The Complete Columbia Recordings: Miles Davis & John Coltrane

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lee Jeske
Boxed sets of jazz CDs frequently pose the uncomfortable question, "Can you have too much of a good thing?" The answer is, often, yes.MILES DAVIS WITH JOHN COLTRANE: THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA RECORDINGS poses the question, "Can you have too much of a great thing?" The answer is, resoundingly, no. Jazz on this level -- the level of the Miles Davis Quintet and Sextet with John Coltrane -- is so rare and so profound, so, in a sense, perfect, that we can only ask Columbia to bring it all on, every alternate take, false start, bit of studio chatter, all of it. And Columbia -- which has been lovingly sorting and rearranging Miles Davis' output into various crates over the past few ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lee Jeske
Boxed sets of jazz CDs frequently pose the uncomfortable question, "Can you have too much of a good thing?" The answer is, often, yes.MILES DAVIS WITH JOHN COLTRANE: THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA RECORDINGS poses the question, "Can you have too much of a great thing?" The answer is, resoundingly, no. Jazz on this level -- the level of the Miles Davis Quintet and Sextet with John Coltrane -- is so rare and so profound, so, in a sense, perfect, that we can only ask Columbia to bring it all on, every alternate take, false start, bit of studio chatter, all of it. And Columbia -- which has been lovingly sorting and rearranging Miles Davis' output into various crates over the past few years -- is happy to oblige. The question with this six-CD box is not whether or not you should have this music -- you should have this music --but whether you should have it in this form, in this configuration, in this particular crate. The answer is a qualified yes.

In 1955, after years of playing with various different rhythm sections, Miles Davis hired himself a band -- pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Philly Joe Jones, and the young tenor saxophonist John Coltrane. He also signed a deal with Columbia Records, after years of recording for the small, independent Prestige jazz label. In less than a year, the group recorded MILES, COOKIN', WORKIN', STEAMIN', and RELAXIN' to fulfill the obligation to Prestige, and 'ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT to begin the obligation to Columbia. During the next five years, Miles Davis recorded the landmark orchestral albums with Gil Evans -- collected in another Columbia crate -- and a series of increasingly stunning albums with a version of this small group. Cannonball Adderley, the great soulful alto saxophonist, made it a Sextet in 1958, shortly before Red Garland and Philly Joe Jones made way for Bill Evans (then Wynton Kelly) and Jimmy Cobb. The band kept playing -- recording its pointillistic material, evolving into modal harmonies, being pulled by John Coltrane's increasing musical yearnings -- until, in 1960, Coltrane finally had to leave to pursue his own vision (although Miles lured him back for a couple of 1961 dates). With Coltrane gone, the band disintegrated and an astonishing new band --another perfect band -- was formed with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. That band has its own Columbia crate. (The title of this set is somewhat disingenuous --John Coltrane was a sideman in this band, never a co-leader.

Here's what's in this box: the albums 'ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT, MILESTONES and KIND OF BLUE in their entirety, the band's live performances at a Columbia party and the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, half of an album called JAZZ TRACK (the other half was Davis's soundtrack to the French film "L'Ascenseur pour l'echafaud"), and the two songs Coltrane joined on SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME. And there are numerous alternate takes, many of which have already been restored to Columbia's single-CD reissues of this material. So what -- aside from the usual fancy box and weighty booklet -- does this box set have that we haven't heard before? A lot. There are 13 previously unissued alternate takes and a previously unreleased version of "Little Melonae": a remarkable hour-and-a-half of extra music. There are also songs issued in their original 1950s stereo for the first time ever; a few scattered seconds of the famous but rarely heard Miles Davis rasp; and a false start or two (the only thing left to issue from the landmark KIND OF BLUE sessions was a minute-and-a-half false start of "Freddie Freeloader"). The extra music is, like the music we know, extraordinary. There is nothing revelatory here, just powerful alternates that, except for a flub or two, would have done everybody proud if they had been included in the original albums. And all the music is loaded with tension -- Coltrane and Bill Evans were two very different musicians, but, in these years, they were both forward-thinking seekers of something new, something just around the corner in the future of jazz. You can hear Trane pressing, impatient, chafing against the restrictions that he would burst through so astonishingly in his own albums for Atlantic and Prestige. And you can hear Miles respond to that --squeezing even more drama, more heartache from his horn.

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
As the fourth fifth, if you count the Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel entry in Columbia's celebrated series of Miles Davis box sets, The Complete Columbia Recordings: Miles Davis & John Coltrane was perhaps the most anticipated set, and it's easy to see why. The push and pull between Miles and Coltrane resulted in dynamic recordings that set the standard for modern jazz -- and this was for their Prestige recordings, before they even moved to Columbia. Once Miles relocated to Columbia, he began to push the boundaries of his music. The progression from the sublime, after-hours 'Round About Midnight to the modal Milestones is remarkable -- all the more so when Kind of Blue, the culmination of Davis' modal direction, is taken into the equation. Over the course of six discs, The Complete Columbia Recordings traces this progression, including the entirety of 'Round About Midnight, Milestones, and Kind of Blue, plus selections from Someday My Prince Will Come, live album cuts, and 18 unreleased tracks, all alternate takes. Even if you're familiar with this music -- and any jazz fan will be -- the chronological, session-order sequencing keeps it fresh, and it's possible to marvel at how quickly their talents deepened. For neophytes, this isn't really an ideal way to dive into these remarkable recordings, since there's not only too much, but it's arranged in a way that doesn't ease the listener into the music. It's designed to be a library piece for collectors, fans, and historians that have already absorbed the music fully. After all, the original album covers are not reproduced anywhere in the notes, and the discs themselves are cryptically identified with dots that parallel the numbers on a clock. For anyone who knows and loves this music though, this is an essential addition to a comprehensive jazz library. [This set was reissued in essentially the same format in 2004.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/4/2004
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969092224
  • Catalog Number: 90922

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Two Bass Hit (3:21)
  2. 2 Two Bass Hit (3:44)
  3. 3 Ah-Leu-Cha (5:51)
  4. 4 Ah-Leu-Cha (5:53)
  5. 5 Ah-Leu-Cha (5:25)
  6. 6 Little Melonae (7:22)
  7. 7 Budo (5:02)
  8. 8 Budo (4:17)
  9. 9 Dear Old Stockholm (7:51)
  10. 10 Bye Bye Blackbird (7:50)
  11. 11 Bye Bye Blackbird (7:56)
  12. 12 Tadd's Delight (4:28)
  13. 13 Tadd's Delight (4:18)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Dear Old Stockholm (6:42)
  2. 2 All of You (7:31)
  3. 3 All of You (7:03)
  4. 4 Sweet Sue, Just You (4:23)
  5. 5 Sweet Sue, Just You (1:58)
  6. 6 Sweet Sue, Just You (3:32)
  7. 7 Sweet Sue, Just You (3:41)
  8. 8 Miles Davis Comments (0:30)
  9. 9 'Round Midnight (5:57)
  10. 10 Two Bass Hit (4:32)
  11. 11 Two Bass Hit (5:13)
  12. 12 Billy Boy (7:12)
  13. 13 Straight, No Chaser (10:27)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Straight, No Chaser (10:37)
  2. 2 Milestones (6:01)
  3. 3 Milestones (5:44)
  4. 4 Sid's Ahead (13:02)
  5. 5 Little Melonae (7:55)
  6. 6 Dr. Jackle (5:49)
  7. 7 On Green Dolphin Street (9:50)
  8. 8 Fran-Dance (5:52)
  9. 9 Fran-Dance (5:49)
  10. 10 Stella by Starlight (4:43)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Love for Sale (11:49)
  2. 2 Freddie Freeloader (1:27)
  3. 3 Freddie Freeloader (9:48)
  4. 4 So What (9:23)
  5. 5 Blue in Green (5:38)
  6. 6 Flamenco Sketches (9:33)
  7. 7 Miles Davis Comments (0:44)
  8. 8 Flamenco Sketches (9:27)
  9. 9 All Blues (11:32)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Someday My Prince Will Come (9:05)
  2. 2 Teo (9:36)
  3. 3 Introduction by Willis Conover (2:15)
  4. 4 Ah-Leu-Cha (5:52)
  5. 5 Straight, No Chaser (8:47)
  6. 6 Fran-Dance (7:13)
  7. 7 Two Bass Hit (4:10)
  8. 8 Bye Bye Blackbird (9:10)
  9. 9 The Theme (2:48)
Disc 6
  1. 1 If I Were a Bell (8:31)
  2. 2 Oleo (10:38)
  3. 3 My Funny Valentine (10:18)
  4. 4 Straight, No Chaser (10:56)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Coltrane Primary Artist, Tenor Saxophone, Track Performer
Leonard Bernstein Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Cannonball Adderley Alto Saxophone
Miles Davis Trumpet, Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Bill Evans Piano
Red Garland Piano
Philly Joe Jones Drums
Wynton Kelly Piano
Hank Mobley Tenor Saxophone
Willis Conover Track Performer
Jimmy Cobb Drums
Paul Chambers Bass
Technical Credits
Bob Belden Producer, Liner Notes
Tadd Dameron Composer
Miles Davis Composer
Bill Evans Liner Notes
Stan Getz Composer
Dizzy Gillespie Composer
John Lewis Composer
Bud Powell Composer
Sonny Rollins Composer
Cootie Williams Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Bronislaw Kaper Composer
Steven Berkowitz Direction
Jimmy Cobb Liner Notes
Frank Loesser Composer
George Avakian Producer, Liner Notes
Michael Cuscuna Producer, Liner Notes
Gil Evans Arranger
Bud Graham Engineer
Will J. Harris Composer
Lorenz Hart Composer
Ray Henderson Composer
Frank Laico Engineer
Cal Lampley Producer
Teo Macero Arranger, Producer
Jackie McLean Composer
Thelonious Monk Composer
Charlie Parker Composer
Fred Plaut Engineer
Cole Porter Composer
Irving Townsend Producer
Ned Washington Composer
Mark Wilder Remixing
Victor Young Composer
Bernie Hanighen Composer
Bob Blumenthal Liner Notes
George Knuerr Engineer
Seth Rothstein Direction
Arnold Levine Art Direction
Harold Chapman Engineer
Sean Evans Art Direction
Frank Harkins Art Direction
Frank Churchill Composer
Mort Dixon Composer
Larry Morey Composer
Adjutor Theroux Engineer
Nicholas Bennett Packaging Manager
Traditional Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    THIS IS NOT THE CORRECT BOX COVER

    The box cover that appears in the page isn't correct!

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    Posted June 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted June 15, 2010

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