483

Miles Davis: Miles Davis: Round About Midnight (Legacy Edition)

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Miles Davis

Round About Midnight

Columbia/Legacy

2005 (1956)

The detail to which Sony Music's Miles Davis reissue series lends itself is a pretty good example of how far ahead of his time the trumpeter/bandleader actually was. Packages such as this Legacy Edition of Round About Midnight suggest we are just beginning to catch up to the late jazz icon.

In a career brimming with profound changes, the period surrounding Miles Davis' classic Round About Midnight may contain more pivotal moments than any other. His signing to the mainstream Columbia label, in a gradual move away from the pure jazz niche of Prestige, carried significance far beyond the mere scope of business: it held the potential for the man with horn, and the jazz idiom itself, to make significant inroads to the cultural mainstream. Freed from the physical debilitation of heroin addiction further focused Davis to enact the demands of collecting and rehearsing a fairly permanent touring group eventually including, just midway through the '50s, John Coltrane. The saxophonist, in partnership with Miles and beyond, would go on to truly great accomplishments of his own.

In light of all this, it's somehow mystifying the first product of these changes, Round About Midnight, would take so long to get the royal treatment it deserves and receives in this handsome package. Like the other entries in the Miles reissues series, box sets and otherwise, this two-disc package receives a fitting attention to detail on every level. Extensive liner notes put the recordings in questions in the context of Davis' career past and future. Beautiful photos adorn the digipak as well as the booklet enclosed, which itself contains the original liner notes plus an essay from significant jazz writer Bob Blumenthal which only serves to broaden the historical perspective

Most important of all, the music receives a royal treatment. Whilte it's not clear if the original recording, remastered once before back in 2001 as part of The Complete Recordings of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, has been digitized yet again is less important than how it sounds to the ears: given the depth and clarity , it's hard to belive the tracks were recorded near half a century ago. The additional disc in this package contains, besides the legendary live take of the title song recorded live at Newport in 1955, an entire set by the quintet recorded in February of the next year; that combined with highly touted release of the studio album, the performance was the launching pad for this new phase in Miles' life and career.

It's not just the high level of precision and immaculate touch on display within this first great quintet of Miles, all of which resonates throughout the studio album. The heretofore unreleased recording of the 1956 Pasadena California concert demonstrates what a mammoth accomplishment was that recording and, in addition, the assembly of this band—Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones Red Garland, Paul Chambers—and the wealth of composing talent it brought together.

Hearing what have now become, even apart from Monk's title song, standards of jazz— Bye Bye Blackbird, "Dear Old Stockholm and "Two Bass Hit —played at a standard of excellence contemporary jazz still strives to emulate, gives a precious sense of history, all the more profound because of the stratospheric elevation of the influence of Miles Davis—not just on jazz, but contemporary music in general—that proceeded from these recordings. For an audience expanding even now, the sound heard here is the definition of jazz itself.

Track Listing: Disc One: 1. 'Round Midnight; 2. Ah-Leu-Cha; 3. All Of You 4. Bye Bye Blackbird; 5. Tadd's Delight; 6. Dear Old Stockholm; 7. Two Bass Hit; 9. Budo; 10. Sweet Sue, Just You.

Disc Two: 1. 'Round Midnight; 2. Introduction by Gene Norman; 3. Chance It (aka Max Is Making Wax) 4. Walkin'; 5. Gene Norman & Miles Davis; 6. It Never Entered My Mind; 7. Woody 'N You; 8. Salt Peanuts; 9. The Theme.

Personnel:

Miles Davis: trumpet; John Coltrane: saxophone; Red Garland: piano; Paul Chambers: bass; Philly Joe Jones: drums.

Title: Miles Davis: Round About Midnight (Legacy Edition) | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Legacy Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Edit Peptide" CD/LP/Track Review Edit Peptide
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon" CD/LP/Track Review Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "It's A Mystery" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Mystery
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 9, 2016

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.