Miles Davis


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England's Ace Records does what American labels should have done long ago: takes two of the Miles Davis classic 1950s recordings from the first quintet with Red Garland, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, and John Coltrane and puts them together in a single package for listeners to hear the great continuity between these two sets for slightly more than it would cost for a single copy of each in America. The music here is wide-ranging, from the shimmering haunting balladry of "My Funny Valentine" to the introduction of what would become a Miles' live standard for the next couple of years in "If I Were a Bell," to the bebop of "Oleo." The intense lyricism, the beginning of Coltrane's emergence as a soloist with feet planted firmly in the present and the future, Cookin' and Relaxin' make for a great pairing.

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