This is a most reflective piece of music and one of my favorites written by Miles Davis. The Bill Evans trio performs this wonderfully and is one of his signature pieces. Three stunning videos capture this talent. This sound which is totally mesmerizing , it’s like the epitome of “The Jazz Trio”!!
I love live jazz and one of the most famous clubs to hear and witness this music was in San Francisco. In 1961 April 22nd. and 23rd. a Friday and Saturday night, Miles Davis with Hank Mobley tenor sax, Wynton Kelly piano, Paul Chambers bass, and Jimmy Cobb drums, recorded 2 nights of incredible music at the legendary Blackhawk. This recording reminds me of another Live set from 1961, Bill Evans at the Village Vanguard. 24 bit digitally remastered in a 4 CD boxed set is the standard in Live music. You must own this set if you are a Miles fan and enjoy live recorded music.
‘Second Great Quintet’ (1964-1968), which consisted of Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on double bass, Tony Williams on drums, and Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone. Albums attributed to this group are 1965’s ESP, 1966 Miles Smiles, 1967 Sorcerer, 1967 Nefertiti, 1968 Miles in the Sky, and 1968 Filles de Kilimanjaro. The quintet’s approach to improvisation came to be known as “time no changes” or “freebop,” because they abandoned the chord-change-based approach of bebop for a modal approach. Through Nefertiti, the studio recordings consisted primarily of originals composed by Shorter, and to a lesser degree of compositions by the other sidemen. In 1967, the group began to play their live concerts in continuous sets, with each tune flowing into the next and only the melody indicating any sort of demarcation; Davis’s bands would continue to perform in this way until his retirement in 1975.
Miles Davis disbanded his quintet in 57 and played at “The Cafe Bohemia” with Sonny Rollins and Art Taylor, He went to France and recorded the soundtrack to Louis Malle’s Ascenseur pour l’échafaud. Returning to New York in December 1957 Miles recruited Julian “Cannonball” Adderley and reformed his quintet into a sextet. January 58 the group appears at “Birdland” and The Continental. Febuary 1958 they record the first half of Milestones and in March they finish the second half. The album is a great bebop and blues set but the namesake piece “Milestones” was a “Modal” masterpiece that set the stage for the historic Kind of Blue album. March 9th. Miles and Cannonball Adderley record Something Else. March – April Red Garland is fired as pianest and replaced by Bill Evans. From April thru May the group is back at “The Cafe Bohemia” Closing May 18th. Philly Joe Jones quits the group and Jimmy Cobb is hired. May 26, 1958 The Miles Davis Sextet records their half of the Jazz Track album. July 3, 1958 The Miles Davis Sextet records at the Newport Jazz Festival, released in 1964 as Miles and Monk at Newport. July – August, 1968 The group opens at the Village Vanguard for two weeks, and records Porgy and Bess. November, 1958 Bill Evans leaves the band and is replaced by Red Garland.. January 1, 1959 The Sextet (with Wynton Kelly on piano) begins a two-week stand at Birdland. March 2, 1959 The Sextet records the first half of “Kind Of Blue” and finish the second half on April 22nd, 1959. Kind of Blue is an album owned by people who don’t listen to Jazz, a sound of something entirely different from what the jazz world had known from before. A group of 6 jazz artist that came together it seems right at the exact moment to create a music for the world and future generations to enjoy. Timeless music here.
Miles Davis formed his first quintet in 1955, a group playing in the bebop and hardbop style. The quintet featured John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on double-bass, Philly Joe Jones on drums and Miles Davis on the trumpet. Although all members of the group are considered very important contributors to the jazz idiom today, at the time of its formation the members of Miles’ Quintet were virtually unknown.
Essential Recordings are:
All recorded in May 1956 and recorded by Rudy Van Gelder. These are wonderful albums and you can hear the genius in the music played by such a talent laden group. These are very essential to any classic jazz fan.
The first recording of this style of jazz was The Birth of the Cool a 1950 Blue Note album by Miles Davis. Despite the top billing this album was a collaborative effort with many players and arrangers of the period, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz, John Lewis, and Gunther Schuller. At the time it was felt that Miles was the best player to represent this new style. This style came about as West Coast (California) players infiltrated the Bop players and the New York jazz scene. Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan both working with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra developed a softer sound and more intricate arrangements. This new style arriving shortly after Bebop had begun to establish itself, was immediately unpopular. This COOL style slowly gained popularity and was later known as West Coast Jazz. Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue album is the best selling jazz album of all time and is the masterpiece of COOL JAZZ.
This goes out to a good friend of mine Jack Engle who once met a jazz legend. New York City, 1959, in the spring of the year. It was my first visit. Fresh out of collage and I was excited. Country boy in the big city. I was staying at the Larchmont hotel on West 11th. street. A tiny little room right out of a B&W James Cagney movie. After arriving by taxi and getting cleaned up, I decided to take a stroll, My first night on the town, I walked up 11th and was encountered by all walks of life. Block by block colors and sounds… I thought “The City That Never Sleeps”. At 7th Avenue I took a left and saw a large awning right out to the street. It drew me in. Village Vanguard it said, I had heard of it but it didn’t really register with me what lay ahead. I entered and stepped up to the bar. To my left was a black gentleman in oxford cloth shirt and slacks. He was not happy. I glanced at him as he sipped a drink and he was talking to someone on the house phone. The place was typical, All bar noises, laughing, glasses going tink tink , the place was full of life. I looked at this guy next to me again cause he had just gotton off the phone. I said hullo, He glanced my way, still seeming very upset or angry and didn’t say a word to me. He stood there for a minute more and left the bar. I asked the bartender for another and turned around to look the place over. Toward the back in a corner I see a bandstand…this guy is stepping up on the stand and picks up a trumpet, says something to a couple of other guys on stage and they all take their places. I slowly started to realize that I was seeing something special. I had heard of Miles Davis but wasn’t really into jazz. Miles was standing up front with his head down and his horn in his right hand and at his side, long enough for me to wonder what’s he doing? The piano player whom I was later to learn was Wynton Kelly started to slowly play a tune followed by the bass player Paul Chambers and the drummer Philly Joe Jones. Miles lifted the horn to his lips and this is what I heard. So What, I had never heard of anything like this before. John Coltrane and his sax came in for a solo after Miles. This sound was New York. It was what I was feeling. It was COOL. That night I stood in rapt attention, listening and absorbing the intricate sounds. I walked out after the set and the band had left the stage. I turned to the bartender and asked about the band. He said buddy? This here club has seen many cats that can play, but we have never heard anything like this. I walked back to my hotel room. I enjoyed my week in Newyork, but that night I became a jazz fan and I stood beside the great Miles Davis.