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The Classic Prestige Sessions, 1951-1956: Miles Davis & Sonny Rollins (Remastered)

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Album Review

The Classic Prestige Sessions 1951-1956 collects all of the sides recorded by trumpeter Miles Davis and tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins for Prestige during their time together as young players in New York City. Both musicians were just past their formative years during this period, having broken free from the heavy sway of their bop elders — especially alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, who appears here in several classic cuts originally released on Collector's Items. Both Davis and Rollins were expanding the bop mold and beginning to discover their own sound. Davis had already made his mark with the innovative West Coast jazz masterpiece Birth of the Cool and was further developing his romantic and cerebral minimalism. Similarly, Rollins was quickly becoming the heir to Parker's throne as the most searching and muscular saxophonist on the scene. The dichotomy of their sounds made Davis and Rollins a perfect rub as jazz partners and these recordings helped foreshadow and define such future jazz movements as hard bop, post-bop, and even free jazz. Included here are such stellar and classic tracks as "Dig," "Oleo," "Down," "The Serpent's Tooth," "Airegin," "Doxy," and "Vierd Blues"." Although all of these recordings are available elsewhere on the original albums, Davis and Rollins' relationship was an incredibly fertile one and it is great to have all of it compiled together.


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...
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