Miles Davis

Miles Davis's name is synonymous with twentieth-century jazz. Alongside Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie, he is one of the three most influential trumpet players in the history of jazz.

Miles Dewey Davis got his first trumpet at the age of 9 or 10 and took lessons from Elwood Buchanan. By 1948 he had formed his own nine-piece band with a revolutionary new horn section of trumpet, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, trombone, French horn and tuba, backed by piano, bass and drums.

Employing arrangements by Gil Evans and others, this line-up – featuring Kai Winding, Lee Konitz, Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, J. J. Johnson and Kenny Clarke – recorded three seminal sessions that were later collected together on an LP under the title The Birth Of The Cool. The name was entirely appropriate, for this music marked a break with bebop and the emergence of a new 'cool' jazz style that was to prove hugely influential (represented on this collection by the tracks ‘Jeru’ and ‘Boplicity’).

The Columbia contract in the mid-1950s - the label he was to remain with for the next thirty years - enabled Davis to put together a stellar quintet featuring John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chamber and Philly Joe Jones. The period is represented on this Rough Guide collection by the tracks ‘Nature Boy’ and ‘’Round Midnight’. In 1957, Davis teamed up again with arranger Gil Evans on the album ‘Miles Ahead’, with a twelve-strong brass orchestra to create one of the great lyrical masterpieces of modern jazz (represented here by the title track, ‘Blues For Pablo’ and ‘New Rhumba’).

With saxophonist Cannonball Adderley added to the Coltrane, Garland, Chambers and Jones line-up to create the Miles Davis Sextet, he recorded the 1958 album Milestones (represented on this collection by the title track and ‘Dr Jackle’).

Alternating his recordings between his quintet/sextet and orchestral albums, Davis teamed up again with the pianist/arranger Gil Evans on an album of masterful arrangements of music from Gershwin's ‘Porgy And Bess’ (heard here on magnificent takes on ‘Summertime’ and ‘The Buzzard Song’).

With a new line-up Miles Davis recorded ‘Kind Of Blue’, one of the most famous and influential landmarks in jazz history, which presaged a new form of modal jazz, full of sculpted elegance and profound mystery. This album – not only Davis's best-selling album, but the biggest-selling jazz album of all time—is represented on this compilation by ‘Blue In Green’ and ‘Stella By Starlight’, with which the Rough Guide compilation of Davis's early career concludes.

Musicians

CD1: Miles Davis: Birth Of A Legend

01         The Miles Davis Nonet: Jeru (1949)
Musicians: Miles Davis (trumpet), Kai Winding (trombone), Junior Collins (Fr horn), Bill Barber (tuba), Lee Konitz (alto sax), Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax), Al Haig (piano), Joe Shulman (bass), Max Roach (drums)

02         The Miles Davis Nonet: Boplicity (1949)
Musicians: Miles Davis (trumpet), J.J. Johnson (trombone), Sandy Siegelstein (Fr horn), Bill Barber (tuba), Lee Konitz (alto sax), Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax), John Lewis (piano), Nelson Boyd (bass), Kenny Clarke (drums)

03         Miles Davis: Ezz-thetic (1951)
Musicians: Miles Davis (trumpet), Sal Mosca (piano), Billy Bauer (guitar), Arnold Fishkin (bass), Max Roach (drums)

04         The Miles Davis Quintet: Dear Old Stockholm (1952)
Musicians: Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums)

05         Miles Davis: Nature Boy (1955)
Musicians: Miles Davis (trumpet), Britt Woodman (trombone), Charles Mingus (double bass), Teddy Charles (vibes), Elvin Jones (drums)

06         The Miles Davis Quintet: ‘Round Midnight (1956)
Musicians: Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums)

07         Miles Davis: Miles Ahead (1957)
Musicians: Orchestra under the direction of Gil Evans

08         Miles Davis: Blues for Pablo (1957)
Musicians: Orchestra under the direction of Gil Evans

09         Miles Davis: New Rumba (1957)
Musicians: Orchestra under the direction of Gil Evans

10         Miles Davis: Milestones (1958)
Musicians: Miles Davis (trumpet), Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley (alto sax), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums)

11         The Miles Davis Sextet: Dr Jackie (1958)
Musicians: Miles Davis (trumpet), Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone), John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums)

12         Miles Davis: Summertime  (1958)
Musicians: Orchestra under the direction of Gil Evans

13         Miles Davis: The Buzzard Song (1958)
Musicians: Orchestra under the direction of Gil Evans

14         Blue In Green: (1959)
Musicians: Miles Davis (trumpet), Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley (alto sax), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums)

15         Miles Davis: Stella By Starlight (1959)
Musicians: Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums)

CD2 –Bonus CD: Jazz Giants

01         Clark Terry Quintet: Donna Lee (1957)
Musicians: Clark Terry (trumpet), Johnny Griffin (tenor sax), Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass) Philly Joe Jones (drums)

02         Coleman Hawkins: Wrap Up Your Troubles In Dreams (1945)
Musicians: Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax), Howard McGhee (trumpet), Sir Charles Thompson (piano), Allan Reuss (guitar), Oscar Pettiford (bass), Denzil Best (drums), Vic Dickenson (trombone)

03         Lee Konitz: Sound-Lee (1949)
Musicians: Lee Konitz (alto sax), Warne Marsh (tenor sax), Al Mosca (piano), Arnold Fishkin (bass), Jeff Morton (drums)

04         Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser (1951)
Musicians: Thelonious Monk (piano), Sahib Shihab (alto sax), Milt Jackson (vibraphone), Al McKibbon (bass), Art Blakey (drums)

05         Gerry Mulligan: Walking Shoes (1959)
Musicians: Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax, piano), Art Farmer (trumpet), Bill Crow (bass), Dave Bailey (drums)

06         Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Moanin’ (1958)
Musicians: Art Blakey (drums), Lee Morgan (trumpet), Benny Golson (tenor saxophone), Bobby Timmons (piano), Jymie Merritt (bass)

07         Charles Mingus: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (1959)
Musicians: n/a

08         Horace Silver: Sister Sadie (1959)
Musicians: Horace Silver (piano), Junior Cook (tenor sax), Blue Mitchell (trumpet), Gene Taylor (bass), Louis Hayes (drums)

09         John Coltrane: Blue Train (1957)
Musicians: John Coltrane (tenor sax), Lee Morgan (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Paul Chambers (bass), Kenny Drew (piano), Philly Joe Jones (drums)

10         Cannonball Adderley: Autumn Leaves (1958)       
Musicians: Cannonball Adderley (alto sax), Miles Davis (trumpet), Hank Jones (piano), Sam Jones (bass), Art Blakey (drums)