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Miles Davis

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Miles Davis 1957 Birth Of The Cool (Capitol T762)

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ITEM# SR-CAT762
Ratings: C=VG+; LP=VG-

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Artist:

Miles Davis

Title:

Birth Of The Cool

Released: 1957
Label: Capitol
Catalog: T762
Genre: Jazz / Bop
Note: Very rare rainbow Capital label with logo at top like 1963 reissue but with original catalog number.
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Move
02 Jeru
03 Moon Dreams
04 Venus De Milo
05 Budo
06 Deception
07 Godchild
08 Boplicity
09 Rocker
10 Israel
11 Rouge
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Album Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine [allmusic.com]

So dubbed because these three sessions -- two from early 1949, one from March 1950 -- are where the sound known as cool jazz essentially formed, Birth of the Cool remains one of the defining, pivotal moments in jazz. This is where the elasticity of bop was married with skillful, big-band arrangements and a relaxed, subdued mood that made it all seem easy, even at its most intricate. After all, there's a reason why this music was called cool; it has a hip, detached elegance, never getting too hot, even as the rhythms skip and jump. Indeed, the most remarkable thing about these sessions -- arranged by Gil Evans and featuring such heavy-hitters as Kai Winding, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, and Max Roach -- is that they sound intimate, as the nonet never pushes too hard, never sounds like the work of nine musicians. Furthermore, the group keeps things short and concise (probably the result of the running time of singles, but the results are the same), which keeps the focus on the tones and tunes. The virtuosity led to relaxing, stylish mood music as the end result -- the very thing that came to define West Coast or "cool" jazz -- but this music is so inventive, it remains alluring even after its influence has been thoroughly absorbed into the mainstream.


Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue [Columbia 88697680571] (17 August 1959)

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ITEM# SR-CO88697680571
Ratings: C=NM-; LP=NM-

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Artist:

Miles Davis

Title:

Kind Of Blue

Released: 17 August 1959
Label: Columbia
Catalog: 88697680571
Genre: Jazz
Note: 2010 180gm Reissue


T R A C K L I S T:
01 So What
02 Freddie Freeloader
03 Blue In Green
04 All Blues
05 Flamenco Sketches
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Album Review

Kind of Blue is a studio album by American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. It is regarded by many critics as jazz's greatest record, Davis's masterpiece, and one of the best albums of all time. Its influence on music, including jazz, rock, and classical genres, has led writers to also deem it one of the most influential albums ever recorded. The album was one of fifty recordings chosen in 2002 by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry, and in 2003 it was ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Kind of Blue was recorded on March 2 and April 22, 1959, at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in New York City, and released later that year on August 17 by Columbia Records. The album featured Davis' ensemble sextet consisting of saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian ''Cannonball'' Adderley, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, with former band pianist Bill Evans appearing on most of the tracks in place of Kelly. In part owing to the entry of Evans into the sextet during 1958, Davis followed up on the modal experimentations of Milestones by basing Kind of Blue entirely on modality, in contrast to his earlier work with the hard bop style of jazz.

Though precise figures have been disputed, Kind of Blue has been described by many music writers not only as Davis's best-selling album, but as the best-selling jazz record of all time. On October 7, 2008, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it quadruple platinum, indicating sales of at least four million copies. [wikipedia.org]

Miles Davis' Biography

by William Ruhlmann [allmusic.com]

Throughout a professional career lasting 50 years, Miles Davis played the trumpet in a lyrical, introspective, and melodic style, often employing a stemless Harmon mute to make his sound more personal and intimate. But if his alan_parsonsroach to his instrument was constant, his alan_parsonsroach to jazz was dazzlingly protean. To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz from the mid-'40s to the early '90s, since he was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development in the music during that period, and he often led the way in those changes, both with his own performances and recordings and by choosing sidemen and collaborators who forged new directions. It can even be argued that jazz stopped evolving when Davis wasn't there to push it forward.

Davis was the son of a dental surgeon, Dr. Miles Dewey Davis, Jr., and a music teacher, Cleota Mae (Henry) Davis, and thus grew up in the black middle class of east St. Louis after the family moved there shortly after his birth. He became interested in music during his childhood and by the age of 12 began taking trumpet lessons. While still in high school, he started to get jobs playing in local bars and at 16 was playing gigs out of town on weekends. At 17, he joined Eddie Randle's Blue Devils, a territory band based in St. Louis. He enjoyed a personal apotheosis in 1944, just after graduating from high school, when he saw and was allowed to sit in with Billy Eckstine's big band, who was playing in St. Louis. The band featured trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie Parker, the architects of the emerging bebop style of jazz, which was characterized by fast, inventive soloing and dynamic rhythm variations.

It is striking that Davis fell so completely under Gillespie and Parker's spell, since his own slower and less flashy style never really compared to theirs. But bebop was the new sound of the day, and the young trumpeter was bound to follow it. He did so by leaving the Midwest to attend the Institute of Musical Art in New York City (renamed Juilliard) in September 1944. Shortly after his arrival in Manhattan, he was playing in clubs with Parker, and by 1945 he had abandoned his academic studies for a full-time career as a jazz musician, initially joining Benny Carter's band and making his first recordings as a sideman. He played with Eckstine in 1946-1947 and was a member of Parker's group in 1947-1948, making his recording debut as a leader on a 1947 session that featured Parker, pianist John Lewis, bassist Nelson Boyd, and drummer Max Roach. This was an isolated date, however, and Davis spent most of his time playing and recording behind Parker. But in the summer of 1948, he organized a nine-piece band with an unusual horn section. In addition to himself, it featured an alto saxophone, a baritone saxophone, a trombone, a French horn, and a tuba. This nonet, employing arrangements by Gil Evans and others, played for two weeks at the Royal Roost in New York in September. Earning a contract with Capitol Records, the band went into the studio in January 1949 for the first of three sessions which produced 12 tracks that attracted little attention at first. The band's relaxed sound, however, affected the musicians who played it, among them Kai Winding, Lee Konitz, Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, J.J. Johnson, and Kenny Clarke, and it had a profound influence on the development of the cool jazz style on the West Coast. (In February 1957, Capitol finally issued the tracks together on an LP called Birth of the Cool.)

Davis, meanwhile, had moved on to co-leading a band with pianist Tadd Dameron in 1949, and the group took him out of the country for an alan_parsonsearance at the Paris Jazz Festival in May. But the trumpeter's progress was impeded by an addiction to heroin that plagued him in the early '50s. His performances and recordings became more haphazard, but in January 1951 he began a long series of recordings for the Prestige label that became his main recording outlet for the next several years. He managed to kick his habit by the middle of the decade, and he made a strong impression playing "'Round Midnight" at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 1955, a performance that led the major label Columbia Records to sign him. The prestigious contract allowed him to put together a permanent band, and he organized a quintet featuring saxophonist John Coltrane, pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones who began recording his Columbia debut, 'Round About Midnight, in October.

As it halan_parsonsened, however, he had a remaining five albums on his Prestige contract, and over the next year he was forced to alternate his Columbia sessions with sessions for Prestige to fulfill this previous commitment. The latter resulted in the Prestige albums The New Miles Davis Quintet, Cookin', Workin', Relaxin', and Steamin', making Davis' first quintet one of his better-documented outfits. In May 1957, just three months after Capitol released the Birth of the Cool LP, Davis again teamed with arranger Gil Evans for his second Columbia LP, Miles Ahead. Playing flügelhorn, Davis fronted a big band on music that extended the Birth of the Cool concept and even had classical overtones. Released in 1958, the album was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, intended to honor recordings made before the Grammy Awards were instituted in 1959.

In December 1957, Davis returned to Paris, where he improvised the background music for the film L'Ascenseur pour l'Echafaud (Escalator to the Gallows). Jazz Track, an album containing this music, earned him a 1960 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Performance, Solo, or Small Group. He added saxophonist Cannonball Adderley to his group, creating the Miles Davis Sextet, who recorded the album Milestones in April 1958. Shortly after this recording, Red Garland was replaced on piano by Bill Evans and Jimmy Cobb took over for Philly Joe Jones on drums. In July, Davis again collaborated with Gil Evans and an orchestra on an album of music from Porgy and Bess. Back in the sextet, Davis began to experiment with modal playing, basing his improvisations on scales rather than chord changes.

This led to his next band recording, Kind of Blue, in March and April 1959, an album that became a landmark in modern jazz and the most popular disc of Davis' career, eventually selling over two million copies, a phenomenal success for a jazz record. In sessions held in November 1959 and March 1960, Davis again followed his pattern of alternating band releases and collaborations with Gil Evans, recording Sketches of Spain, containing traditional Spanish music and original compositions in that style. The album earned Davis and Evans Grammy nominations in 1960 for Best Jazz Performance, Large Group, and Best Jazz Composition, More Than 5 minutes; they won in the latter category.

By the time Davis returned to the studio to make his next band album in March 1961, Adderley had departed, Wynton Kelly had replaced Bill Evans at the piano, and John Coltrane had left to begin his successful solo career, being replaced by saxophonist Hank Mobley (following the brief tenure of Sonny Stitt). Nevertheless, Coltrane guested on a couple of tracks of the album, called Someday My Prince Will Come. The record made the pop charts in March 1962, but it was preceded into the bestseller lists by the Davis quintet's next recording, the two-LP set Miles Davis in Person (Friday & Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, San Francisco), recorded in April. The following month, Davis recorded another live show, as he and his band were joined by an orchestra led by Gil Evans at Carnegie Hall in May. The resulting Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall was his third LP to reach the pop charts, and it earned Davis and Evans a 1962 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Performance by a Large Group, Instrumental. Davis and Evans teamed up again in 1962 for what became their final collaboration, Quiet Nights. The album was not issued until 1964, when it reached the charts and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance by a Large Group or Soloist with Large Group.

In 1996, Columbia Records released a six-CD box set, Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings, that won the Grammy for Best Historical Album. Quiet Nights was preceded into the marketplace by Davis' next band effort, Seven Steps to Heaven, recorded in the spring of 1963 with an entirely new lineup consisting of saxophonist George Coleman, pianist Victor Feldman, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Frank Butler. During the sessions, Feldman was replaced by Herbie Hancock and Butler by Tony Williams. The album found Davis making a transition to his next great group, of which Carter, Hancock, and Williams would be members. It was another pop chart entry that earned 1963 Grammy nominations for both Best Instrumental Jazz Performance by a Soloist or Small Group and Best Instrumental Jazz Performance by a Large Group. The quintet followed with two live albums, Miles Davis in Europe, recorded in July 1963, which made the pop charts and earned a 1964 Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance by a Small Group or Soloist with Small Group, and My Funny Valentine, recorded in February 1964 and released in 1965, when it reached the pop charts.

By September 1964, the final member of the classic Miles Davis Quintet of the 1960s was in place with the addition of saxophonist Wayne Shorter to the team of Davis, Carter, Hancock, and Williams. While continuing to play standards in concert, this unit embarked on a series of albums of original compositions contributed by the band members, starting in January 1965 with E.S.P., followed by Miles Smiles (1967 Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance by a Small Group or Soloist with Small Group [7 or Fewer]), Sorcerer, Nefertiti, Miles in the Sky (1968 Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance by a Small Group or Soloist with Small Group), and Filles de Kilimanjaro. By the time of Miles in the Sky, the group had begun to turn to electric instruments, presaging Davis' next stylistic turn. By the final sessions for Filles de Kilimanjaro in September 1968, Hancock had been replaced by Chick Corea and Carter by Dave Holland. But Hancock, along with pianist Joe Zawinul and guitarist John McLaughlin, participated on Davis' next album, In a Silent Way (1969), which returned the trumpeter to the pop charts for the first time in four years and earned him another small-group jazz performance Grammy nomination. With his next album, Bitches Brew, Davis turned more overtly to a jazz-rock style. Though certainly not conventional rock music, Davis' electrified sound attracted a young, non-jazz audience while putting off traditional jazz fans.

Bitches Brew, released in March 1970, reached the pop Top 40 and became Davis' first album to be certified gold. It also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Arrangement and won the Grammy for large-group jazz performance. He followed it with such similar efforts as Miles Davis at Fillmore East (1971 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Performance by a Group), A Tribute to Jack Johnson, Live-Evil, On the Corner, and In Concert, all of which reached the pop charts. Meanwhile, Davis' former sidemen became his disciples in a series of fusion groups: Corea formed Return to Forever, Shorter and Zawinul led Weather Report, and McLaughlin and former Davis drummer Billy Cobham organized the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Starting in October 1972, when he broke his ankles in a car accident, Davis became less active in the early '70s, and in 1975 he gave up recording entirely due to illness, undergoing surgery for hip replacement later in the year. Five years passed before he returned to action by recording The Man With the Horn in 1980 and going back to touring in 1981.

By now, he was an elder statesman of jazz, and his innovations had been incorporated into the music, at least by those who supported his eclectic alan_parsonsroach. He was also a celebrity whose alan_parsonseal extended far beyond the basic jazz audience. He performed on the worldwide jazz festival circuit and recorded a series of albums that made the pop charts, including We Want Miles (1982 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance by a Soloist), Star People, Decoy, and You're Under Arrest. In 1986, after 30 years with Columbia, he switched to Warner Bros. Records and released Tutu, which won him his fourth Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance.

Aura, an album he had recorded in 1984, was released by Columbia in 1989 and brought him his fifth Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance by a Soloist (on a Jazz Recording). Davis surprised jazz fans when, on July 8, 1991, he joined an orchestra led by Quincy Jones at the Montreux Jazz Festival to perform some of the arrangements written for him in the late '50s by Gil Evans; he had never previously looked back at an aspect of his career. He died of pneumonia, respiratory failure, and a stroke within months. Doo-Bop, his last studio album, alan_parsonseared in 1992. It was a collaboration with ralan_parsonser Easy Mo Bee, and it won a Grammy for Best Rhythm & Blues Instrumental Performance, with the track "Fantasy" nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. Released in 1993, Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux won Davis his seventh Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance. Miles Davis took an all-inclusive, constantly restless alan_parsonsroach to jazz that had begun to fall out of favor by the time of his death, even as it earned him controversy during his lifetime. It was hard to recognize the bebop acolyte of Charlie Parker in the flamboyantly dressed leader with the hair extensions who seemed to keep one foot on a wah-wah pedal and one hand on an electric keyboard in his later years. But he did much to popularize jazz, reversing the trend away from commercial alan_parsonseal that bebop began. And whatever the fripperies and explorations, he retained an ability to play moving solos that endeared him to audiences and demonstrated his affinity with tradition. At a time when jazz is inclining toward academia and repertory orchestras rather than moving forward, he is a reminder of the music's essential quality of boundless invention, using all available means.
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