Anthologizing even a short period in the life and career of Miles Davis is a fool's errand at best, and the Starbucks-commissioned Poetics of Sound 1954-1959 does not overcome such inherent complications -- spanning assorted highlights from classic sessions like Kind of Blue and Seven Steps to Heaven, this is essentially a sampler of music that requires complete immersion, meaning that extracts simply do not work. Herein lies the problem with selling music at coffee retail chains -- you're catering to a demographic either too lazy or too distracted to enter an actual record store, appealing to consumers who prefer their music spoonfed in lieu of seeking it out themselves. If Starbucks wants to sell their customers on the genius of Kind of Blue, then sell Kind of Blue -- don't just slap "So What" on a compilation and call it good. Listeners who know Miles Davis from Poetics of Sound don't know Miles Davis at all.
AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny
feat: Miles Davis Quintet