“Nardis” was composed in 1958 by Miles Davis during his “modal phase”, to be played by Cannonball Adderley on his album “Portrait of Cannonball”. It is strongly associated with Bill Evans, who recorded it many times. Davis was leading the “First Great Quintet” in 1958, which consisted of John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Jones (drums) and Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone, making it a sextet). Bill Evans replaced Garland on piano for eight months (to be replaced by Wynton Kelly in late 1958) and Jimmy Cobb replaced Jones on drums. This was the group that recorded “Kind of Blue”, considered by many to be the greatest jazz album of all time. “Nardis” featured Phrygian mode and minor Gypsy scale, as did other “Spanish” works from that time, such as Davis’ “Sketches of Spain”. Davis never recorded “Nardis”; Adderley recorded it only once.
Miles Davis (May 26, 1926 – Sept 28, 1991) grew up in East Alton, Illinois, where as a thirteen-year-old his father gave him a trumpet and he joined his high school band shortly thereafter and was taught by his earliest idol, St. Louis trumpeter and pioneer of jazz fluegelhorn Clark Terry. In 1944 Davis moved to New York City, where he played in the Billy Eckstine Band for just two weeks before enrolling in the Juilliard School of Music. He augmented his classical studies by playing nights with the leaders of the new bebop movement (including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach). Davis then moved to his “cool” period, followed by modalism, then jazz-rock fusion (typified by “Bitches Brew” in 1970) before moving to pop, then hip-hop. The 2015 film “Miles Ahead”, starring Don Cheadle as Miles Davis, was described by co-star Ewan McGregor as “less a Miles biopic than an attempt to cast Miles in a caper flick that he *might* like to have been part of.” Miles Davis won eight Grammy Awards and received thirty-two nominations.