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Birth of the Cool [Import]

Miles DavisVinyl
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

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What is cool? At its very essence, cool is all about what’s happening next. In popular culture, what’s happening next is a kaleidoscope encompassing past, present and future: that which is about to happen may be cool, and that which happened in the distant past may also be cool. This timeless quality, when it applies to music, allows minimalist debate – with few ... Read more in Amazon's Miles Davis Store

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (December 13, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Ais
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,349 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best this classic has sounded in decades January 16, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
"Birth of the Cool" was where Miles Davis made his first mark in jazz. Possibly the most influential jazz artist of all-time, Miles was on the forefront of the music for several decades, essentially steering its path during that time, and with the landmark recordings that make up this CD, Miles Davis (as well as Gerry Mulligan and Gil Evans, who deserve just as much credit) gives birth to "cool" jazz. Though it has had a few detractors who've dismissed it as 'boring' and 'bland,' a majority of listeners are really taken by what Davis & Co. have accomplished here. That nonet only recorded 12 pieces in the studio, and the whole dozen have been collected in this remarkable compilation.
Davis's lyrical, anti-virtuoso trumpet finds a beautiful soulmate in Gerry Mulligan's baritone sax (who also had a huge hand in writing much of the material as well). The recordings are most famous for the arrangements Evans, Mulligan, and a few others have given the music; elegant and sophisticated, it charts new territory in "big band" music, something that would ultimately lead to the quasi-orchestral music produced by Davis and Evans in the late 50's and early 60's.
A few years ago, it was thought that the definitive version of "Birth of the Cool" was released on a CD titled "The Complete Birth of the Cool," a remastered disc that also contained live radio performances of the music. However, recently, famed recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder discovered the original master tapes that were used for the original 78's (all 12 tracks were initially released as 78's; they weren't compiled on to an album until several years later). As it turned out, every Lp and CD of the album since then were made from Lp masters that were essentially safety copies.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent album; initiated the cool period. August 24, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This album not only put Miles Davis on the map, it started a whole new style of jazz music. Miles worked with Gil Evans on this 1949 project and the results were pure magic. The supporting cast of musicians are a nice group too. He even had french horn players (Junior Collins on one session, Sandy Goldstein on another and Gunther Schuller). Most of the musicians Miles worked with on this album were white, because those were the only people he could get hired at the time. Of these musicians, Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone), Lee Konitz (alto saxophone) and Kai Winding (trombone) all shine the most. Tracks like "Move" showcase the band's chemistry and innovative, playful harmonies. This song was originally recorded as a bebop tune, but Miles and company give it a little bit more of a cool, swinging style. "Jeru" is the ultimate definition of cool jazz. This Gerry Mulligan composition shows off Miles and Gerry's soloing abilities. It also has a nice theme and some good ensemble playing. "Moon Dreams" is kind of like a musical "still life", this ballad is played with a slow seriousness that makes it a classic. The ensemble playing here is beautiful. "Venus De Milo" is another Mulligan composition and has a somewhat laid-back latin feel. I like this tune because it just sounds nice to sit back and listen to. "Budo" is a classic Bud Powell tune, while this track only lasts about two and a half minutes, it's a classic instantly. The ensemble playing is very energetic and Miles, Lee Konitz and Kai Winding all take great solos. This tune was also recorded by Miles around the time of the 'Round About Midnight sessions. "Deception" is a track that Miles is given credit for writing but it's really another track called "Conception", that Miles recorded later on in the Dig session of 1951. Read more ›
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59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles changes jazz for the first time September 27, 2003
Format:Audio CD
In his professional life, Miles Davis was an agent of change and a permanent self critic. Also, he would always surround himself of the best possible musicians (he said, "I'm hiring a [musician] to play, not for what color he is") to help in materializing his musical vision. Leaving behind the enviable position of musical director of Charlie Parker's group, Miles assembled a nonet (several of its members coming from the ranks of Claude Thornhill's Orchestra), Gerry Mulligan and John Lewis among them, and with their help gave birth to the new sound in jazz at the time: the Cool, an attempt to sound like a big band with a significantly smaller ensemble (a nonet, in this case), by means of a collective writing approach.
The album, recorded throughout three sessions between January of 1949 and March of 1950, marked the beginning of a series of outstanding works of Miles along with musical mentor and genius arranger Gil Evans. Its slower and softer sound resonated throughout the jazz world, taking jazz to a new level and influencing musicians all over the place, mostly in California it would help give shape to a mellow sound that would later be called West Coast Jazz (Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, etc.)
It is hard to pick favorite tracks in such a brilliant production. Four different arrangers and a rich assortment of composers, from Davis and Evans, to Mulligan, Lewis, Bud Powell and several others, along with the assorted lineup of musicians (only Davis in trumpet and lead, Mulligan in baritone, Lee Konitz in alto, and John Barber in Tuba were part of all three recording sessions) allow the careful listener to see tunes from a number of different points of view.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Who doesn't love his sound? This is fairly well recorded.
Published 13 hours ago by Upstate N.Y. teacher
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Recording
A classic recording.
Published 6 days ago by Douglas Griffith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
perfect gift!
Published 1 month ago by terry
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 months ago by Lisa Patterson
3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated….?
I mean, I do not get it. Milestones was excellent, but this one compared to it felt uninspired, even though this featured Davis experimenting with a different arranging style. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Suekyung Joe
5.0 out of 5 stars It Signaled The Dawn Of A Vibrant Era For Jazz!
As the 1950’s began on a promising optimistic note, a fascinating and highly
innovative project was taking place on the New York jazz circuit between 1949
and well... Read more
Published 4 months ago by RH
4.0 out of 5 stars Great music by a master of his instrument.
Being a lover of Miles Davis talent I have added this CD to my list of favorites Great music by a Master.
Published 5 months ago by Con O'Carroll
4.0 out of 5 stars Wayyyyyyy early Miles
1949. Backed by some of the best in the biz -- Max Roach, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, J.J. Johnson, etc. -- and defining the essence of bebop. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John Spritz
5.0 out of 5 stars Birth of cool vinyl
This is such a great album. My son in law just started collecting vinyls, and he WAS RIGHT! The vinyl brings out the sound so much better than the CD.
Published 6 months ago by Judy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jazz!
A must have album for Jazz lover. I never stop listening to this album -- during work, driving, jogging and walking.
Published 7 months ago by Johnny Saleh
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