Of Miles Davis's many bands, none was more influential and popular than the quintet with John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones. Davis's muted ballads and medium-tempo standards endeared him to the public. The horns' searing exposition of classics like "Salt Peanuts" and "Well, You Needn't" captivated musicians. The searching, restless improvisations of Coltrane intrigued listeners who had a taste for adventure. The flawless rhythm section became a model for bands everywhere. Steamin' With The Miles Davis Quintet is, in many respects representative of the total work of the quintet, it affords an excellent opportunity to examine just what this remarkable music was and how it was made. Such chemistry is inexplicable, and so, apparently, is the personality of the man who generated it.
This compilation is taken from the masterful and wondrous box set issued late in the year 2000. It is assembled with the kind of care only producers such as Bob Belden and Michael Cuscuna could muster. Featuring nine selections, it begins with the first recorded appearance of the new Miles Davis Quintet in 1955 that featured the two principals, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones....
One of Analogue Productions' most successful and collectible projects has been the Miles Davis Quintet/The Great Prestige Recordings deluxe box set on 33 1/3 LP. Now, that beautiful five-album set is being reintroduced. And at 45 RPM, it's more stunning than ever! Featuring a 12" x 12" 16-page gorgeous booklet, packaged with the LPs in a deluxe, heavy-duty box, this set is the end-all of Miles' work for the legendary Prestige label from 1951 through 1956. Stereophile awarded the first incarnation of this set Recording of the Month in their March 1997 issue, giving it five stars for both music and sonics. That was at 33 1/3 RPM. Imagine these same records at 45 RPM!
The explosive transformation of Miles Davis’ “second great Quintet” with Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass), and Tony Williams (drums) is laid bare on this release. Culled from original state-owned television and radio sources in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, and Sweden, the program spans five northern European festival performances over the course of nine days in October-November 1967. The audio shows consist entirely of previously unreleased or previously only bootlegged material. This is a 3-CD + DVD package, with an 8-panel digipak with 28-page booklet.
Kind of Blue isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of "So What." From that moment on, the record never really changes pace – each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It's the pinnacle of modal jazz – tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality. All of this doesn't quite explain why seasoned jazz fans return to this record even after they've memorized every nuance.