Miles Davis – Cookin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet {Fantasy}[xrcd]

Review by Lindsay Planer (
Cookin’ is the first of four albums derived from the Miles Davis quintet’s fabled extended recording session on October 26, 1956; the concept being that the band would document their vast, live-performance catalog in a studio environment, rather than preparing all new tracks for their upcoming long-player. The bounty of material in the band’s live sets — as well as the overwhelming conviction in the quintet’s studio sides — would produce the lion’s share of the Cookin’, Relaxin’, Workin’, and Steamin’ albums. As these recordings demonstrate, there is an undeniable telepathic cohesion that allows this band — consisting of Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Red Garland (piano), and Philly Joe Jones (drums) — to work so efficiently both on the stage as well as in the studio. This same unifying force is also undoubtedly responsible for the extrasensory dimensions scattered throughout these recordings. The immediate yet somewhat understated ability of each musician to react with the ingenuity and precision is expressed in the consistency and singularity of each solo as it is maintained from one musician to the next without the slightest deviation. “Blues by Five” reveals the exceptional symmetry between Davis and Coltrane that allows them to complete each other’s thoughts musically. Cookin’ features the pairing of “Tune Up/When Lights Are Low” which is, without a doubt, a highlight not only of this mammoth session, but also the entire tenure of Miles Davis mid-’50s quintet. All the elements converge upon this fundamentally swinging medley. Davis’ pure-toned solos, and the conversational banter that occurs with Coltrane, and later Garland during “When the Lights Are Low,” resounds as some of the finest moments between these musicians.

01 – My Funny Valentine 06:04
02 – Blues By Five (false start) 00:25
03 – Blues By Five 10:00
04 – Airegin 04:27
05 – Tune Up – When Lights are Low 13:11

Miles Davis – trumpet
John Coltrane – tenor sax (except #1)
Red Garland – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Philly Joe Jones – drums

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, New Jersey; October 26, 1956

Label: Fantasy – xrcd Edition
Year: 1998
Genre: Jazz
Style: Cool, Hard Bop, Trumpet
Total Time: 34:07

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Modern Jazz Quartet – Blues at Carnegie Hall {Rhino}[MFSL]

Review by Scott Yanow (
On this Mobile Fidelity CD reissue of a live Atlantic set from 1966, The Modern Jazz Quartet performs eight blues-based compositions. In addition to such familiar pieces as the inevitable “Bags’ Groove,” “Ralph’s New Blues” (dedicated to jazz critic Ralph Gleason) and “The Cylinder,” there are a few newer pieces (including “Home” which is similar to Lee Morgan’s hit “The Sidewinder”) included for variety. This predictable but consistently swinging set is particularly recommended to fans of vibraphonist Milt Jackson.

01 – Pyramid (Blues for Junior)
02 – The Cylinder
03 – Really True Blues
04 – Ralph’s New Blues
05 – Monterey Mist
06 – Home
07 – Blues Milanese
08 – Bags’ Groove

John Lewis – piano
Milt Jackson – vibes
Percy Heath – bass
Connie Kay – drums

Recorded during a benefit concert presented by
the Manhattan School of Music at Carnegie Hall, April 27, 1966; New York City.

Label: Rhino – MFSL Edition
Year: 1994
Genre: Jazz
Style: Cool, Third Stream

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork