Workin' is the third in a series of four featuring the classic Miles Davis Quintet: Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Red Garland (piano), and Philly Joe Jones (drums). Like its predecessors Cookin' and Relaxin', Workin' is the product of not one -- as mythology would claim -- but two massively productive recording sessions in May and October of 1956, respectively. Contradicting the standard methodology of preparing fresh material for upcoming albums, Davis and company used their far more intimate knowledge of the tunes the quintet was performing live to inform their studio recordings. As was often the case with Davis, the antithesis of the norm is the rule. Armed with some staggering original compositions, pop standards, show tunes, and the occasional jazz cover, Workin' is the quintessence of group participation. Davis, as well as Coltrane, actually contributes compositions as well as mesmerizing performances to the album. The band's interaction on "Four" extends the assertion that suggests this quintet plays with the consistency of a single, albeit ten-armed, musician. One needs listen no further than the stream of solos from Davis, Coltrane, Garland, and Jones, with Paul Chambers chasing along with his rhythmic metronome. Beneath the smoldering bop of "Trane's Blues" are some challenging chord progressions that are tossed from musician to musician with deceptive ease. Chambers' solo stands as one of his defining contributions to this band. In sly acknowledgment to the live shows from which these studio recording sessions were inspired, Davis concludes both sets (read: album sides) with "The Theme" -- a brief and mostly improvised tune -- indicating to patrons that the tab must be settled. In this case, settling the tab might include checking out Steamin', the final Miles Davis Quintet recording to have been culled from these historic sessions.
Performance CreditsMiles Davis Quintet Primary Artist,Track Performer
Miles Davis Trumpet,Track Performer,Group Member
Red Garland Piano,Group Member
Milt Jackson Vibes
Philly Joe Jones Drums,Group Member
Sonny Rollins Tenor Saxophone
Horace Silver Piano
Percy Heath Bass
Paul Chambers Bass
Kenny Clarke Drums
John Coltrane Tenor Saxophone,Group Member
Thelonious Monk Piano
Technical CreditsEsmond Edwards Cover Photo
Rudy Van Gelder Engineer,Author
Joe Goldberg Liner Notes
Jack Maher Liner Notes
Nick Phillips Reissue Producer
Bob Weinstock Producer
Stuart Kremsky Reissue Production Assistance
Del Costello Executive Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Workin' with the Miles Davis Quintet based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
If you like Miles, or Coltrane, or just jazz, these reissues of the 1950's quintet work should be in your collection. It's funny - I was listening to my old vinyl album just recently and had no idea these were available on CD. You'll dig the great musicianship here!
this album was and three others would lead into the great music that would be recorded at columbia records...