The Legendary Prestige Quintet Sessions (Mono Remastered) The Miles Davis Quintet
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- 2How Am I To Know?04:38
- 3Just Squeeze Me07:27
- 4There Is No Greater Love05:18
- 5The Theme05:45
- 7In Your Own Sweet Way05:42
- 9Trane's Blues08:33
- 10Something I Dreamed Last Night06:13
- 11It Could Happen To You06:37
- 12Woody'n You05:01
- 13Ahmad's Blues07:24
- 14Surrey With The Fringe On Top09:05
- 15It Never Entered My Mind05:22
- 16When I Fall In Love04:21
- 17Salt Peanuts06:07
- 19The Theme (Take 1)02:01
- 20The Theme (Take 2)01:05
- 21If I Were A Bell08:15
- 22Well, You Needn't06:18
- 23Round Midnight05:25
- 24Half Nelson04:45
- 25You're My Everything05:18
- 26I Could Write A Book05:11
- 29Tune Up05:41
- 30When Lights Are Low07:30
- 31Blues By Five09:53
- 32My Funny Valentine06:04
Info for The Legendary Prestige Quintet Sessions (Mono Remastered)
Celebrating the 70th anniversary of Prestige Records, the selection presents the quintet’s marathon sessions for the iconic jazz label, recorded between 1955–56, which resulted in classic albums such as Cookin’, Relaxin’, Workin’, and Steamin’.
Miles Davis’ First Great Quintet was assembled in 1955—a pivotal year for the trumpeter and bandleader. Following a triumphant set at the Newport Jazz Festival, Davis was at the top of his game, and enjoying newfound recognition by industry leaders, critics, and fans alike. With a lineup that featured pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Philly Joe Jones and a relatively unknown tenor saxophonist named John Coltrane (replacing Sonny Rollins), the unit became the dominant small jazz group of the late ’50s and helped define the hard-bop genre. In his liner notes, Bob Blumenthal writes “The Miles Davis Quintet heard here was Davis’ means of seizing the moment when his physical health and his musical concepts were on an upswing…This is the band Davis organized when he wanted his recordings to stand for more than snapshots of his momentary interests.”
Over the course of a year—from November 1955 to October 1956—the quintet recorded three exceptionally productive sessions with famed engineer Rudy Van Gelder, simulating nightclub sets at Van Gelder’s Hackensack, New Jersey studio. The resulting 32 tracks—presented in chronological order in this collection—would make up five complete and significant albums: the quintet’s 1956 debut release, Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet, Cookin’ (1957), Relaxin’ (1958), Workin’ (1959), and Steamin’ (1961). The quintet’s recording of “’Round Midnight” would represent this ensemble’s lone contribution to the album Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants (1959). The majority of these tracks are pop and jazz standards, along with several original compositions from Davis. Highlights include a rendition of Thelonious Monk’s “’Round Midnight,” which Davis would adopt as a signature tune, a scorching drum solo from Jones on “Salt Peanuts,” Davis’ exquisite use of the Harmon mute on the intimate ballads “My Funny Valentine” and “It Never Entered My Mind,” Garland’s inspiring solo on “If I Were a Bell,” and a standout performance from the rhythm section on “Blues by Five.”
Blumenthal writes that during this era, “Davis understood the potential of the new, longer 12-inch album format, and used it to create definitive performances in a variety of moods.” Adding, “The key was contrast, which began with the juxtaposition of Davis’ concision, Coltrane’s complexity, and Garland’s sparkle; extended to the textural variety the rhythm section provided each soloist; and was capped by the distinctive range of the band’s repertoire.”
Because much of the Quintet’s material was performed outside of the studio—in nightclubs and concert halls—a bonus LP is included, which features eight TV and radio appearances, including live performances at Café Bohemia, the Blue Note in Philadelphia and on Tonight Starring Steve Allen, offering a broader view of the group’s exceptional work together.
Miles Davis, trumpet
John Coltrane, tenor saxophone
Red Garland, piano
Bill Evans, piano
Paul Chambers, bass
Philly Joe Jones, drums
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