The Birth of the Cool (1947 - 1950)

Russell Perry By

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The torrid pace of bebop improvisations reached a point in the late 1940s that prompted a musical reconsideration and Miles Davis was there at the conception. Davis had been with the Charlie Parker Quintet since 1945, when he began to woodshed with composer/arrangers John Lewis, Gerry Mulligan and Gil Evans, all of whom would become major long-time contributors to the music. In three recording sessions starting in January 1949, this arrangers super-group created a body of music which, when rereleased at the beginning of the LP era, was known as the "Birth of the Cool."


  • Host Intro 0:00
  • Miles Davis All Stars. "Milestones" from Bebop Story: Vol. 063, Miles Davis Vol. 1 (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 2:25
  • Host speaks 5:00
  • Miles Davis Nonet. "Moon Dreams" from Norton Collection of Jazz Recordings (Norton) 8:25
  • Miles Davis Nonet. "Rocker" from Birth of the Cool (Blue Note) 11:44
  • Host speaks 14:46
  • Miles Davis Nonet. "Boplicity" from Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (Smithsonian) 15:02
  • Host speaks 18:00
  • Gerry Mulligan Quartet. "Line for Lyons" from The Gerry Mulligan Quartet. (Pacific Jazz) 24:04
  • Gerry Mulligan Quartet. "Walkin' Shoes" from The Gerry Mulligan Quartet (Pacific Jazz) 26:34
  • Host speaks 29:43
  • Modern Jazz Quartet. "All the Thing You Are" from The Norton Jazz Collection (Norton) 31:44
  • Host speaks 34:58
  • Modern Jazz Quartet. "Django" from Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (Smithsonian) 35:58
  • Host speaks 41:23
  • J.J. Johnson Sextet. "Sketch One" from The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson (Blue Note) 44:09
  • JJ Johnson -Kai Winding Quintet. "Reflections" from Jay and Kai. (Savoy) 48:34
  • Host speaks 52:45
  • Gil Evans Orchestra. "I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)" from Miles Ahead (Columbia) 53:55
  • Host Outro 56:55


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