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The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

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Album Review

Over the course of six compact discs, Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings collects every bit of music the legendary duo recorded together between the years 1957 and 1968. Each of the original albums — Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess, Sketches of Spain, and Quiet Nights — is presented in its original running order on separate discs; each individual disc is augmented with revealing alternate takes and rarities, like the duo's long-unavailable music for "The Time of the Barracudas" at the end of the Quiet Nights disc. The remaining two discs are filled with alternate takes, rehearsals, overdubbed solos, studio chatter, and outtakes. All of the music sounds splendid and often revelatory — for instance, in addition to being released in stereo for the first time ever, Miles Ahead is presented in its original version for the first time on compact disc. Each disc is enclosed in a sleeve that replicates the original album release (both covers of Miles Ahead are included within the set) and housed in an immense, detailed, gold-bound 197-page book. In fact, if there is any fault with the set it is this: since the notes, sleeves, track listings, and discs are bound together within one thick book, the set feels like a library piece instead of a functional, listenable retrospective. This is vital music that will be accessed often by anyone willing to invest in the set, so the box set should have been designed with that in mind. Nevertheless, Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings is filled with so much visionary and beautiful music it makes the slight flaws in packaging forgivable.

Customer Reviews

Miles on Miles

What can you say Gil Evans & Miles Davis were A great team.


Born: May 13, 1912 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

One of the most significant arrangers in jazz history, Gil Evans' three album-length collaborations with Miles Davis (Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess, and Sketches of Spain) are all considered classics. Evans had a lengthy and wide-ranging career that sometimes ran parallel to the trumpeter. Like Davis, Gil became involved in utilizing electronics in the '70s and preferred not to look back and re-create the past. He led his own band in California (1933-1938) which eventually became the backup group for...
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