Except for the taping of a live performance at the Portland Festival, Miles Davis' 1966 discography only lists Miles Smiles which was unusual considering the large output Miles and his ensembles produced for Columbia Records in the Sixties.
The bass player Ron Carter was best suited for the complicated rhythm part and remained Miles’s 'number one' in a quintet which gave a new interpretation to compositions by Wayne Shorter and jazz hits such as "Freedom Jazz Dance" by Eddie Harris and Jimmy Heath’s "Gingerbread Boy".
Every second of the nine-minute-long "Footprints" by Shorter is an absolute highlight, while the drumming of the young Tony Williams in "Freedom Jazz Dance" is full of vitality, with a quick pulse, and even described as threatening in the liner notes. This music is neither 'new stream' nor 'old guard' but good modern jazz according to Anthony Tuttle. That’s exactly what Miles Smiles was upon its release 40 years ago and that’s exactly what it has remained to this day!
Recording: October 1966 at Columbia Records Studios, New York, by Frank Laico
Production: Teo Macero
Miles Davis Miles Smiles Track Listing
5. Freedom Jazz Dance
6. Gingerbread Boy