Miles Davis: ’Round About Midnight

The trumpeter's well-known first album for Columbia is remarketed on 180g purple vinyl with two bonus tracks and new liner notes

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When Miles Davis released ’Round About Midnight in 1957, little did he know what a pivotal moment in his career it would be. It also marked a continuing relationship with tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, who at the time was a relatively unknown soloist. (Coltrane had featured on the 1956 album Miles.) Davis enjoyed the striking contrast between his own soloing style and that of Coltrane, something that gained the attention of many.

Despite its remarkable success, the original album only contains covers of compositions by such of Davis’s mentors as Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie. Nevertheless, his nocturnal and mysterious sound grabs your attention instantly, reflecting the aptly chosen album title.

In ’Round About Midnight Miles captures everything his contemporaries taught him whilst keeping an eye on the future. When Charlie Parker died in 1955, he sustained his legacy before recording something completely unique in the 1959 Kind Of Blue.

This reissue on 180g purple vinyl includes two bonus tracks – ’Round Midnight (the Prestige version) and Sweet Sue, Just You, as well new liner notes by Brian Morton and from the Paris-based Jazz Magazine. As Ralph J. Gleason rightly wrote for Downbeat, “This is the kind of album to which one returns time and time again because it is, in its way, a perfect thing, a slice of modern jazz conceived and executed in the very best style.” That said, one can’t forget that this is just another unnecessary reissue. The well-known core music was reviewed here just two days ago.

Discography
(1) ’Round Midnight; (2) Ah-Leu-Cha; (3) All Of You; (4) ’Round Midnight [Prestige version]; (5) Bye Bye Blackbird; Tadd’s Delight; Dear Old Stockholm; (6) Sweet Sue, Just You (47.53)
Davis (t); John Coltrane (ts); Red Garland (p); Paul Chambers (b); Philly Joe Jones (d). (1, 3 & 6) New York, 10 September 1956. (2) New York, 26 October 1955. (4) New Jersey, 26 October 1956. (5) New York, 5 June 1956.
Waxtime In Color 350248