Miles Davis and Gil Evans: Complete Columbia Studio Recordings [2004 Reissue]

Miles Davis and Gil Evans: Complete Columbia Studio Recordings [2004 Reissue]

by Miles Davis
     
 

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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 SextetSee more details below

Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Over the course of six compact discs, Miles Davis and Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings collects every bit of music the legendary duo recorded together between the years 1957 and 1968. Each of the original albums -- Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess, Sketches of Spain, and Quiet Nights -- is presented in its original running order on separate discs; each individual disc is augmented with revealing alternate takes and rarities, like the duo's long-unavailable music for "The Time of the Barracudas" at the end of the Quiet Nights disc. The remaining two discs are filled with alternate takes, rehearsals, overdubbed solos, studio chatter, and outtakes. All of the music sounds splendid and often revelatory -- for instance, in addition to being released in stereo for the first time ever, Miles Ahead is presented in its original version for the first time on compact disc. Each disc is enclosed in a sleeve that replicates the original album release (both covers of Miles Ahead are included within the set) and housed in an immense, detailed, gold-bound 197-page book. In fact, if there is any fault with the set it is this: since the notes, sleeves, track listings, and discs are bound together within one thick book, the set feels like a library piece instead of a functional, listenable retrospective. This is vital music that will be accessed often by anyone willing to invest in the set, so the box set should have been designed with that in mind. Nevertheless, Miles Davis and Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings is filled with so much visionary and beautiful music it makes the slight flaws in packaging forgivable. [This set was reissued -- with no additional material -- in 2004.]

Product Details

Release Date:
05/11/2004
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969092323
catalogNumber:
90923
Rank:
108223

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Springsville  - Gil Evans
  2. The Maids of Cadiz  - Gil Evans
  3. The Duke  - Gil Evans
  4. My Ship  - Gil Evans
  5. Miles Ahead  - Gil Evans
  6. Blues for Pablo  - Gil Evans
  7. New Rhumba  - Gil Evans
  8. The Meaning of the Blues  - Gil Evans
  9. Lament  - Gil Evans
  10. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans
  11. Springsville  - Gil Evans
  12. The Maids of Cadiz  - Gil Evans
  13. The Duke  - Gil Evans
  14. My Ship  - Gil Evans
  15. Miles Ahead  - Gil Evans
  16. Blues for Pablo  - Gil Evans
  17. New Rhumba  - Gil Evans
  18. The Meaning of the Blues  - Gil Evans
  19. Lament  - Gil Evans
  20. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans
  21. [Pause Track]  - Gil Evans

Disc 2

  1. Buzzard Song  - Gil Evans
  2. Bess, You Is My Woman Now  - Gil Evans
  3. Gone  - Gil Evans
  4. Gone, Gone, Gone  - Gil Evans
  5. Summertime
  6. Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess?  - Gil Evans
  7. Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)  - Gil Evans
  8. Fisherman, Strawberry and Devil Crab  - Gil Evans
  9. My Man's Gone Now  - Gil Evans
  10. It Ain't Necessarily So  - Gil Evans
  11. Here Come de Honey Man  - Gil Evans
  12. I Loves You, Porgy  - Gil Evans
  13. There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York  - Gil Evans
  14. Gone  - Gil Evans
  15. Summertime
  16. Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)  - Gil Evans
  17. I Loves You, Porgy  - Gil Evans
  18. There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York  - Gil Evans
  19. Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess?  - Gil Evans
  20. Gone  - Gil Evans
  21. [Pause Track]  - Gil Evans

Disc 3

  1. Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)  - Gil Evans
  2. Will O' the Wisp  - Gil Evans
  3. The Pan Piper  - Gil Evans
  4. Saeta  - Gil Evans
  5. Solea  - Gil Evans
  6. Song of Our Country  - Gil Evans
  7. Saeta  - Gil Evans
  8. The Pan Piper  - Gil Evans
  9. Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio), Pt. 1  - Gil Evans
  10. Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio), Pt. 2  - Gil Evans
  11. Song of Our Country  - Gil Evans
  12. [Pause Track]  - Gil Evans

Disc 4

  1. Song No. 2  - Gil Evans
  2. Once Upon a Summertime  - Gil Evans
  3. Aos Pes da Cruz  - Gil Evans
  4. Song No. 1  - Gil Evans
  5. Wait Till You See Her  - Gil Evans
  6. Corcovado  - Gil Evans
  7. Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)  - Gil Evans
  8. Nothing Like You  - Gil Evans
  9. Devil May Care  - Gil Evans
  10. The Time of the Barracudas  - Gil Evans
  11. Falling Water  - Gil Evans
  12. Falling Water  - Gil Evans
  13. Falling Water  - Gil Evans
  14. Falling Water  - Gil Evans
  15. Springsville  - Gil Evans
  16. The Maids of Cadiz  - Gil Evans
  17. The Maids of Cadiz  - Gil Evans
  18. Lament [Medley]  - Gil Evans
  19. The Duke  - Gil Evans
  20. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans

Disc 5

  1. Springsville  - Gil Evans
  2. Springsville  - Gil Evans
  3. The Maids of Cadiz  - Gil Evans
  4. The Maids of Cadiz  - Gil Evans
  5. The Maids of Cadiz  - Gil Evans
  6. Count Off for the Duke  - Gil Evans
  7. The Duke  - Gil Evans
  8. The Duke  - Gil Evans
  9. My Ship  - Gil Evans
  10. Miles Ahead  - Gil Evans
  11. Miles Ahead  - Gil Evans
  12. Miles Ahead  - Gil Evans
  13. Studio Discussion  - Gil Evans
  14. My Ship  - Gil Evans
  15. Miles Ahead  - Gil Evans
  16. Blues for Pablo  - Gil Evans
  17. New Rhumba  - Gil Evans
  18. Lament  - Gil Evans
  19. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans
  20. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans
  21. Studio Discussion  - Gil Evans
  22. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans
  23. [Pause Track]  - Gil Evans

Disc 6

  1. Studio Discussion  - Gil Evans
  2. Springsville  - Gil Evans
  3. Studio Discussion  - Gil Evans
  4. Miles Ahead  - Gil Evans
  5. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans
  6. Springsville  - Gil Evans
  7. Springsville  - Gil Evans
  8. Springsville  - Gil Evans
  9. Springsville  - Gil Evans
  10. Miles Ahead  - Gil Evans
  11. Miles Ahead  - Gil Evans
  12. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans
  13. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans
  14. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans
  15. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans
  16. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)  - Gil Evans
  17. Miles Ahead  - Gil Evans
  18. Gone  - Gil Evans
  19. Gone, Gone, Gone  - Gil Evans
  20. Studio Discussion  - Gil Evans
  21. Bess, You Is My Woman Now  - Gil Evans
  22. It Ain't Necessarily So  - Gil Evans
  23. Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess?  - Gil Evans
  24. I Loves You, Porgy  - Gil Evans
  25. There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York  - Gil Evans
  26. My Man's Gone Now  - Gil Evans
  27. Song of Our Country  - Gil Evans
  28. Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)  - Gil Evans
  29. Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)  - Gil Evans
  30. [Pause Track]  - Gil Evans

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Miles Davis   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Paul Horn   Flugelhorn,Alto Saxophone
Cannonball Adderley   Alto Saxophone
Joe Beck   Electric Guitar
Phil Bodner   Clarinet,Flugelhorn
Ron Carter   Double Bass
Jimmy Cleveland   Trombone
Johnny Coles   Trumpet
Buddy Collette   Flugelhorn,Tenor Saxophone
Bob Dorough   Piano,Vocals
Herbie Hancock   Piano,Electric Piano,Wurlitzer
Elvin Jones   Percussion
Philly Joe Jones   Drums
Wynton Kelly   Piano
Lee Konitz   Alto Saxophone
Steve Lacy   Soprano Saxophone
Hubert Laws   Flute,Flugelhorn
Jerome Richardson   Reeds,Flugelhorn
Wayne Shorter   Tenor Saxophone
Art Taylor   Drums
Julius Watkins   French Horn
Tony Williams   Drums
Howard Johnson   Tuba
Taft Jordan   Trumpet
Frank Rehak   Trombone
Ernie Royal   Trumpet
Jimmy Cobb   Drums
Willie Ruff   French Horn
Gloria Agostini   Harp
Ray Alonge   French Horn
Harold Baker   Trumpet
Danny Bank   Bass Clarinet,Flugelhorn
Billy Barber   Tuba
John Barrows   French Horn
Raymond Beckenstein   Reeds,Flugelhorn
Willie Bobo   Bongos
James Buffington   French Horn
Garvin Bushell   Bassoon,Contrabassoon
Herb Bushler   Hawaiian Guitar
Eddie Caine   Clarinet,Flugelhorn
Johnny Carisi   Trumpet
Paul Chambers   Double Bass
Earl Chapin   French Horn
Gene Cipriano   Flugelhorn,Oboe,Tenor Saxophone
Sid Cooper   Clarinet,Flugelhorn
Donald Corrado   French Horn
Fred Dutton   Bassoon
Gil Evans   Conductor
Harold Feldman   Clarinet,Flugelhorn,Oboe
Bernie Glow   Trumpet
Bill Hinshaw   French Horn
J.J. Johnson   Trombone
Jack Knitzer   Bassoon
Lawrence Lucie   Mandolin
Jose Mangual   Percussion
Jimmy McAllister   Tuba
Tony Miranda   French Horn
Louis Mucci   Trumpet
Romeo Penque   Clarinet,Flute,Bass Clarinet,Flugelhorn,Oboe
Richard Perissi   French Horn
Karl Porter   Bassoon
Janet Putnam   Harp
Gunther Schuller   French Horn
Bob Tricarico   Bassoon
Dick Hixon   Trombone
Joe Singer   French Horn
Dick Leith   Bass Trombone
Joe Bennett   Trombone
Block   Flugelhorn
Tommy Mitchell   Bass Trombone
Betty Glauman   Harp
Art Maeba   French Horn
Marjorie Call   Harp

Technical Credits

Léo Delibes   Composer
Manuel de Falla   Composer
George Gershwin   Composer
Joaquín Rodrigo   Composer
Kurt Weill   Composer
Bob Belden   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer
Dave Brubeck   Composer
Miles Davis   Composer
Bob Dorough   Composer
Ahmad Jamal   Composer
Quincy Jones   Liner Notes
Michel Legrand   Composer
John Hammond   Producer
Andre Hodeir   Liner Notes
Bobby Troup   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Bill Kirchner   Liner Notes
George Avakian   Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
Johnny Carisi   Composer
Mino Cinelu   Composer
Michael Cuscuna   Executive Producer
Gil Evans   Arranger,Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Nat Hentoff   Liner Notes
Antonio Carlos Jobim   Composer
J.J. Johnson   Composer
Frank Laico   Engineer
Cal Lampley   Producer,Audio Production
Teo Macero   Producer,Audio Production
Bill Mathieu   Author
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Fred Plaut   Engineer
Phil Schaap   Reissue Producer,Remastering,Annotation
Irving Townsend   Producer,Audio Production
Mark Wilder   Remixing,Mastering
Jack Elliott   Composer
Charles Edward Smith   Liner Notes
Eddie Barclay   Composer
Tom "Curly" Ruff   Engineer
Don Hunstein   Cover Photo
Arnold Levine   Art Direction
Harold Chapman   Engineer
Chika Azuma   Art Direction
DuBose Heyward   Composer
Fran Landesman   Composer
Eddy Marnay   Composer
Harold Spina   Composer
Leah Worth   Composer
Marino Pinto   Composer
Pedro Gonçalves   Composer
Terrell Kirk   Composer

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