Editors’ Notes On the strength of three recording sessions for Prestige in 1955 and 1956, the original Miles Davis Quintet — Davis, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones — established itself as one of the premier ensembles of the day. Their first session, in November of 1955, produced the tracks that would comprise their debut, and landmark sessions in May and October of 1956 yielded enough material for four more releases. Steamin’ was the last of those four to hit the racks and includes some of the group’s finest recordings. The opening track, “Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” is an all-time classic that brilliantly exhibits the Quintet’s true forte: the relaxed mid-tempo ballad. Miles draws exquisite sounds out of his muted trumpet while Coltrane pushes the song’s boundaries with soaring, energetic runs on tenor; this contrast was the band’s calling card. Readings of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Salt Peanuts” and Thelonious Monk’s “Well, You Needn’t” are straight-up bop workouts, while “Diane” returns to the mid-tempo formula. Coltrane lays out on the slow ballads “Something I Dreamed Last Night” and “When I Fall in Love,” putting the spotlight squarely on the leader’s sumptuous horn.

SONG
Surrey With the Fringe On Top
1
9:03
 
Salt Peanuts
2
6:06
 
Something I Dreamed Last Night
3
6:13
 
Diane
4
7:49
 
Well You Needn't
5
6:19
 
When I Fall In Love
6
4:24
 

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