These tracks were recorded in the period 1951
to 1953 and each has Miles in lively and interesting company.
The first three tracks have Miles in Company with Al Cohn and
Zoot Sims no less in 1953, John Lewis is the pianist and Sonny
Truit is on trombone. The top soloists on the first track are
the two tenor men with Zoot followed by Al. Personally I preferred
Milesí work of this period to his later stuff and this group
has a nice clean ensemble sound.
Track 4 has Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker
on tenor; Parker recorded little on tenor, so that makes this
an unusual track. The ensemble playing is again neat and well
rehearsed and everyone solos well. Parker plays the first tenor
chorus, but in truth there is not a great deal of difference
between his playing and that of Rollins here.
Tempus Fugit has some excellent trumpet from
Davis, this time partnered by J J Johnson on trombone and Jimmy
Heath on tenor, Miles is the outstanding soloist here, but J
Jís solo is full of his usual good humour.
Tune Up featured in Milesí programme for years
and this version with John Lewis, Percy Heath and Max Roach
shows his trumpet skills off to good effect.
Tracks 7 & 8 with a front line of Sonny
Rollins and Bennie Green have a very similar ensemble sound
to the first 3 tracks and once again the ensemble work is tight.
Blue Room has the same line up without Sonny Rollins. It has
taken at a slow tempo, which does not seem to suit the tune,
part of the melancholy that was always around Miles perhaps.
Sonny Rollins returns for Whispering, this time the tempo is
appropriate, Miles states the theme and there are good choruses
from Bennie Green and Sonny Rollins as well as the leader. Tracks
11 to 14 have Jackie McLean joining the band on alto, Sonny
Rollins is on tenor and this is a nice bebop band.
The final track Tasty Pudding has the same
line up as the first track and is one of the best on the album.
This album gives a good impression of the playing
of Miles Davies in this period, with various sidemen, in the
days when he was a good swinging jazz trumpet player. I enjoyed