Artist: Miles Davis Quintet featuring John Coltrane
Label: Trapeze Music/Acrobat
Format: 4-CD set
Release date: December 2, 2014
Fans of Miles Davis and John Coltrane will rejoice in this new box set, compiled from rare radio broadcasts and private recordings from Davis’ 1960 tour of Europe. In addition to Davis and Coltrane, the quartet included Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums. The tour marked the final performances featuring the two jazz titans, “documenting the extraordinary creative alchemy of a legendary partnership about to disintegrate.”
Though most of these recordings have been floating around for years, this is the first time they’ve been assembled, carefully cleaned and remastered, and the overall sound is surprisingly good considering the sources. The set offers six hours of recordings from various performances, and is accompanied by a 36-page booklet by noted author and tenor saxophonist Simon Spillett that provides technical commentary on the performances and solos, as well as insight into the techniques and styles of each musician. Disc 1 also includes an interview with Coltrane by Carl-Eric Lindgren, recorded in Sweden during the tour. Complete track listings can be found here.
Reviewed by Brenda Nelson-Strauss