Miles Davis created just one studio album with his original sextet. He made every moment count. Pairing with Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones, the trumpeter not only laid the groundwork for the modalism that immediately followed but tailored a genuine modern-jazz masterwork laden with performances among the most explosive of his distinguished career. Due to its sandwiched position between the more famous ‘Round About Midnight and epochal Kind of Blue, Milestones remains, for too many music lovers, an overlooked classic.
The title does not refer to the trumpeter's composition from his first recording date but is an acknowledgement of this session's visceral impact. Tenor saxophonist John Coltrane had left the trumpeter in the spring of 1957 to join Thelonious Monk for his engagement at New York's Five Spot, and was replaced by a rising star on alto saxophone, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley. When he returned, Davis had a formidable three-horn front line to go with "The Rhythm Section."
What is immediately noticeable upon listening to this delicately and superbly LP of Miles Davis classic first – and only – album with his original sextet is how deep the blues presence is on it. Though it is true that the album's title cut is rightfully credited with introducing modalism into jazz, and defining Davis' music for years to come, it is the sole selection of its kind on the record. The rest is all blues in any flavor you wish you call your own.Allmusic *****
With the release of the spectral title tune, and the efforts of the Columbia marketing and publicity departments behind him, a thirty-year old Miles Davis entered into a period of extraordinary artistic maturity and growth. And Miles instinctively knew how to cultivate his star quality. Looming behind those shades, was the diffident, sensitive anti-hero–proud and defiant–who only spoke to his audience through his horn, and turned his back on them when the other soloists were blowing. The combination of attitude and intellect was irresistible. Beginning with ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT and proceeding through a remarkable succession of famous recordings over the next 30 years, Miles Davis became one of the greatest soloists, arrangers and talent scouts in the history of American music. People who didn't own a single jazz record came to know his name–Miles was a jazz icon.
This box set contains 82 tracks recorded by Miles Davis between 1945 and 1950. Miles' spark of genius was already apparent right from the start, and it's clear after listening to this set why Prestige gave him a lucrative recording contract which he would fulfill from 1951-1956 on his way to super-stardom. His distinctive sound on the trumpet is unmistakable here, even as a twenty year old…a sound that would delight the world for decades! This set is solid gold, filled with nuggets of beautiful jazz from start to finish. Many people may be content to limit their early Miles Davis collection to the Complete Birth Of The Cool CD, and that's fine, but you'll be missing out on lots of great music from one of the finest jazz artists of the 20th century!! The sound quality on this box set is great, save for a handful of recordings that are a little garbled but were included anyway because the playing is so beautiful.
Any 1950s Miles Davis recording could easily be called a “collector’s item,” but these selections have special claims to this description. The first four offer Charlie Parker in his only recordings in support of Miles, who had begun his disc career as Bird’s sideman. The last four feature a unique Davis/Mingus encounter. In between is Miles just before launching his first great Quintet, heading two groups loaded with top talent of the “post-bop” period. Recorded on January 30, 1953 (1-4) WOR Studios, New York City and March 16, 1956 (5-7) at Van Gelder Studio in Hackensack, NJ.