This and Bitches Brew is everyone's favorite Miles record. It's the total package from the beautiful Modernist cover, the catchy title (doesn't everyone want to relax?), and the music contained within. I was always amazed how fast the band plays here, but how "relaxed" the end product was. "Oleo" is particularly impressive as each player solos over the bass, then intermittently the band bust into the full backing... all at blazing speed! This recording features in my opinion, Miles' strongest band with Coltrane (Miles' Ghostface to his Raekwon) and the rock solid rhythm section of Chambers and Jones. And for a traditional jazz piece, the composition is rather progressive like the slower number, "You're My Everything," which begins with the band messing around, then the engineer giving the go, then Miles stopping the action and giving the final go. Also checkout the subtle intro treatment and solo change-overs of "If I Were A Bell." Reading too much into music is usually a snobby exercise (the opposite of relax), but I really think that this record has much to offer. Recommended.
reviewed by the mgmnt 08/2011