509

Miles Davis: Round About Lunchtime: The Complete Columbia Cafeteria Recordings 1955-85

Joshua Weiner By

Sign in to view read count
Miles Davis: Round About Lunchtime: The Complete Columbia Cafeteria Recordings 1955-85 In its extensive series of boxed sets detailing the genesis of some of Miles Davis' greatest recordings, Columbia/Legacy has produced one of the most impressive bodies of jazz reissues extant. Their latest Miles box, however, suggests that the curators of Columbia's vaults have started to go a bit overboard.

Round About Lunchtime: The Complete Miles Davis Cafeteria Recordings 1955-1985 collects the highlights (if, indeed, they can be referred to as such) from a massive stash of cassettes surreptitiously recorded on a portable machine by Columbia's longtime lunch lady, Eunice Johnson, who served Miles and many other Columbia artists their chipped beef on toast throughout this period. While there are a few tasty morsels in the set, which give the listener an insight into the Man with the Horn's culinary proclivities, listening to the entire 4-disc package is likely to give all but the most avid fan indigestion.

So what exactly will you hear if you shell out for the set? Well, for one thing, a lot of what sounds like Miles (although it is difficult to be sure it is, in fact, he) slurping, sipping, chewing, and swallowing his lunch (Ms. Johnson had apparently borrowed a powerful field microphone from Fred Plaut, the great Columbia engineer). Not exactly inspiring listening. There are a few interesting moments, however, including:

—Miles trying to make hot tea and complaining about the substandard bags, exclaiming "Why won't these m*****f***ing bitches brew?!?! — could this be the genesis of one of his greatest fusion works?

—Miles railing against the overly "white nature of the cafeteria's offerings—"I mean, who the f*** eats peanut butter and m*****f***ing jelly? Probably Brubeck, man

—Miles chewing out (no pun intended) Cannonball Adderley for eating too much— "Goddamn, Cannon, save some for Bill Evans, you see how thin that m*****f***er is?

—The 17-year old Tony Williams begging Miles to go score a beer for him, which causes Davis to erupt with laughter: "M*****f***er ain't even shaving yet, man, no wonder they carding him!

Unfortunately, these moments are few and far between in this set, and it is doubtful that anyone will make it through all of the material. One wonders why Legacy decided to put it out in the first place, and the fact that it comes packaged with coupons for Oscar Meyer's "Lunchables tends to confirm the impression that the whole thing is a cynical marketing ploy. Also failing to inspire confidence is the included flyer touting the label's upcoming release, Time Out! The Dave Brubeck Quartet's Guide to Disciplining Your Child . Let's all hope that this fine record label gets back to doing what it does best, and soon.



Track Listing: Not Applicable

Personnel: Miles Davis and unidentified lunch guests

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Sony BMG Legacy | Style: Beyond Jazz

April fools!


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Blues Revival" CD/LP/Track Review Blues Revival
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "The Candy Men" CD/LP/Track Review The Candy Men
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Magic Light" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Light
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "Gorgeous Chaos" CD/LP/Track Review Gorgeous Chaos
by James Nadal
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Sunkissed" CD/LP/Track Review Sunkissed
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Sounds Of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds Of 3
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!