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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke


MILES DAVIES at Newport 1958
Columbia - CK 85202 2

Crotchet

  1. Intro. By Willis Connover
  2. Ah-Leu-Cha
  3. Straight No Chaser
  4. Fran-Dance
  5. Two Bass Hit
  6. Bye Bye Blackbird
  7. The Theme

Miles Davies - Trumpet   Cannonball Adderley - Alto   John Coltrane - Tenor   Bill Evans - Piano   Paul Chambers - Bass   Jimmy Cobb - Drums
Live recording Newport Jazz Festival, Rhode Island on July 3, 1958.

This was the festival at which the 'Jazz On a Summer's Day' film was made, it was probably the most successful jazz film to date. Recording bands at festivals was probably a new experience for the sound crew; the piano, the bass and the audience seem under-recorded to me. I had better admit that I am not a strong Miles Davis fan, his playing always seems so dull to me compared to Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie and many of the other great trumpet players. I do like the playing of Cannonball Adderley however and although he gets the smaller share of the solo work compared to the leader or Coltrane, his contribution is significant. Drummer Jimmy Cobb was new to the band at this point, but he certainly swings the band and proves to be more than just an adequate replacement for Philly Joe Jones. Miles's muted solo on Fran-Dance makes me to a degree, want to eat my earlier words, but I still feel the need to make the point. On Two Bass Hit Coltrane manages to get a million notes into every chorus, but to my mind without great effect. Whenever I hear Bye Bye Blackbird I always think of Miles and once again his muted solo is excellent. The balance seems to improve as the record goes on, but I still feel it must be a long way from what the audience heard at the Newport festival that day.

Don Mather


 



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