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Miles Davis: At Newport 1958

Jim Santella By

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This is a different Miles Davis. He's playing much better than he had when bebop was in its infancy. Accuracy and tone had always meant a lot to the trumpeter, and he worked hard to get it done just right. During the fifties, he kept getting better and better. Here, he's using both Harmon mute and a natural, open tone to get his message across. This is also a far cry from the Miles Davis who later took his trademark Harmon into the electronic studio to add echoes and reverberation. It's natural, acoustic jazz. This was shortly after Bill Evans and Jimmy Cobb had joined the band. It's interesting to note the audience reception given each band member, as Willis Conover introduces them at the start of the album. Jimmy Cobb and Paul Chambers are met with enthusiastic applause. Then, Bill Evans and John Coltrane receive only polite, token handclaps. They were relatively unknown at that time. Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and Davis, of course, are recognized with wild cheers. This was just eight months before they would record Kind Of Blue. "Bye Bye Blackbird" serves to introduce the talents of Coltrane to the public. His solo runs for nearly four minutes and demonstrates his desire to get all the notes in. This contrasts with Evans' ensuing minimalist solo. Originally issued on Miles And Monk At Newport, and Newport Jazz Festival Live, these seven selections were recorded on one July night in 1958 at Newport, Rhode Island. They're something special in the history of jazz.

Title: At Newport 1958 | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Sony Records

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