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Miles Davis/Miles Davis Quartet: The Musings of Miles

Album Notes

Personnel: Miles Davis (trumpet); Red Garland (piano); Oscar Pettiford (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums).

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on June 7, 1955. Originally released on Prestige (7007). Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler.

Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (1989, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).

By the time Miles Davis recorded THE MUSINGS OF MILES on June 7, 1955, he'd expanded and refined his approach to the bop idiom which had nurtured him, and the cool approach--which he'd championed. He learned to refine and edit his line, discovered what aspects of his style were derivative and which were truly his own, and, most importantly, zeroed in on his own signature sound and style of phrasing.

THE MUSINGS OF MILES is a quartet dry run for the first Miles Davis Quintet, which became the most popular, influential band of the 1950s. Already on hand are pianist Red Garland--with his elegant closed voicings and driving comp--and drum innovator Joseph Rudolph Jones (Philly Joe to you).

Bassist Oscar Pettiford, who rounds out the quartet, is also a great innovator, perhaps a generation removed from Miles and his young turks. Listen especially to how he makes the band sound on "Green Haze," a slow, after hours blues. Miles employs gorgeous long tones and smears, heroically laid-back (a la Billie Holiday), as Garland feeds him lush block chords. Pettiford constructs his solo from a succession of arpeggios, in the manner of Coleman Hawkins. Compare his short attack and centered, uniform beat, with the more resonant, bell-like attack and complex beat of Paul Chambers on this and subsequent recordings of "A Night In Tunisia." And dig Miles' nod to his mentor with a Dizzyish ascent into the upper register after several relaxed choruses.


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