Legendary work from Miles Davis – large group sessions that virtually define the "cool" in cool jazz! The work's quite different from Davis' earlier bop sides with Charlie Parker – and show a distinct influence from modernists like Gerry Mulligan (who is on the recordings) and from the experiments of the Tristano school. Miles is less the leader than the creative visionary – as all players come together in a perfect blend of sound, perfectly polished, and with a very dark edge.
CD Album published in 2001 in one of the many reissues that has seen this singular work of the great Miles Davis. First saw the light in 1954 with 8 subjects; with 11 subjects was reissued in 1957 and added the last from 1971. The '50s brought a new style to jazz, 'cool', but breaking-twinned with the 'bebop' in decline-from the happy collaboration of the brilliant trumpeter Miles Davis and the composer Gil Evans. The roots of this music are included on this disc recorded in three different sessions between 1949 and 1950. The play made a deep impression among music critics and was a fresh and innovative deep milestone in jazz music. Davis and a group of nine musicians under his command were responsible for laying the foundations of this new concept of 'cool' jazz.
What a jumble. Nearly a decade and a half of groove morphology compressed into an EP, and overlaid with new components to show, at once, how rhythmically pioneering Davis was-as if this needed reiteration-in a Sly Stone/James Brown sense, and how much influence he still exerts in rap and R&B. An old soul informing our new soul music. But wouldn’t you know: This brief set mostly works, if you can orient yourself to what’s essentially a tour-de-force of amalgamation, a testament to the recording studio and what can be done with old session tapes as much as that original music itself.
“I was the engineer on the recording sessions and I also made the masters for the original LP issues of these albums. Since the advent of the CD, other people have been making the masters. Mastering is the final step in the process of creating the sound of the finished product. Now, thanks to the folks at the Concord Music Group who have given me the opportunity to remaster these albums, I can present my versions of the music on CD using modern technology. I remember the sessions well, I remember how the musicians wanted to sound, and I remember their reactions to the playbacks. Today, I feel strongly that I am their messenger.” —Rudy Van Gelder
From his early years mastering bebop and jazz standards, through his cool, modal, post-bop, electric and funk periods, there was always a strong sense of direction and a singular voice in the middle of the fray. That essence remained through Davis' final years; he still offered beautiful songs, wisely chosen and intelligently arranged. Miles traditionalists will appreciate the first track here, in which he breathes new life into "In A Silent Way." That quickly leads into "Intruder," a blowing vehicle for the venerable and impressive saxophonist Kenny Garrett. Garrett and bassist Richard Patterson proceed to go crazy on the frenetically funky "Wrinkle." Tunes like "New Blues" and "Tutu" reveal the sophistication of the master himself as a composer, as well as his finesse on trumpet. Another standout player here is the insanely expressive Foley, sounding like Jimi Hendrix, only funkier (and on bass).
2002 remastered reissue of 1996 live release featuring material recorded on two tours from 1985-91. Includes Kenny Garrett & Foley & Adam Holzman. The closing track, 'Hannibal', comes from the very last performance of Davis' life.
The Classic Prestige Sessions 1951-1956 collects all of the sides recorded by trumpeter Miles Davis and tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins for Prestige during their time together as young players in New York City. Both musicians were just past their formative years during this period, having broken free from the heavy sway of their bop elders – especially alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, who appears here in several classic cuts originally released on Collector's Items. Both Davis and Rollins were expanding the bop mold and beginning to discover their own sound. Davis had already made his mark with the innovative West Coast jazz masterpiece Birth of the Cool and was further developing his romantic and cerebral minimalism. Similarly, Rollins was quickly becoming the heir to Parker's throne as the most searching and muscular saxophonist on the scene. The dichotomy of their sounds made Davis and Rollins a perfect rub as jazz partners and these recordings helped foreshadow and define such future jazz movements as hard bop, post-bop, and even free jazz. Included here are such stellar and classic tracks as "Dig," "Oleo," "Down," "The Serpent's Tooth," "Airegin," "Doxy," and "Vierd Blues"." Although all of these recordings are available elsewhere on the original albums, Davis and Rollins' relationship was an incredibly fertile one and it is great to have all of it compiled together.