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Walkin' Original recording remastered

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Walkin'
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, June 13, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Davis and his all-star cast shine on this record.
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
13:22
Album Only
2
30
8:13
Album Only
3
30
4:40
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4
30
4:19
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5
30
6:54
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 13, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Prestige
  • ASIN: B000F8DTCS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,079 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Conklin on March 28, 2008
Format: Audio CD
In recent years I've acquired 30+ RVG remastered CDs (these include both the Prestige and Blue Note labels). Several of them I've been mildly disappointed with, because of what seems to be a (slight) unnatural boosting of certain frequencies. At least a few other Amazon reviewers have reported similar observations. However, the RVG WALKIN' is excellent, in my opinion. Everything sounds well-balanced, natural, and very pleasing to the ear, with the fullness and crisp detail you'd expect at 24-bit.

Musically, and for pure enjoyment, these 1954 sessions surely rival the better known Cookin/Workin/Steamin/Relaxin sessions of 1956. And Davis's line-ups here are completely different than in those later Prestige sessions. The 2 tracks featuring Lucky Thompson (perhaps the best tenor sax player you've never heard of?) and J.J. Johnson (probably the best trombonist of bebop era) are flat-out classics, and the remaining 3, which feature Miles's muted trumpet, are also very fine. A superb rhythm section of Horace Silver (piano), Percy Heath (bass), and Kenny Clarke (drums) is heard on all 5 songs. Miles's soloing and skill as a group leader really begin to blossom in these sessions. These are not mere "all-star jam sessions": it's apparent that a lot of care and effort went into their production. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
The title track of this album announced to the world (though only a few people were listening) that Miles Davis was back after several years of heroin addiction and erratic playing. Miles had pioneered the cool style four years earlier, but on Walkin' he and his companions went in the opposite direction -- focusing on the groove and the blues in a style that would soon be known as hard bop. On "Walkin'", Kenny Clarke and Percy Heath set up a mid-tempo groove over which Miles blows some incredible trumpet; trombonist J.J. Johnson, pianist Horace Silver, and the underrated saxophonist Lucky Thompson rise to the challenge as well. "Blue'n'Boogie" is given the same treatment but at a much faster pace. On both these numbers, the new LP format allows the musicians to really stretch out and develop their ideas. Side 2 of the album has the same rhythm section, but Johnson and Thompson are replaced with ornithologist Dave Schildkraut. The playing is mellower -- "You Don't Know What Love Is" and the beautiful Davis ballad "Solar" as well as the more energetic "Love Me or Leave Me". Walkin' was the first Miles Davis classic since the Birth of the Cool and is absolutely essential to any fan's collection.

[This review is based upon the K2 20-bit version, which has excellent sound. Both versions have identical tracklists.]
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Format: Audio CD
Of all the Miles Davis albums I've heard thus far, this one has quickly become a favorite. The album is made up of two sessions from April of 1954, one on the 29th which produced "Walkin'" and "Blue 'N' Boogie", which features Davis on trumpet, the amazing J.J. Johnson on trombone, Lucky Thompson on tenor sax, Horace Silver on piano, Percy Heath on bass, and Kenny Clarke on drums. An earlier session on the 3rd produced the remaining tracks on the album, with Dave Schildkraut on alto sax and without the presence of Johnson and Thompson.

"Walkin'" and "Blue 'N' Boogie" are both great extended hard bop numbers, boasting fine soloing from all the horn players. Davis sounds full and rich on these tracks and Lucky Thompson provides some soulful tenor, really shining on "Walkin'" and J.J. Johnson displays why he's considered one of the best trombone players in jazz. He takes a particularly choice solo on "Blue 'N' Boogie", my favorite track on the album. Throughout the album, Horace Silver lays down some funky piano lines, really showing off his chops on his solo on "B 'N' B". Percy Heath and Kenny Clarke are rock solid rhythm partners, keeping the bop engine humming along. Starting with the beautiful "Solar", Miles breaks out the mute and Schildkraut does his best Bird, adding a lovely solo. "You Don't Know What Love Is" is another gently rendered ballad. The group returns to a quicker pace for the closing number "Love Me or Leave Me", featuring some great work on the skins by Clarke.

I would say this has become one of my favorites because of the energy and soul exhibited in the performances. Davis has never seemed looser to me and the rest of the group truly gives performances worthy of the moniker "All Stars". This album is a must have if you're a fan of Miles Davis and of hard bop.
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Format: Audio CD
The hard bop influence is not only Miles' continual evolution, but also because of the rhythm section. Horace Silver - one of the inventors or the genre - is the pianist. Of course, Kenny Clarke's presence in the drum chair helps too since he is the father of bop drumming. Percy Heath on bass is an interesting choice because he would go on to establish his virtuoso playing in the more sedate Modern Jazz Quartet.

Before I continue I want to disclose that there is nothing I can write about the music on this album that cannot be conveyed far better via the sound samples on this page. I could blather on, but will stick to what I liked, which may be totally different from your tastes.

First up is the interesting way Miles chose Lucky Thompson on tenor sax and J. J. Johnson on trombone for the first two tracks. The sound they bring to Walkin' and Blue 'N' Boogie is a marked contrast to the rest of the tracks in that Johnson in particular adds to the lower register. Thompson augments that.

The remaining tracks feature David Schildkraut on alto sax instewad of Thompson and Johnson. I will confess that I had never heard of him, but when I checked out his background I was impressed with the musicians with whom he had performed, including Anita O'Day, Stan Kenton, Oscar Pettiford and even Tito Puente. On these tracks I would have sworn that the alto was Miles' old leader, Charlie Parker.

The album was cut for Prestige in Rudy van Gelder's Hackensack, NJ studio during two sessions on April 1954. The first two tracks were recorded on April 28, and tracks 3 through 5 were recorded during the first session April 3.
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