MILES DAVIS & JOHN COLTRANE The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961 (2000)

Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961 (2000)
#1 of 8

Coltrane is nuanced and Miles is re-inventing jazz. Beyond reading about it, I’ve never fully understood the unique modal foundation of Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue. That hasn’t stopped me from considering it my all-time favorite album, and there are some that will go so far as to call it the greatest ever made. Listen to a rare outtake, “Freddie Freeloader (False Start),” shut down by Miles’ signature wolf whistle. Kind Of Blue is among a number of early Miles albums that mine his late 50s work with Coltrane (not to mention Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Jimmy Cobb, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones and others), including What Is Jazz, ‘Round About Midnight, Milestones, Someday My Prince Will Come, Miles And Monk At Newport, Jazz At The Plaza, Circle In The Round and more. This 6CD set is housed in a metal box with imprinted graphics, though, cramming all of the discs, covers and liners into a bound “book” makes it all a bit clunky, if still essential. The first in the series, though, they weren’t released in order. Get it at Amazon.

Two Bass Hit [Alternate Take] (3:21)
Two Bass Hit (3:44)
Ah-Leu-Cha [Alternate Take] (5:52)
Ah-Leu-Cha (5:53)
Ah-Leu-Cha [Take 5] (5:25)
Little Melonae (7:23)
Budo [Alternate Take] (5:03)
Budo (4:17)
Dear Old Stockholm (7:52)
Bye Bye Blackbird [Alternate Take] (7:51)
Bye Bye Blackbird (7:57)
Tadd’s Delight (4:29)
Tadd’s Delight [Alternate Take] (4:18)

Dear Old Stockholm [Alternate Take] (6:42)
All Of You [Alternate Take] (7:32)
All Of You (7:03)
Sweet Sue, Just You [First Version] (4:23)
Sweet Sue, Just You [False Start With Discussion Between Leonard Bernstein & Miles Davis] (1:59)
Sweet Sue, Just You [Alternate Take] (3:32)
Sweet Sue, Just You (3:42)
Miles Davis Comments (0:31)
‘Round Midnight (5:57)
Two Bass Hit [Alternate Take] (4:33)
Two Bass Hit (5:13)
Billy Boy [Trio Only] (7:13)
Straight, No Chaser [Alternate Take] (10:28)

Straight, No Chaser (10:38)
Milestones [Alternate Take] (6:02)
Milestones (5:45)
Sid’s Ahead (13:02)
Little Melonae (7:56)
Dr. Jackle (5:49)
On Green Dolphin Street (9:51)
Fran-Dance [Alternate Take] (5:53)
Fran-Dance (5:50)
Stella By Starlight (4:44)

Love For Sale (11:50)
Freddie Freeloader [False Start] (1:28)
Freddie Freeloader (9:48)
So What (9:24)
Blue In Green (5:38)
Flamenco Sketches [Alternate Take] (9:34)
Miles Davis Comments (0:45)
Flamenco Sketches (9:28)
All Blues (11:33)

Someday My Prince Will Come (9:05)
Teo (9:37)
Introduction By Willis Connover (2:16)
Ah-Leu-Cha (5:53)
Straight, No Chaser (8:48)
Fran-Dance (7:14)
Two Bass Hit (4:11)
Bye Bye Blackbird (9:11)
The Theme (2:49)

If I Were A Bell (8:31)
Oleo (10:39)
My Funny Valentine (10:19)
Straight, No Chaser (10:56)


  • Willard
    March 9, 2012 - 08:46 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Winking Tiger
    March 9, 2012 - 13:29 | Permalink

    This is wonderful, thanks Willard! ;)

  • miles
    March 9, 2012 - 15:01 | Permalink


    Might I suggest your reading Ashley Kahn’s, ‘The Making of Kind of Blue: The Miles Davis Masterpiece’ for further insight into the modal foundation you’re having a hard time understanding. However, some things I don’t believe you can intellectualize, and I’ve always felt that music was one of them. When I eventually learned how to read music, the process of creating somehow became less interesting and mysterious to me because I then understood the mathematical equations behind it all, and so it became less fun and engaging. Modality throws much of that right out the window. The key as a listener doesn’t really necessitate your understanding the elements that make what you’re hearing sound magical. Rather it lays simply in how they/it make you feel. Kind of Blue is all over that like white on rice. But you know that. After all, you’ve demonstrated that you know more than a thing or two about music in the superior taste you’ve demonstrated throughout the Wormhole for all these years. In fact, I bet you just said that stuff about misunderstanding the “unique modal foundations” just to stir up some debate, because in the end, you’re not such a bad journalist either.

    Peace. (I don’t know why I just said that. What am I? A young player, or something?)

    • Willard
      March 9, 2012 - 15:25 | Permalink

      Thanks Miles. Truth is, each time I’ve read about it, I get it. But…that doesn’t translate to me – the non-reader – how it’s all so irresistibly melancholy. It’s like describing a color or drawing a sound. As essential as these two box sets are, there are a couple of later MD Boxes that are even more so (The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions, being one of them). Thanks for the night reading tip.

    • Adam Crocker
      March 14, 2012 - 12:40 | Permalink

      “However, some things I don’t believe you can intellectualize, and I’ve always felt that music was one of them.”

      I’m not sure I agree, though it may depend on what aspect of music you’re intellectualizing. My current all-time favourite book about music, David Toop’s Ocean of Sound, does this well when tracing the various the developments of modern music into the spaces of intangibility through the likes of Claude Debussy, Sun-Ra, Brian Eno, rave culture, etc. Though what it does is links these developments to their music antecedants and the cultural currents that spawned them – and really doesn’t touch on conventional western musical theory (or any notational system).

      On the other hand Toop is also a brilliant prose stylist and conjures evocative images of music perfeclty. But then I think the best writing about any artform combines a strong, focused intellectual spine and powerful narrative that appeal’s to the readers’ emotions, with the two working together almost seemlessly.

      “The key as a listener doesn’t really necessitate your understanding the elements that make what you’re hearing sound magical. Rather it lays simply in how they/it make you feel.”

      Agreed completely. Most writing about music that doesn’t refer to technical constructs to describe it does so poetically. (Which is another thing I like about Toop’s book.)

      And thanks for posting this Willard. This is exactly the kind of thing a stressed-out student needs to chill to or let the brain flow (that’s when I’m not stimulating it with something like heavy metal, country rock, and salsa).

      • Willard
        March 14, 2012 - 12:53 | Permalink

        Thanks. When you’re ready to party again, we’ll probably have Jack Johnson and Bitches Brew up.

        • Adam Crocker
          March 14, 2012 - 13:02 | Permalink


  • miles
    March 9, 2012 - 20:08 | Permalink

    Well put. Certain moods, feelings, sounds, or abstractions are sometimes difficult to describe. That’s the magical ingredient contained not only within modality, but especially in Kind of Blue. There’s really no use in trying to decipher it, better to simply let it work its sorcery.

    Earlier I should have said, “some things SHOULDN’T be intellectualized, and music is one of them.” Of course music can be, and sometimes to great accomplishment. But I’ve always felt that the best music comes from somewhere within the heart and soul, rather than from the mind. The more organic the genesis, the truer the end product.

    Actually, I had forgotten that I’d once owned the complete ‘In a Silent Way’ sessions as well. However, I’m not certain that I myself found it to be as essential. These ‘complete’ compilations can give great insight into the music and musicians involved, but sometimes I feel that too much insight (much like the aforementioned analysis) can sometimes give a little too much away, diminishing the wonder. Kind of like a magician revealing their secrets. I’d rather not know too much about the workings of the people and the art of those I admire. In my opinion, a large portion of the voodoo contained within ‘In a Silent Way’ was Teo Macero’s keen ability to take all of the musical abstractions created throughout those sessions and mold them into a cohesive whole. A true producer, much like George Martin’s role with the huge genius of the Beatles and their four disparate musical personalities.

    Thanks for letting me ramble (or pontificate), whatever way you might see it.

  • March 9, 2012 - 21:01 | Permalink

    Zoobiditidy……… Nama Anchelerly

  • March 9, 2012 - 21:12 | Permalink

    I have died and gone to heaven…..
    Thanks Willard!

  • rap
    March 9, 2012 - 22:41 | Permalink

    Great post, W. As far as jazz goes, Miles is my Beatles.

  • Sealy
    March 10, 2012 - 10:12 | Permalink

    Many thanks for all this stuff. The recent Miles posting is brilliant

    • Willard
      March 10, 2012 - 11:55 | Permalink

      Those boxes are like chips, you can’t have just one. I’ve got #5, The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions almost ready to go, and I’m already eye-balling The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions.

  • notBob
    March 10, 2012 - 12:35 | Permalink

    I’m really enjoying this as I sit by the fire on this ridiculously-cold and rainy day in Texas. Don’t know which is better, the rain or the music!

  • 3410
    March 10, 2012 - 18:19 | Permalink

    Many thanks, Willard. I’d been on the lookout for this one.

  • ate2zee
    March 11, 2012 - 00:08 | Permalink

    I’ve now greedily snarfed up your last 2 postings. Seriously, a huge thanks for this. I have Bitch’s Brew, but only a little of what you’ve put up here. They say if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. OK, but not this time.

    • Willard
      March 11, 2012 - 01:33 | Permalink

      Cool. Glad you’re diggin’ ’em. I’ll be posting more.

  • K. Gondo
    March 11, 2012 - 14:16 | Permalink

    Unbelievably awesome. Thank you (again), Captain!

  • Sefton
    March 12, 2012 - 14:14 | Permalink

    Thanks, Willard!

  • Otiselevator
    March 26, 2012 - 19:17 | Permalink

    More Miles, & Coltrane, I am speechless with gratitude! I don’t entirely understand it either but this period of Miles sort of changed my life…

  • Hank
    September 23, 2012 - 03:32 | Permalink

    Thank you Willard. You’re simply the best.

    • Willard
      September 24, 2012 - 13:02 | Permalink

      No… YOU’RE the best.

  • August 7, 2013 - 04:25 | Permalink

    Can’t get the Meg link to work. Requires consent from Firefox. There is no “Allow.”

    • Willard
      August 7, 2013 - 10:16 | Permalink

      Try a different browser.

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