Miles Davis : Milestone

Miles Davis : Milestone

29.00

Miles Davis (trumpet, piano), Cannonball Adderley (alto sax), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums)

Columbia 1193

Mobile Fidelity Records : LP 180 gram

Limited edition : 2,500 printings

Brand New and Sealed Record

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A1 - Dr. Jekyll
A2 - Sid’s Ahead
A3 - Two Bass Hit
B1 - Milestones
B2 - Billy Boy
B3 - Straight, No Chaser

Recorded on February 4 and March 4, 1958 at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City

Milestones is one of Davis' first forays into the developing modal jazz experiments – with his composition "Milestones", listed on the original LP issue as "Miles". (This modal piece is not to be confused with the earlier composition with the same title recorded by Davis and Charlie Parker in 1947.) These modal techniques were continued and expanded on the groundbreaking album Kind of Blue. It was also the last time the rhythm section of Philly Joe Jones, Red Garland and Paul Chambers played with Davis on record.

Tenor saxophonist John Coltrane's return to Davis' group in 1958 coincided with the "modal phase" albums : Milestones and Kind of Blue (1959) are both considered essential examples of 1950s modern jazz. Davis at this point was experimenting with modes – scale patterns other than major and minor.

Davis plays both trumpet and piano on "Sid's Ahead". He plays trumpet in the ensemble passages and solos on trumpet but switches to piano to accompany the saxophonists in Garland's absence. "Billy Boy" is a solo feature for Garland and the rhythm section.

Davis’ burnished trumpet? Rendered in three-dimensional perspective, coaxing his mates out to play with unburdened zest and commotion. Coltrane’s trademark saxophone? Witness it in life-size proportion, his solos working in tandem with and against the driving rhythms. Garland’s swaggering piano lines? Visualize the 88 keys as he hits full stride, the chords and fills slithering around skeletal frameworks.

If anything, Milestones is as famous for its title track as the players that produced it. The launching pad for many of Davis’ (and later, his contemporaries’) improvisational flights, the singular piece invites the tessellated explorations Coltrane would forever chase as well as the headliner’s argyle solo work, who broaches territories that far exceed what he had done with his bop-rooted past. Every song is a highlight, whether it’s the bravado “No Jackle,” featuring a hot-foot pace and bebop strains, or “Sid’s Ahead,” which continues the album’s blues theme while tossing around edgy harmonics and inside-out structures. 

Then there’s “Straight, No Chaser,” the absolutely definitive rendition of Thelonious Monk’s signature piece. Coltrane’s marbled playing pulls at the tune’s lobed borders, Adderley takes liberty with solos, and Davis dances around his mates, at one point quoting “When the Saints Go Marching In” while demonstrating his knowledge of tradition and eye towards the future. A milestone if there ever was. And now, in resplendent mono. 

This Mobile Fidelity LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head, and was pressed with virgin vinyl at RTI.

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