- Half Nelson
- Moon Dreams
- My Old Flame
- Tune Up
- ‘Round Midnight
- Old Devil Mood
- Blue ‘N’ Boogie
- But Not for Me
- The Man I Love
This is the second album
of Miles early work that has reached me for
review this month and two of the tracks are
the same as the one from NAXOS, I can only
assume that once copyright expires they are
up for grabs by anyone who wants to use them.
The first two tracks have
Charlie Parker on tenor a comparatively rare
occurrence and whilst they are both short
tracks, they are both remarkable for something
recorded in 1947. John Lewis is on piano and
the ever-dependable Max Roach on drums.
The following two tracks
are from the acknowledged ‘Birth of the Cool’
session, which benefited greatly from the
talents of Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz and
The next two tracks had similar
instrumentation but some changes in personnel.
These tracks changed everyone’s conception
of jazz played by a medium sized band, where
the arrangers and not the soloists are the
most important aspect.
Conception is an outstanding
bebop set with Miles sharing the front line
with Jackie McLean and Sonny Rollins, the
rhythm section is Walter Bishop, Charles Mingus
and Art Blakey.
My Old Flame was recorded
in 1951, this is a quintet track with Sonny
Rollins sharing the front line, Miles plays
extremely well and creates several very relaxed
musical choruses, before passing on the solo
honours to Sonny Rollins, who solos with equal
inventiveness and conviction.
Tune Up is a Miles Davis
composition that he frequently used on public
appearances from the date of this rendition
in 1953. John Lewis, Percy Heath and Max Roach
are in support. Miles to me was at his best
at this time, he had a great flow of ideas
and seemed relaxed and confident. ‘Round Midnight’
was recorded the same year, this time with
Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker on tenor.
Apparently this was not an altogether comfortable
session for Miles, as Parker wanted to lead
the band as well! He had of course previously
employed Miles as a sideman.
Old Devil Moon has Horace
Silver on piano, Percy Heath on bass and Art
Blakey on drums. I had not heard this track
before and it caught Miles on top form with
a superb rhythm section. Blue ‘N’ Boogie includes
one of the unsung heroes of bebop Lucky Thompson.
Lucky died recently although he had not been
active musically for some years, so it was
nice to be reminded of his great talent. J
J Johnson another bebop pioneer is on trombone.
Walkin’ that great blues composition came
from the same session.
But Not for Me is the quintet
again with Sonny Rollins, the last track The
Man I Love has Milt Jackson on Vibes and Thelonius
Monk on piano.
This is a very good album
containing some of the works of Miles from
1947-1954, not only was the leader in great
form at that time, but there are some great
performances by the sidemen. Lucky Thomson
was in terrific form on the two tracks which
he is heard, he had a great individual sound
and a phenomenal technique.