Monday, February 13, 2012

Miles Live @ the Blackhawk

The two most valuable Miles Davis box sets (of those that I have) are: 1) The Legendary Prestige Quintet Recordings and 2) Live at the Plugged Nickel.   If you have those two, you have big chunk of music from both of Miles' great quintets.  I would add that the former is much less important if you already have the individual albums released from those sessions.  

What comes next?  Almost certainly it would be Miles In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, Complete (Columbia, 2003).  This box contains four CDs recorded on April 21st and 22nd of 1961.  The Blackhawk was a great venue and the location of some very great jazz recordings.  This album is fine sample of Miles between his two quintets.  Here is the lineup:
Chambers and Cobb remain from the Kind of Blue album.  Hank Mobley fills the sax chair.  He gets some bad press for his work with Miles, but I can't hear any problems other than the fact that his name isn't John Coltrane.  Wynton Kelly is a superb hard bop piano player and he does a fine job here.  His work on the above cut is toe curling good. 

I am playing 'No Blues' from the first disc in the set.  If this doesn't recharge your smart phone, I don't know what will. 

I am also playing 'Softly As In a Morning Sunrise' from Wynton Kelly's  Kelly Blue.  This is just the rhythm section from the above album, recorded in 1959. 

1 comment:

  1. i have to disagree. the San Francisco Blackhawk set sounds tired and uninspired.
    The live version of "someday my prince will come". what a downer MAN...i listened
    to the whole set a few times, didn't enjoy it at all, then came back to it a year later, hoping to hear something there.....nope. what you want is the stockholm or paris
    sets with Cannonball and Sonny Stitt. lower quality sounds, "miles higher" quality of playing.. dinna waste yer money on the other one