The Miles Davis Quintet

The Legendary Prestige Quintet Sessions

Released to coincide with what would have been Miles Davis’ 80th birthday in May, this four-CD package features the trumpeter (who died 15 years ago) at the helm of what many (including yours truly) regard as his best combo: John Coltrane, tenor sax; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; and Philly Joe Jones, drums. They were only together for a few years in the mid-’50s but, as Davis put it in his autobiography, Miles, “ … the music that we were playing together was just unbelievable. … ” The 32 tunes on discs one through three—all recorded in three days with no second takes—were originally issued on such LPs as Miles, Cookin’, Workin’, Relaxin’ and Steamin’ (disc four has eight radio and television performances). The contrast between Davis (mostly muted and self-contained) and Coltrane (full of life and roaring) is phenomenal. This was during his “walking on eggshells” period, but when Miles takes out the mute, look out! This is a terrific package that has a 40-page booklet that includes an insightful analysis by Bob Blumenthal. A must for all Miles fans!