Various Artists

Dream Session: The All-Stars Play Miles Davis Classics

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For this tribute to Miles Davis, a variety of overlapping all-star groups perform a new Benny Golson original ("Davis") plus versions of seven songs that Miles originally recorded during 1952-61 and that were in his repertoire at least through the mid-'60s. The quintets and sextets all include pianist Jaki Byard, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Ed Thigpen as the rhythm section. Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton and Eddie Henderson alternate on trumpets, Grover Washington Jr. (only on soprano, unfortunately) and tenors George Coleman and Benny Golson take turns (both Coleman and Golson are on "So What") and vibraphonist Joe Locke helps out on three of the songs. None of the trumpeters try to imitate Miles (in fact, Payton sounds more like Freddie Hubbard everyday), Coleman and Golson (who consistently take solo horns) show what they learned from John Coltrane and the rhythm section always swings. Most of the music is solid 1950s hard bop, with two exceptions: Golson's melancholy "Davis" and a moderately funky reworking of "My Funny Valentine." Straight-ahead jazz fans should enjoy this interesting effort, although Miles Davis himself probably would have been disappointed that his post-1965 music was neglected.

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