In the summer of 1991 Gerry Mulligan decided to revisit Miles Davis's Birth of the Cool recordings. He discussed it with Miles Davis himself who said he might be interested in participating but sadly Davis died a few months later. With Wallace Roney (the perfect sound-alike) in the trumpeter's place, baritonist Mulligan got the band's original pianist and tuba player (John Lewis and Bill Barber), used his own bassist (Dean Johnson) and drummer (Ron Vincent), and found able substitutes in altoist Phil Woods (unfortunately Lee Konitz was unavailable to play his old parts), trombonist Dave Bargeron and John Clark on French horn.
CD Album published in 2001 in one of the many reissues that has seen this singular work of the great Miles Davis. First saw the light in 1954 with 8 subjects; with 11 subjects was reissued in 1957 and added the last from 1971. The '50s brought a new style to jazz, 'cool', but breaking-twinned with the 'bebop' in decline-from the happy collaboration of the brilliant trumpeter Miles Davis and the composer Gil Evans. The roots of this music are included on this disc recorded in three different sessions between 1949 and 1950. The play made a deep impression among music critics and was a fresh and innovative deep milestone in jazz music. Davis and a group of nine musicians under his command were responsible for laying the foundations of this new concept of 'cool' jazz.
This box set contains 82 tracks recorded by Miles Davis between 1945 and 1950. Miles' spark of genius was already apparent right from the start, and it's clear after listening to this set why Prestige gave him a lucrative recording contract which he would fulfill from 1951-1956 on his way to super-stardom. His distinctive sound on the trumpet is unmistakable here, even as a twenty year old…a sound that would delight the world for decades! This set is solid gold, filled with nuggets of beautiful jazz from start to finish. Many people may be content to limit their early Miles Davis collection to the Complete Birth Of The Cool CD, and that's fine, but you'll be missing out on lots of great music from one of the finest jazz artists of the 20th century!! The sound quality on this box set is great, save for a handful of recordings that are a little garbled but were included anyway because the playing is so beautiful.
It was a sad day for cool jazz when Lennie Niehaus made film music – not jazz – his primary focus. From a jazz standpoint, the Los Angeles resident had so much going for him. Niehaus had an attractive tone along the lines of Lee Konitz and early Bud Shank, and he was a talented arranger to boot. Produced by Lester Koenig in L.A. in 1956, Lennie Niehaus, Vol. 5: The Sextet is quite representative of Niehaus' Contemporary output of the 1950s. This album finds Niehaus leading a sextet that boasts Bill Perkins on tenor sax and flute, Jimmy Giuffre on baritone sax, Stu Williamson on trumpet and valve trombone, Buddy Clark on upright bass, and Shelly Manne on drums – in other words, the cream of the southern California crop.