sophisticated than what the new Bieber album could muster.
If someone checks this one out before you get a chance, you can try Love Songs also featuring various romantic Miles Davis tracks…or you could get Bieber if you’re into that sort of thing.