M. D. E. S. P.

by Paul Burmeister
MD ESP cover.jpg

Among the really good things not discovered until my fifties, along with gin and tonic and Marylynne Robinson's writing, is Miles Davis' E.S.P. This album from 1965 by the classic quintet has a magisterial, autumnal gestalt—the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, although Wayne Shorter's "E.S.P." and "Iris" are parts not to be missed. Is Shorter the iconic saxophonist of the 60s, even moreso than John Coltrane? Consider Shorter's solo stuff on Blue Note and his sideman work with both Art Blakey's and Miles Davis' groups.