At Newport 1958

At Newport 1958

While the Miles Davis sextet of this era will forever be immortalized as the band behind the modal masterpiece Kind of Blue, which would be recorded the following year, this live set is an entirely different animal. This is Davis doing his usual template of pop standards, jazz tunes, and blues. Things start with a bang as Davis counts off a frenzied “Ah-Leu-Cha,” with excellent solos from Davis and Coltrane, and Cannonball Adderley gets into the swing of things for “Fran-Dance.” It’s really John Coltrane who's on fire here, having hit his creative stride; he lays down burning solos on a hot “Two Bass Hit” and completely takes over “Bye Bye Blackbird.” It’s also interesting to hear the usually fluid Bill Evans navigating the angular piano lines of “Straight, No Chaser” with drummer Jimmy Cobb adding some real oomph to the irregular rhythms. One of two live sets recorded by this band (the other being a show at the Plaza Hotel that same year), this is an important document of Davis’ most legendary of bands.


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