Track of the Day: 'Guinnevere' by Miles Davis

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Jason in Portland, Oregon, sends a loooong song for the series:

One of the most radically inventive covers I’ve ever heard is Miles Davis’ version of the Crosby, Stills, and Nash song “Guinnevere,” which was featured on The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions. The original CSN version, which clocks in at a little less than five minutes, has held up very well over the decades despite its typical-for-the-time, fantasy-themed lyrics, mostly due to its intricate tonal play and guitar work. David Crosby once remarked that it “might be my best song.”

In the hands of Miles Davis, those tones get unraveled and explored in intimate detail, trading dense instrumentation for a sensuous, hazed-out journey that gives it a whole new life. Even at 21 minutes long, the trip seems over too soon.

(Track of the Day archive here. Access it through Spotify here. Submit via hello@)