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Walkin' Original recording remastered
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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.
[This review is based upon the K2 20-bit version, which has excellent sound. Both versions have identical tracklists.]
"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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The music samples are not from the Walkin' album, they are of much later vintage. I own the original 33 lp vinyl. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Martin H. Adams
One of Miles' best recording from the bebop era in my opinion. Like "Cookin' with the Miles Davis Quintet", I purchased this to replace an original vinyl that was not... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Nancy M.
Mr Davis is the King, not the orginal crew, but he knew what he was doing over so many different styles of our best music that NO ONE has the claim to that title. Read morePublished on December 22, 2012 by Jack_Nitski
Listen to this album once, listen to it again and again. The listener is treated to a new experience with each time it is spun on the cd player and enjoyed on an mp3 player. Read morePublished on August 6, 2012 by Joshua Tree 1973
If it can be blamed for being such a short sample of Davis' classic jazz period, it compensates for the brevity in the excellence of the example. Read morePublished on August 4, 2012 by Davey Jones
By todays standard this album is antiquated junk. How does anyone listen to this crap is beyond me. So many talented Jazz artist, why go back to listen to this shit. Read morePublished on July 9, 2012 by Jose