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'Round About Midnight
     

'Round About Midnight

5.0 2
by Miles Davis
 

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The reissue of 'Round About Midnight is the definitive presentation of one of Miles Davis' greatest recordings. As is Legacy's wont, once an anthology box set is issued -- in this case The Complete Columbia Recordings: Miles Davis & John Coltrane -- the individual recordings are released with bonus tracks. This reissue features the original album as

Overview

The reissue of 'Round About Midnight is the definitive presentation of one of Miles Davis' greatest recordings. As is Legacy's wont, once an anthology box set is issued -- in this case The Complete Columbia Recordings: Miles Davis & John Coltrane -- the individual recordings are released with bonus tracks. This reissue features the original album as sequenced, with the addition of four cuts from the same sessions. Given that this was Miles Davis' debut Columbia recording, it was both a beginning and an ending. First, this is the label that issued most of his important recordings. It is also the first offering from an exciting new band that had within its ranks Philly Joe Jones, Paul Chambers, pianist Red Garland, and John Coltrane. The date was also an ending, because by the time of the album's release, Davis had already broken up the band, which re-formed with Cannonball Adderley a year later as a sextet. Musically, this sound is as unusual and beautiful as it was when issued in 1956. Davis had already led the charge through two changes in jazz -- both cool jazz and hard bop -- and was beginning to move in another direction here that wouldn't be defined for another two years. The title track, with muted trumpet, was premiered at the Newport Jazz Festival the previous summer to a thunderous reception. Charlie Parker's "Au Leu-Cha" is edgy, with deep blues leaping from every chord change from Red Garland's left hand. Coltrane's solo here too is notable for its stark contrast to Davis' own: he chooses an angular tack where he finds the heart of the mode and plays a melody in harmonic counterpoint to the changes but never sounds outside. Cole Porter's "All of You" has Davis quoting from Louis Armstrong's "Basin Street Blues" in his solo that masks the melody, while in his own, Coltrane has never respected a melody so much. But it's in "Bye Bye Blackbird" that listeners get to hear the band gel as a unit, beginning with Davis playing through the head, muted and sweet, slightly flatted out until he reaches the chorus and begins his solo on a high note. Garland is doing more than comping in the background; he's slipping shapes into those interval cracks and shifting them as the rhythm section keeps "soft time." When Coltrane moves in for his break, rather than Davis' spare method, he smatters notes quickly all though the body of the tune and Garland has to compensate harmonically, moving the tempo up a notch until his own solo can bring it back down again. Of the bonus material, it's interesting, but the only stunner is Jackie McLean's "Little Melonae" -- recorded before its composer could put it in the can. The band comes out blazing, but it's Coltrane with the surprise in quoting various Dizzy Gillespie solos.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/17/2001
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998520127
catalogNumber:
85201
Rank:
1932

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Miles Davis   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Track Performer
Red Garland   Piano
Philly Joe Jones   Drums
Paul Chambers   Bass
John Coltrane   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

Bob Belden   Reissue Producer
John Lewis   Composer
George Avakian   Producer,Liner Notes
Michael Cuscuna   Reissue Producer
Frank Laico   Engineer
Ray Moore   Engineer
Mark Wilder   Engineer
Bob Blumenthal   Liner Notes
Don Hunstein   Tray Photo
Randall Martin   Reissue Design
Marvin Koner   Cover Photo
Douglas Grabowski   Packaging Manager

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'Round About Midnight 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really consider this to be the best album of Miles Davis (I have about 35 albums of him).To me it´s even better than high praised Kind of Blue.I feel the reason for me is the unusually beautiful performance of the rhytm section while Davis and Coltrane remain excellent as usual.However it is always difficult (or impossible) to find anything wrong on Miles Davis´work from the 50´.
GrungeFan More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent CD. My favorite song on the CD is the Miles Davis arrangement of Thelonious Monks' Round Midnight and is actually why I purchased the CD. John Coltrane is also featured on the CD which is an added bonus