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Ascenseur pour l'Echafaud
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From a French movie
It's a shame about all the talking over the music at the end...
But hey, half a croissant in better than none.
Ascenseur pour l'échafaud is an album by jazz musician Miles Davis. It was recorded at Le Poste Parisien Studio in Paris on December 4 and 5, 1957. The album features the musical cues for the 1958 Louis Malle film Ascenseur pour l'échafaud.
Jean-Paul Rappeneau, a jazz fan and Malle's assistant at the time, suggested asking Miles Davis to create the film's soundtrack – possibly inspired by the Modern Jazz Quartet's recording for Roger Vadim's Sait-on jamais (Does One Ever Know), released a few months earlier in 1957.
Davis was booked to perform at the Club Saint-Germain in Paris for November 1957. Rappeneau introduced him to Malle, and Davis agreed to record the music after attending a private screening. On December 4, he brought his four sidemen to the recording studio without having had them prepare anything. Davis only gave the musicians a few rudimentary harmonic sequences he had assembled in his hotel room, and, once the plot was explained, the band improvised without any precomposed theme, while edited loops of the musically relevant film sequences were projected in the background.
Jazz Track, an album which contains the original ten songs from the soundtrack and three additional tracks later released on 1958 Miles, received a 1960 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Performance, Solo or Small Group.
From a musical point of view, the mood and the characteristics of the soundtrack immediately precede and introduce to Miles Davis's masterpieces Milestones and Kind of Blue.
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