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Miles Davis, Volume One


Miles Davis
Miles Davis, Volume One


1. Dear Old Stockholm

2. Chance It (Alternate Take)

3. Change It

4. Donna (Alternate Take)

5. Donna

6. Woody 'N You (Alternate Take)

7. Woody 'N You

8. Yesterdays

9. How Deep Is The Ocean

10. Take Off

11. Lazy Susan

12. The Leap

13. Well You Needn't

14. Weirdo

15. It Never Entered My Mind


#1-9: Miles Davis, Trumpet; J.J. Johnson, Trombone; Jackie McLean, Alto Sax; Gil Coggins, Piano; Oscar Pettiford, Bass; Kenny Clarke, Drums.

#10-15: Miles Davis, Trumpet; Horace Silver, Piano; Percy Heath, Bass; Art Blakey, Drums.

The classic Blue Note albums which span the mid-1950's to late 1960's were recorded directly onto two track analog tape. No multi-track recording was used and consequently no mixing was required. Therefore, this CD was made by transferring the one step analog master to digital.

AT THE END of 1955 Miles Davis received an unexpected Christmas gift. For the first time, the readers of Down Beat had elected him to first place on trumpet in the annual popularity poll. At that, it was a close race, with only a few votes separating him from the next two eligibles.

That this token of esteem was long overdue can be gauged by the fact that Miles, as far back as 1947, won a poll in which the voters were not the public but a handful of critics, who selected him as the new star of the year in the Esquire balloting. (He tied with Dizzy in this year's Down Beat Critics' poll, too.)

Poll victories, however, are a reflection neither of success nor of artistic merit. Miles' talent is its own best reward, for the music you can hear between these covers stands a good chance of lasting long after the details of the voting are forgotten.

Miles Dewey Davis - born Alton, Illinois, May 25, 1926, raised in East St. Louis, Dizzy and Bird admirer when the old Eckstine band passed through town, Julliard student in,1945, Fifty Second Street denizen, big band sideman with Eckstine and Benny Carter-is a singular human being. Today's leader is always yesterday's follower. Just as Dizzy Gillespie was the chrysalis that grew from an Eldridge egg, so was Miles the butterfly that emerged in the next stage of stylistic development. In fact, so swiftly did his own style develop that it is hard to remember back to the time when Miles' solos seemed to bear a resemblance to Dizzy's.

Wasn't it Barry Ulanov who once wrote that Miles' tone reminded him of a man walking on eggshells? If not, let whoever it was come forward and take a bow, for nothing could more aptly conjure up the manner in which Miles' notes emerge from the bell of his horn, the staccato yet fluid drive of his rhythmic conception. Melodically it would be harder to express his personality in words; one can only observe that if Dixieland is, as it has so often been called, "happy music” then the solos of Miles Davis more likely reflect the complexity of the neurotic world in which we live. The soaring spurts of lyrical exultancy are outnumbered by the somber moments of pensive gloom.

How can you prove it? Miles uses the same twelve notes every other living jazzman uses. Who can say that this music is happy and that music is sad? That Miles can be so completely Miles that Dizzy's Woody'n You assumes a new and un-Gillespieish coloration in his hands?

You can't prove it. All you can say is, well, that's what makes jazz the exciting thing it is, limning the character of the man who makes it, fabricating moods and transmitting thought vibrations in the very moment of creation. And in this process Miles is a past master.

(Author of The Encyclopedia of Jazz)

Miles Davis' first and third recording sessions for Blue Note are presented here in their entirety and in the order in which the tunes were recorded. All of the material contained herein was issued on either Miles Davis, Volume One (1501) or Volume Two (1502) with the exception of the alternate take of "Chance It” which is issued here for the first time. For this compact disc, the original session reels were used for transfer to digital tape.

Produced by ALFRED LION
Produced for release by MICHAEL CUSCUNA
Selections 1-9 recorded May 9, 1952 at WOR Studios, New York City

Selections 10-15 recorded on March 6, 1954 at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey
Recording Engineer: RUDY VAN GELDER
Digital Transfers by RON McMASTER

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