Steamin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet by Miles Davis Quintet
This quintet of trumpeter Davis with Philly Joe Jones (drums), Paul Chambers (bass), Red Garland (piano) and John Coltrane (tenor saxophone) is simply one of the great jazz aggregations ever recorded. Having already cut all those great single-title sets from the late 1950s: "Workin’", "Relaxin’," and "Cookin’," "Steamin’" was the last of the run, and offers some of the best moments. "Surrey With The Fringe on Top," with its sweet piano intro, leads into Miles’ muted trumpeting. This 1956 set is world’s away from his later forays into electric trumpeting that would come a decade later. Those who prefer the more organic, acoustic work, will find much to enjoy here. Trane would begin to record as a leader the following year and was enjoying greater exposure through this Davis association. The interplay is breathtaking. On Dizzy Gillespie’s "Salt Peanuts," the tempo is close to that of the classic Bird-Diz recordings made a few years previously and may be the only snag on the date. It is certainly less appealing than the group’s version of Monk’s "Well You Needn’t" and the even more gorgeous "When I Fall In Love." Miles’ "Diane" offers one of the highlights, both in its lyrical transcendence and in the soulful playing of the principals. The 20-bit recording makes this classic recording that much more appealing. Simply wonderful.