Rolling Stone (12/26/96, pp.195-196) - "...a vital reconstruction of one of the most important artistic relationships in American popular music, let alone jazz....The elegant lyricism and gently emphatic force of Evans' orchestral voicings...inspired some of the trumpeter's most acute and dynamic improvisations..."
Q (12/96, p.152) - 5 Stars (out of 5) - "...makes even buffs jump up and cheer....some of the most memorable sessions ever recorded in jazz, with the bonus that...you get the wonderful, laconic insider-talk of musicians at work as well. Indispensable."
Down Beat (11/96, p.62) - 5 Stars (out of 5) - "There are controversies, there are opinions, there...is room for measured disagreement and criticism. But let us begin by acknowledging the sheer and unequivocal sublimity of this music. If the sounds do not make you melt, consult your physician. You may need open-heart surgery..."
Vibe (12/96, p.166) - "...What made Davis and Evans ideal collaborators has everything to do with shared sensibilities and a mutual objective: forcing intimacy and humility upon two of the most overblown devices in music--the trumpet and the orchestra..."
Musician (12/96, p.88) - "...lovingly re-mastered and annotated, and contains a wealth of alternate takes and rehearsal sketches....a radical recasting of the modern big band....Most fascinating is how the annotators have resurrected the long out-of-print QUIET NIGHTS..."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.96) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] magnificent cornucopia of jazz treasures..."
THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS compiles all of Miles Davis' collaborations with composer/arranger Gil Evans. Included are the original and alternate versions of the four albums that Davis and Evans made together--MILES AHEAD, PORGY AND BESS, SKETCHES OF SPAIN and QUIET NIGHTS--as well as various outtakes and unreleased tracks. More than half of the material is previously unreleased.
Personnel includes: Miles Davis (trumpet, flugelhorn); Gil Evans (arranger, conductor); Bob Dorough (vocals, piano); Steve Lacy (soprano saxophone); Lee Konitz, Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Ernie Royal, Bernie Glow (trumpet); Jimmy Cleveland, J.J. Johnson, Frank Rehak (trombone); Julius Watkins, Gunther Schuller (French horn); Bill Barber (tuba); Romeo Penque (flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe); Hubert Laws (flute); Jack Knitzer (bassoon); Janet Putnam (harp); Wynton Kelly (piano); Herbie Hancock (piano, electric piano); Joe Beck (electric guitar); Paul Chambers, Ron Carter (bass); Arthur Taylor, Philly Joe Jones, Jimmy Cobb, Tony Williams (drums); Willie Bobo (bongos); Elvin Jones (percussion).
Producers: George Avakian, Cal Lampley, Teo Macero, John Hammond, Irving Townsend.
Engineers: Harold Chapman, Fred Plaut, Frank Laico, R.G.
Recorded at 30th Street Studio and Columbia Studios, New York, New York; Columbia Studios, Hollywood, California between 1957 and 1968. Originally released on MILES AHEAD, PORGY AND BESS, SKETCHES OF SPAIN, DIRECTIONS, QUIET NIGHTS, JINGLE BELL JAZZ, SORCERER and THE GIANTS OF JAZZ. Includes liner notes by Quincy Jones, George Avakian, Bill Kirchner, Bob Belden and Phil Schaap; as well as original release liner notes by Andre Hodier, Charles Edward Smith and Nat Hentoff.
THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS won 1997 Grammy Awards for Best Historical Album, Best Album Notes (by George Avakian, Bob Belden, Bill Kirchner and Phil Schaap), and Best Recording Package - Boxed.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Miles Davis (trumpet, flugelhorn); Miles Davis; Joe Beck (electric guitar); Marjorie Call, Betty Glauman, Gloria Agostini (harp); Lawrence Lucie (mandolin); Romeo Penque (flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, flugelhorn); Hubert Laws (flute, flugelhorn); Harold Feldman (clarinet, oboe, flugelhorn); Eddie Caine, Phil Bodner, Sid Cooper (clarinet, flugelhorn); Danny Bank (bass clarinet, flugelhorn); Gene Cipriano (oboe, tenor saxophone, flugelhorn); Garvin Bushell (bassoon, contrabassoon); Karl Porter, Fred Dutton, Bob Tricarico (bassoon); Raymond Beckenstein, Jerome Richardson (reeds, flugelhorn); Paul Horn (alto saxophone, flugelhorn); Buddy Collette (tenor saxophone, flugelhorn); Louis Mucci, Harold Baker, Johnny Carisi, Johnny Coles, Taft Jordan (trumpet); Al Block (flugelhorn); Tony Miranda, Joe Singer, Art Maeba, Richard Perissi, Bill Hinshaw, Donald Corrado, Willie Ruff, John Barrows, James Buffington, Earl Chapin, Ray Alonge (French horn); Dick Hixon, J.J. Johnson , Jimmy Cleveland, Joe Bennett & the Sparkletones (trombone); Tommy Mitchell , Dick Leith (bass trombone); Jimmy McAllister, Howard Johnson (tuba); Herbie Hancock (piano, electric piano, Wurlitzer organ); Paul Chambers, Ron Carter (double bass); Art Taylor (drums); Jose Mangual (percussion); Bob Dorough (vocals, piano); Janet Putnam (harp); Jack Knitzer (bassoon); Steve Lacy (soprano saxophone); Lee Konitz, Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Ernie Royal, Bernie Glow (trumpet); Gunther Schuller , Julius Watkins (French horn); Frank Rehak (trombone); Billy Barber (tuba); Wynton Kelly (piano); Jimmy Cobb , Philly Joe Jones, Tony Williams (drums); Willie Bobo (bongos); Elvin Jones (percussion).
Audio Remasterer: Phil Schaap.
Audio Remixer: Mark Wilder.
Liner Note Authors: George Avakian; Charles Edward Smith; Nat Hentoff; Andre Hodeir; Quincy Jones; Bill Kirchner; Bob Belden.
Recording information: 30th Street Studio, New York, NY (05/06/1957-02/16/1968); 799 Seventh Ave., Studio D, New York, NY (05/06/1957-02/16/1968); Columbia Studio A, New York, NY (05/06/1957-02/16/1968); Columbia Studio B, New York, NY (05/06/1957-02/16/1968); Columbia Studios, Hollywood, CA (05/06/1957-02/16/1968).
Author: Bill Mathieu.
Editors: Mark Wilder; Phil Schaap.
Photographers: Don Hunstein; Dennis Stock; Vernon Smith.
Arranger: Gil Evans.
In the early 1960s, two giants of jazz went into the studios to collaborate on some of the most haunting, beautiful music ever. Miles was, by this time, a jazz star, a great trumpet player, composer and bandleader (his bands would be "finishing schools" for future titans: John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Dave Holland). Gil Evans was a subtly superb composer and arranger, who wrote for the big band of Claude Thornhill and singers Johnny Mathis and Helen Merrill, as well as the small groups of Gerry Mulligan and Teddy Charles, and would go on to leading his own edgy, modern big band (he even recorded an album of Jimi Hendrix songs!).
This six-CD set, comprises, alternate takes & all, the Davis/Evans albums MILES AHEAD, PORGY AND BESS, SKETCHES OF SPAIN, QUIET NIGHTS, and PLUS 19. This is some of Miles' most gorgeous playing in intricate, thoughtful, lush and majestic orchestral settings, with more that a few subtle classical shadings. Save your pennies and dimes for this elaborately annotated (it has CD-sized "miniatures" of original album covers!) box, a treasure for fans of Miles, Evans, orchestral jazz and heartfelt instrumental music.
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