All in one place at last, the Miles Davis "Kind Of Blue" Sextet live at the Newport Jazz Festival in '58. (It was previously available on one side of the "Miles & Monk At Newport" longplaying record.) This set is a delightful shock (aside from being merely great 'n' all): at times I thought parts of this set sounded like The Ornette Coleman Quartet of the same time-period! (At that time, Davis, to put it very mildly, had little use for Coleman, Dolphy, etc.) The set list is all bebop classics, but this band stretches the then-acceptable boundaries in the manner of the 50s Ornette. Davis' tone is crisp & cool to be sure, yet also unreservedly brash, wild & sometimes "vocal" (in the manner of Don Cherry...well, a little).
John Coltrane unfurls his "sheets of sound" big-time: his tone is surging & somewhat agitated (a preview of the Perfect Storm To Come). Cannonball Adderley's blues-drenched alto is somewhat more vocalized than usual - he plays like it was gonna be his LAST concert. Bill Evans' piano (alas! he's kind of under-miked here) shimmers like a desert mirage. Jimmy Cobb isn't nearly as subtle as Philly Joe Jones, yet makes up for it with sheer (swinging) enthusiasm. Paul Chambers is his usual solid self. This disc is an essential purchase for all Miles Davis fans, casual & fanatical alike.