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Essential Albums: Cookin'/Relaxin'/Workin'/Steamin' [4 CD Box Set] Box set

4.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, November 8, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

A marathon 1956 recording session-in which Miles' great quintet (with John Coltrane, Red Garland, Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chambers) went into the studio to document the brilliant musicianship, arrangements and chemistry they'd been bringing to the stage-resulted in four fantastic Prestige albums! My Funny Valentine; Airegin; If I Were a Bell; It Could Happen to You; Oleo; I Could Write a Book; In Your Own Sweet Way; Trane's Blues; Half Nelson; Salt Peanuts; Diane; Surrey with the Fringe on Top , and more, all newly remastered!

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. My Funny Valentine
  2. Blues by Five
  3. Airegin
  4. Tune-Up / When Lights Are Low

Disc: 2

  1. If I Were a Bell
  2. You're My Everything
  3. I Could Write a Book
  4. Oleo
  5. It Could Happen To You
  6. Woody'n You

Disc: 3

  1. It Never Entered My Mind
  2. Four
  3. In Your Own Sweet Way
  4. The Theme (take 1)
  5. Trane's Blues
  6. Ahmad's Blues
  7. Half Nelson
  8. The Theme (take 2)

Disc: 4

  1. Surrey with the Fringe on Top
  2. Salt Peanuts
  3. Something I Dreamed Last Night
  4. Diane
  5. Well, You Needn't
  6. When I Fall in Love


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 8, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Prestige
  • ASIN: B005HWUD4O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,053 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Randal Quevillon on October 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You probably know that these 4 albums are the result of two recording dates at which the Miles Davis Quintet (with John Coltrane) simply played their live nightclub show in the studio while Rudy Van Gelder engineered the recording. This way, Miles could quickly fulfill his commitment to the Prestige label and get on with his Columbia contract. However, for fans of 50s small combo jazz--blues drenched, solo-laden, extended bop excursions, these 4 albums are masterpieces. Most of us were too young (or not yet born) so we could not have heard this quintet play live. But this set gives you the chance to do the next best thing: to listen to nearly three hours of riveting jazz, played by perhaps the best quintet ever. Remastered by Rudy Van Gelder himself, the sound quality of the set is outstanding and the notes are a very nice addition. I tracked these down on vinyl, and would not part with the slightly scratchy mono versions, but this set provides pristine CD sound and excellent clarity.

When I write product reviews, I typically try to anticipate who might be disappointed in the product and why, and I try to write about it to inform them. With this set, however, I'm pretty hard pressed to come up with anything. If you hate jazz, you wouldn't be even looking at this set. I guess if you are strictly targeted toward late-Miles-fusion (Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson) you might not like the set. Also, while there are plenty of instances of the beginnings of Coltrane's "sheets of sound", if you are looking for the free jazz highly adventurous work of his late career, you won't find that here. Other than that, I can't see how you could go wrong with this set. Allmusic rates the albums with 5 of 5 stars (4 and 1/2 minimum) and they are great albums. Terrific music, great sound quality, nice packaging and notes--this is a wonderful set at a bargain price.
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Format: Audio CD
Much has been said in previous reviews about the classic albums in this collection, and truly, they are amazing - in turns mellow and energetic, they are a wonderful set for old and new jazz fans.

Not enough, however, has been said about the craftsmanship of the set itself. I wondered before I made my purchase whether this was a decent box or a cheap paper one with four discs crammed inside. The good news is that the box is encased in a woven black material, smooth and tight. Hidden magnets softly snap the cover closed. Inside, a thin strap/ribbon can be used to lift up all four CD cases to easily remove them from the fitted case. Finally, all discs are remasters (dated 2006 or 2007) with original and revisited liner notes.

In all, this is a great package of great music. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This set of albums is a personal favorite of mine for a number of reasons. I loved Davis' Prestige era is foremost, but the marathon recording of four albums to satisfy his contract with Prestige before he could be released to join Columbia is another. One would think that haste makes waste, but these albums exude so much energy that the opposite happened.

The two sessions that resulted in this set were both in Rudy van Gelder's Hackensack, NJ studio on May 11 and October 26, 1956. The end result is these four albums, which I presonally play when I am in the mood for Miles at what I consider his golden era.

Of course, the musicians comprising the quintet were among the best and made significant contributions. Miles is backed by John Coltrane on tenor sax, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums.

Unfortunately there are no sound samples on this page, but I will link to the product page for each album in this set, and all of them have sound samples. Let your ears be the judge.

Disc 1 is the album titled Cookin' that was recorded in its entirety during the October 26 session. It was released as Prestige PRLP 7094 with a total time of 33:35.

Disc 2 is the album titled Relaxin'. Tracks 5 and 6 were recorded during the May 11 session and the remainder during the October 26 session. It was released as Prestige PRLP 7129 in 1958. Total time is 36:13.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
MIles/Trane/Garland/Chambers/Philly Joe. To the East Coast players I came up with, these sessions were (and still are) the benchmark for 50's jazz. To this day, the way they played these tunes is burned into my head as the definitive version. Very nice package with 4 individual jewel boxes, all RVG 24-bit remasters which sound great.
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An amazing addition to my Miles collection. Here are four classic Miles'early days with John Coltrane. The four albums are Cookin', Relaxin', Workin', and Streamin'. These four albums have received a wonderful face lift and never sounded better. This is towards the end of one era and rigjt before the next one for Miles, Miles was always ahead of the others taking jazz into the new era. Lots of great songs are here a number of which would be a part of his set lists to come. Two of the greats in jazz are here of course Miles along with John Coltrane both at one of the heights of their careers both would redefine the term height in the years to come. It is a wonderful time we live in when this great music is being made available again in the best setting. What a deal to get these four albums in one box at a great price. I simply love these and I know you will too.
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