On December 14, 1984, Miles went to Copenhagen to receive a prize from the foundation of the writer Carl Johann Sonning. During the ceremony, he participated in “Violet,” the last movement of a long suite composed by the Danish trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg for the Danish radio orchestra. The seven movements of Aura drew their inspiration from the colors of the rainbow, and the names of Miles Davis and former recipients of the prize (including Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Olivier Messiaen, and Isaac Stern) were encoded into the score. On January 31, 1985, Miles returned to the Danish capital with his nephew Vincent Wilburn to record Aura, playing in all the numbers (except “Indigo,” in honor of the second quintet, whose piano parts revived the trumpeter’s disdain for any return to the past). John McLaughlin, who happened to be in Copenhagen at the time, participated in the recording of this work, which was worthy of Gil Evans’ sumptuous scores. Columbia’s lack of interest in releasing Aura led Miles to decide to end his thirty years of loyalty to the label and to switch to Warner.

Original issue: Columbia LP C2X 45332 and CD CK 45332 in 1989
Producer: Palle Mikkelborg
Engineers: Henrik Lund, Niels Erik Lund

All compositions by Palle Mikkelborg

Miles Davis (tpt); Benny Rosenfeld (tpt, flh); Palle Bolvig (tpt, flh); Jens Winther (tpt, flh); Perry Knudsen (tpt, flh); Palle Mikkelborg (tpt, flh); Idrees Sulieman (tpt, flh); Vincent Nilsson (tb); Jens Engel (tb); Ture Larsen (tb); Ole Kurt Jensen (bass tb); Axel Windfeld (bass tb, tuba); Jesper Thilo (reeds, flute); Per Carsten (reeds, flute); Uffe Karskov (reeds, flute); Bent Jaedig (reeds, flute); Flemming Madsen (reeds, flute); Niels Eje (oboe, engl horn); John McLaughlin (el-g); Bjarne Roupee (el-g); Lillian Thornquist (harp); Thomas Clausen (p, keyb); Ole Koch-Hansen (keyb); Kenneth Knudsen (keyb); Bo Stief (el-b); Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (b); Vincent Wilburn, Jr. (d); Lennart Gruvstedt (d); Marilyn Mazur (perc); Ethan Weisgaard (perc); Eva Hess-Thaysen (voc)

Easy Sound Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark,
January 31-February 4, 1985


  1. Intro [a]
  2. White [b]
  3. Yellow [c]
  4. Orange [d]
  5. Red [e]
  6. Green [f]
  7. Blue [g]
  8. Electric Red [h]
  9. Indigo [i]
  10. Violet [j]