Miles Davis: Milestones

The trumpeter's proto-modal classic, featuring Coltrane, Adderley and Red Garland, gets a new lease of life on 180g blue vinyl

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This classic Miles Davis album, previewing his move into his modalism, needs no introduction to serious jazz followers. The news here is that it’s presented on 180gm blue vinyl, a concept that we – and the new retro (if that isn’t a contradiction) generation – are fast getting used to.

So many thousands of words have been written about this disc and those recorded by the trumpeter up to this point that it seems superfluous to add more superlatives to those he’s already garnered.

However, the confident manner in which he goes about his task is a high spot worthy of mention. His solos are a model of invention, lucidity and boldness. They’re matched by those of Coltrane and Adderley, the former really starting to forge a style of his own and the latter simply honing his instantly recognisable approach.

The disc became famous for the leader ceding one track, Billy Boy, to the rhythm section alone, exhibiting his appreciation for pianist Ahmad Jamal, and also for Garland’s studio walkout, forcing Miles to take the piano chair for Sid’s Ahead.

We don’t do stars any more but this is a five-star release in every sense.

Discography
(1) Dr. Jekyll; (2) Sid’s Ahead; (3) Two Bass Hit; Milestones; Billy Boy; Straight, No Chaser (47.53)
(1) Davis (t); John Coltrane (ts); Julian “Cannonball” Adderley (as); Red Garland (p); Paul Chambers (b); Philly Joe Jones (d). New York, 4 March 1958. (2) omit Garland but Davis (p, t). (3) as (1) but 4 February.
20th Century Masterworks 350245