Miles Davis

Collection [Deja Vu]

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Although Collection -- which the Canadian Deja Vu label put out in 1988 -- is poorly assembled, collectors were happy to find it because much of the material is so rare. Most of the CD is devoted to an ultra-rare recording of a December 8, 1957 concert in Amsterdam, where Davis is joined by drummer Kenny Clarke and French jazzmen Barney Wilen (tenor sax), Rene Urtreger (piano), and Pierre Michelot (bass). The only track that isn't from the Amsterdam concert is "On Green Dolphin Street," which was recorded in Stockholm on March 22, 1960 and finds Davis leading a quintet that boasts John Coltrane on tenor sax, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. If you own the Royal Jazz CD Live in Stockholm 1960, you have this version of "On Green Dolphin Street," and if you're lucky enough to own the Celluloid double LP The Complete Amsterdam Concert, you have all of the Amsterdam recordings that are heard on this CD. Now for the bad news: Collection doesn't contain everything that is on The Complete Amsterdam Concert -- only parts of it. While "Well, You Needn't," "But Not for Me," "Walkin'," and "'Round Midnight" are included, Deja Vu omits "Bags' Groove," "Woody'n You," "Four," and other songs that were performed in Amsterdam. "A Night in Tunisia" is listed as the second track, but that gem is nowhere to be found, instead, "'Round Midnight" is really the second track. And the sound quality leaves much to be desired; this CD is full of pops and crackles, which make it sound like a dusty old LP that has seen much better days. Bearing all those things in mind, one can't help but be appalled by how poorly assembled this reissue is. But again, the Amsterdam material is so rare that collectors have been willing to put up with the CD's annoying flaws. Collection is for completists and no one else.