Wednesday, November 24, 2004

CD of the Day, Nov. 24th

Recorded 3 years before his landmark Kind of Blue (the bestselling jazz album of all time), Miles Davis’ ‘ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT would be a seminal work for most artists, but for a master like Davis it counts as transitional. After a monumental last session that finished his contractual obligations to Prestige (a session that produce four great albums), this was Davis’ first album with his new label, Columbia. Featuring a classic quintet made of Davis, John Coltrane on tenor; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Philly Joe Jones, drums, Miles is still experimenting with traditional bop, developing what would be come hard bop, but he hadn’t yet fully discovered the beautiful modality that characterized his breakthrough, Kind of Blue. Yet you can hear the origins, especially in Davis’ beautiful interpretation of Monk’s classic, ‘Round Midnight. On the album’s second track the quintet reworks Charlie Parker’s bop classic Ah-Leu-Cha and lays the foundation for many hard bop cuts that follow. On the third track, they tackle Cole Porter’s great standard, All of You, and again you can hear in Davis’ plaintive opening solo and in Contrane’s solo not only great balladering, but the tonal qualities that would be explored and expanded on Kind of Blue. In this album of standards (there is not one original by a quintet member), Davis paid tribute to the past while once again creating the future. A classic. Every jazz collection should include this disc.


At 7:01 PM, Blogger nadezhda said...

Thanks for reminding me of Round About Midnight. I've been hooked on the Workin' Cookin' Prestige group, and then jumping to '58, and this is really worth returning to.

Forgotten how much I love that particular rendition of All of You. It's usually either too finger-snapping bouncy or too syrupy ballad. This one is Cole Porter perfection.

General remark -- you've got great taste in jazz. My tastes are probably just a bit less avantguard than yours, since I'm not willing to invest all that time in getting fully inside the place the musicians are coming from. But I'll check back frequently for your recommendations.

Many thanks for the blogroll as well!

chez Nadezhda at


Post a Comment

<< Home