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Bluing: Miles Davis Plays the Blues

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Album Review

In 1996, Fantasy came out with a series of reissue CDs featuring various jazz artists "playing the blues." Their Miles Davis CD is a bit surprising, for it leaves out his most famous blues performance ("Walkin'") and has the second (rather than the classic first) take of "Bags' Groove" from a 1954 session with pianist Thelonious Monk and vibraphonist Milt Jackson. The nine numbers (all but one from 1954-1956) are easily available elsewhere and, although the music (which features such sidemen as altoist Jackie McLean, tenors John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Lucky Thompson, trombonist J.J. Johnson, and pianists Red Garland and Horace Silver, among others) is sometimes classic.

Biography

Born: 26 May 1926 in Alton, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Throughout a professional career lasting 50 years, Miles Davis played the trumpet in a lyrical, introspective, and melodic style, often employing a stemless Harmon mute to make his sound more personal and intimate. But if his approach to his instrument was constant, his approach to jazz was dazzlingly protean. To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz from the mid-'40s to the early '90s, since he was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development in the...
Full Bio