MILES DAVIS — Relaxin' With The Miles Davis Quintet

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MILES DAVIS - Relaxin' With The Miles Davis Quintet cover
4.26 | 18 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1958

Filed under Hard Bop
By MILES DAVIS

Tracklist

A1 If I Were A Bell 8:15
A2 You're My Everything 5:18
A3 I Could Write A Book 5:10
B1 Oleo 5:52
B2 It Could Happen To You 6:37
B3 Woody'n You 5:01

Total Time 36:21

Line-up/Musicians

- Miles Davis / trumpet
- John Coltrane / tenor saxophone
- Red Garland / piano
- Paul Chambers / acoustic bass
- Philly Joe Jones / drums

About this release

Prestige ‎– PRLP 7129 (US)

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on May 11 & October 26, 1956

Thanks to Matt for the addition and snobb, dreadpirateroberts for the updates

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MILES DAVIS RELAXIN' WITH THE MILES DAVIS QUINTET reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

dreadpirateroberts
'Relaxin' might be my favourite set from the two dates Miles and his quintet performed for a 'contractual-obligation' phase just before leaving Prestige for Columbia.

If only other contractual-obligation albums were like this. Moving through the band's live repertoire with almost casual confidence, the line up of Garland, Jones, Chambers and Coltrane play loose but immaculate - captured in the Rudy Van Gelder stables - and basically do so live in a 'one-take' fashion according to the liner notes.

In fact, Miles sounds happy here, which is almost strange, as popular images of him construct a brooding innovator who may or may not be pleased with what he is producing. Part of that is the material, mid tempo, bright-sounding covers from the bop spectrum, along with theater tunes like the wonderful opener 'If I Were a Bell' which has excellent solos from Davis, Coltrane and Garland especially.

Elsewhere the band tackle bop that's a little harder (though not as hard as 'Cookin' for instance) or ballads, like the tender 'You're My Everything' where Miles instructs Red to play 'block chords' before the song starts. After a gentle build he and Coltrane share solos, both of which show restrained phrasing that make them such a great compliment to each other.

'Woody N You' and especially Rollin's 'Oleo' have Chambers racing away beneath the lead voices and along with 'I Could Write a Book' make up the harder numbers. 'It Could Happen to You' from 1944 comedy 'And the Angels Sing' reinforces the feel that Miles is having a good time and adds yet another uplifting piece to the set.

Dialogue chatter (or rasping) is left in, doubtless to add to the live feel of the recording, which is a nice touch and gives the listener a glimpse into the working relationship of the band. For Miles Davis fans this is highly recommended, if you don't have it already - equally so for Jazz fans in general and someone looking for something that straddles the line between bop and cool.

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