Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

560

Miles Davis: 'Round About Midnight (Legacy Edition)

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Given Legacy's ongoing efforts to package and reissue thirty years' worth of Miles Davis material, one has to wonder at the audacity of its latest addition to seemingly endless variations on his extensive catalogue, the Legacy Edition of 'Round About Midnight. Certainly the material on disc one—which includes Miles' entire '57 debut for the label, along with four bonus tracks readily available on both the '00 six-CD box, Miles Davis and John Coltrane: The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961, and the '01 single title reissue—will provide no discoveries for those who have heard either release.

Even the first track on disc two—a live rendition of "'Round Midnight from a '55 Newport performance by Miles and an all-star band featuring saxophonists Zoot Sims and Gerry Mulligan, pianist Thelonious Monk, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Connie Kay—is already available, albeit only on the three-CD compilation, Happy Birthday Newport. But what makes this new release unequivocally worth hearing is the thirty-minute performance by Miles' quintet—featuring saxophonist John Coltrane, pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones—from a '56 Pasadena concert four months prior to the group beginning the recording of the original album.

Little needs to be said about this quintet. It provided Coltrane's first major exposure, and while he would ultimately move on to greater extremes, the basic elements were already emerging during his time with Miles, most specifically a vivid sense of invention and endless variation that would evolve exponentially in the coming decade. Garland's block-chord accompaniment and lyrical phrasing would influence a whole generation of pianists. Chambers and Jones were like conjoined twins linked at both the head and heart, with an ability to define groove and swing at any tempo.

And Miles, who in his early years had been criticized for less prodigious technique than Dizzy Gillespie or Clifford Brown, was already demonstrating the powerful midrange tone and fragile vulnerability with a mute that would become his trademark for the next 35 years. The original 'Round About Midnight was an auspicious harbinger of a thirty-year relationship with Columbia Records that would be defined by restless searching and intrepid imagination.

If disc one offers nothing new to the seasoned fan, the Pasadena performance is something else entirely. The depth and breadth of the group is immediate and clear with only thirty minutes to represent the quintet—from the up-tempo burn of "Chance It to the slower but unassailable swing of "Walkin', which would be reinvented as a faster-paced tune in later years, and the tender ballad "It Never Entered My Mind, which demonstrated Miles' ability to turn a simple pop tune into a thing of tender beauty.

If you haven't already heard the '00 box set or '01 single release of 'Round About Midnight, this is clearly the definitive version of the recording, a chance to witness the power and sensitivity of Miles' first quintet at its live best.

Visit Miles Davis on the web.


Track Listing: Disc One: 'Round Midnight; Ah-Leu-Cha; All Of You Bye Bye Blackbird; Tadd's Delight; Dear Old Stockholm; Two Bass Hit; Budo; Sweet Sue, Just You. Disc Two: 1955 Newport Jazz Festival: 'Round Midnight; 02/18/56 Pasadena Performance: Introduction by Gene Norman; Chance It (aka Max Is Making Wax) Walkin'; Gene Norman & Miles Davis; It Never Entered My Mind; Woody 'N You; Salt Peanuts; The Theme.

Personnel: Miles Davis: trumpet; John Coltrane: tenor saxophone; Red Garland: piano; Paul Chambers: bass; Philly Joe Jones: drums. On Disc Two, track 1: Miles Davis: trumpet; Zoot Sims: tenor saxophone; Gerry Mulligan: baritone saxophone; Thelonious Monk: piano; Percy Heath: bass; Connie Kay: drums.

Title: 'Round About Midnight (Legacy Edition) | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Sony BMG Legacy


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Cycles of Animation CD/LP/Track Review Cycles of Animation
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Secret Passages CD/LP/Track Review Secret Passages
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Live At The Magic Triangle CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Magic Triangle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Music in the Room CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read Of Light and Shadows CD/LP/Track Review Of Light and Shadows
by Phillip Woolever
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Another Place, Another Time" CD/LP/Track Review Another Place, Another Time
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "DICE" CD/LP/Track Review DICE
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Fun with Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Fun with Notes
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Alto Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Manhattan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Trip" CD/LP/Track Review Trip
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Copenhagen Live 1964" CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 30, 2017

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!