'Round About Midnight (Legacy Edition)
The year 1955 was significant for Miles Davis. His memorable performance at that year’s Newport Jazz Festival heralded his return to form following a dark period marked by heroin addiction. He also formed his legendary first quintet, with John Coltrane (tenor), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums), one of the great working bands in jazz annals. Davis’s star was in ascendance, so his celebrated contract with giant Columbia, catalyzed by his Newport performance, came as no surprise, a coup for both artist and label. However, Davis had already signed to the independent Prestige label, and the quintet would record a series of five acclaimed albums for the smaller outfit. While fulfilling his obligation to Prestige, Davis and company also waxed a pair of sessions for Columbia — one in October of 1955, the other in June of ‘56 — the glorious results of which emerged in 1957 on Round About Midnight, his renowned label debut. It was Davis’s smoky, muted take on Thelonious Monk’s “’Round Midnight” that so delighted the Newport crowd in ’55, and the stunning studio version found here is worthy of a time capsule. The luminous “Bye Bye Blackbird” displays the band’s deft touch with midtempo ballads — their signature — while Charlie Parker’s “Ah-Leu-Cha” returns them to burning bop territory.