Recent listening, current

Saturday, March 30, 2013

66. Miles Davis / At Newport 1958 (1958)

This live disc features the sextet that recorded Kind of Blue a short time later. It's also the debut of Cobb and Evans with the group. Davis premiered his new lineup in the context of Newport's considerable inertia. The gloves are off right from the start. "Ah Leu Cha" is the fastest I've heard it played by anyone and Adderley, Davis, and Coltrane show off their chops in blistering runs of mind boggling accuracy. If you haven't heard this, I advise you turn up the volume to fully appreciate these musicians when they start blowing. I think their power even surprised the leader. It's like going from 0 to 60 in an instant. Davis is in high spirits, talking all throughout the set, encouraging his musicians. Evans is careful when he slips between Adderley and Coltrane, but offers excellent harmonic advice and makes a few pointed statements as with "Straight No Chaser." It's easy to see why Davis picked him, and to hear him outside of his role in guiding the modalities heard in Kind of Blue is quite exciting. A short-lived and critically under-documented group, I'm thankful to have this disc.


  1. Chris,
    Thanks for pointing out Kind of Blue to me to check out. I have been enjoying it since the night I got it.

    1. Glad you Kind of Blue. It's one of those albums that is always enjoyable no matter how many times I listen to it. If you enjoy it, don't miss Somethin' Else credited to Cannonball Adderley but Miles was basically the leader. The band is a little different, but it has a similar feel, and it's very bluesy.