Sean M. Kelly | Portland, Oregon United States | 09/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In some ways, this lp is a misnomer, as Miles recorded so little on the Blue Note label that all of the songs he did (2 lps worth-both compilations- in the end, other than "Birth of the Cool")are the essential recordings.Nevertheless, what Miles DID record for the label are gems. The bulk of the recordings were recorded in 2 sessions; May 1952, featuring JJ Johnson (trombone), Jackie MacLean (alto sax), Gil Coggins (piano), Oscar Pettiford (b), Kenny Clarke (dr) (tracks 4-6 on this cd)...April 1953: with Johnson, Jimmy Heath (tenor sax), Coggins, Percy Heath (b), and Art Blakey (dr) (tracks 7-11)Tracks 1-3 are from the "Birth of the Cool"Tracks 12-14 are from March 1954 with Horace Silver (piano), Percy Heath, and Art Blakey.The songs are classics, and the playing, while great at moments, belies the terrible heroin habit that Miles and some of the other players (notably MacLean, Jimmy Heath and Blakey) were suffering from; that is why Miles' tone seems very thin at times and other times it seemed like Miles had just started playing again after long stretches of not doing so (which in fact was true).So, take that all into consideration as you listen to these sides and get this cd. The songs are wonderful and while Miles was a junkie during this period, he could still coax a great performance out of himself, as many of these tracks show."
Early Miles, fun hour of charting his progress...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 12/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This compilation highlights the first ten years of M.D.'s long career, from "Birth of the Cool" through the classic "Somethin' Else" record which officially was led by Cannonball Adderley, but was really a Davis project. While everything on here is worth hearing, and wears well, the 1949 and '52 selections really seem shallow when compared to the 1958 complexity and beauty of "Autumn Leaves" and "Somethin' Else." If you already own that latter CD, you don't need to buy this one unless you are a Miles completist. As an overview of Davis in the 1950's, however, this is great. Consider his Columbia album "Kind of Blue", done in '59 with most of the same help as on "Somethin' Else" as the start of Miles in the '60's. I'm not even a big Miles fan, although I saw him perform in Madison Square Garden around 1970 and owned his "Live at the Blackhawk" on vinyl.You just can't own a classic jazz collection and leave him out, however. The music he created after 1970 does not interest me as much as his '50's and '60's work. If you think like me, you'll like this disc a lot."
A good introductory recording
PARTHO ROY | Tampa, Florida USA | 09/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Yesterdays," "Well You Needn't," "It Never Entered My Mind," "Autumn Leaves"...these tracks represent Miles Davis at his best (not most outlandish, but best). I first got into Miles Davis after acquiring this CD, and I think given its price, this is a worthy introductory recording indeed. If you are a die-hard Davis aficionado and recording collector, you probably won't need this CD. But if you want to devote some space on your record shelf to good jazz music, you simply cannot pass this one up."
Over An Hour of Miles on Blue Note & Capitol
Donnie The B | USA | 09/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This slice of Miles' life includes 3 tunes from the "Birth Of The Cool" sessions in 1949, then picks up on his first Blue Note session in 1952. It concludes with a sampling of "Something Else" recorded in 1958 under Cannonball Adderley's leadership. As long as you understand the limited scope of this album and don't want to spend more to be more complete - this is a good way to check out his Blue Note work and get a taste of Birth of the Cool as well. During the 1950's, I guess Miles was carrying quite a monkey on his back - and he splatters a few notes and his tone is not real full at times - to prove that something was wrong. But still, all this music is quite enjoyable. There's quite a variety here from "Cool" swingers to ballads. Note: there would be 4 albums to buy to have the 3 Blue Note albums plus the legendary 1949 nonet "Cool" sessions. (So you can decide how much to spend). "