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Lift to the scaffold #1

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Miles Davis: Ascenseur pour léchafaud

Miles Davis: Ascenseur pour l'échafaud

I have just bought a fabulous CD. I’m listening to it right now. It is the soundtrack to Ascenseur pour l’échafaud, a 1958 film by Louis Malle. In fact it was his first feature film. The title is usually translated into English as Lift to the scaffold, or, less euphoniously, Elevator to the Gallows. Most importantly, the music is by Miles Davis.

The CD cover boasts it includes the COMPLETE RECORDINGS, which means there are various versions of a number of the tracks. The music is quite reachable. A lot of it is bluesy, in a pleasantly easy-to-read way. Some of it feels also pleasantly crude, and that could well be because the CD is the COMPLETE RECORDINGS. It doesn’t have the sophistication of Kind of blue, but then what does?

As well as Miles, we have Barney Wilen on tenor sax, René Urtreger on piano, Pierre Michelot on bass and Kenny Clarke on drums.

Here’s a trailer:

And here’s a more joined up bit of Miles:

Original film poster: Ascenseur pour léchafaud

Original film poster: Ascenseur pour l'échafaud

I don’t remember seeing Ascenseur pour l’échafaud – if I did it was years and years ago. But now I’m desperate to – as much as anything because I want to know how all the off-cuts and out-takes in this CD were stitched together into the full soundtrack. Oh and as you might have noticed it stars Jeanne Moreau.

More when I get to see it.

© Chris Lawrence 2009.

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Written by Chris Lawrence

20 September 2009 at 9:29 pm

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