Miles Davis Essential Albums: Cookin' / Relaxin' / Workin' / Steamin' (4-CD)
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- Number of Discs: 4
- Released: November 1, 2011
- Label: Fantasy
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.My Funny Valentine
- 2.Blues By Five
- 4.Tune - Up / When Lights Are Low
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.If I Were a Bell
- 2.You're My Everything
- 3.I Could Write a Book
- 5.It Could Happen To You
- 6.Woody'n You
Tracks on Disc 3:
- 1.It Never Entered My Mind
- 3.In Your Own Sweet Way
- 4.The Theme [Take 1] [Take]
- 5.Trane's Blues
- 6.Ahmad's Blues
- 7.Half Nelson
- 8.The Theme [Take 2] [Take]
Tracks on Disc 4:
- 1.Surrey With the Fringe On Top
- 2.Salt Peanuts
- 3.Something I Dreamed Last Night
- 5.Well, You Needn't
- 6.When I Fall In Love
Personnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Miles Davis (trumpet); Red Garland (piano); Philly Joe Jones (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Rudy Van Gelder.
Liner Note Authors: Ira Gitler; Joe Goldberg.
Recording information: Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, NJ (05/11/1956); Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, NJ (10/26/1956).
These four truly classic records by the first version of the Miles Davis Quintet feature the trumpeter in the company of saxophonist John Coltrane, pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones. Each of these albums were recorded in two different sessions during 1956, with the lion's share in one extended date on October 26. The general idea was to get on tape the wealth of ideas the quintet were capable of delivering live. The trick was, instead of coming up with new material, the band simply relied on their live set in the studio. Davis' thinking proved spot on, and these albums have all endured because of their quality. While there isn't a weak moment on Cookin' (Prestige 7094), highlights include the gorgeous reading of "My Funny Valentine" and the medley of "Tune Up/When Lights Are Low." Relaxin' (Prestige 7129) is one of the two albums here whose tracks were compiled from an earlier, May 11 session as well as the October date. "If I Were a Bell," "Oleo," and "It Could Happen to You" shine despite an excellent showing throughout. Workin' (Prestige 7166), taken entirely from the October 26 session, includes "It Never Entered My Mind," "In Your Own Sweet Way," and the first recording of "Trane's Blues." The final offering here, Steamin' (Prestige 7200), also contains cuts from the May 11 session. Another stone killer, its highlights include "Surrey with the Fringe on Top," a mad, sprinting version of Kenny Clarke's and Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts" (with Jones' cymbal mimicking Gillespie's original vocals), and a gorgeous, swinging reading of Thelonious Monk's "Well You Needn't." These four albums have been issued before in many different configurations, but having them boxed like this makes its own kind of sense, honoring two historic days in jazz history. ~ Thom Jurek
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