Birth of the Cool


Birth of the Cool
Birth of the Cool
Compilation album by Miles Davis
Released 1957
Recorded January 21 and April 22, 1949, March 9, 1950
(New York, New York)
Genre Cool jazz
Length 35:29
Label Capitol
Producer Walter Rivers, Pete Rugolo
Miles Davis chronology
'Round About Midnight
(1957)
Birth of the Cool
(1957)
Miles Ahead
(1957)
Miles Davis compilation chronology
Miles Davis Volume 2
(1955)
Birth of the Cool
(1957)
Basic Miles
(1973)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
All About Jazz (favorable)[2]
MusicHound 5/5 stars[3]
Q 4/5 stars[4]
Penguin Guide to Jazz 4/4 stars[3]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars[5]
Virgin Encyclopedia 5/5 stars[3]

Birth of the Cool is a compilation album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released in 1957 on Capitol Records.[6][7] It compiles twelve songs recorded by Davis's nonet for the label over the course of three sessions during 1949 and 1950.[8] Featuring unusual instrumentation and several notable musicians, the music consisted of innovative arrangements strongly inspired by classical music, and marked a major development in post-bebop jazz. As the title implies, these recordings are considered seminal in the history of cool jazz. The majority of the recordings on the record are under three minutes. The album has since been reissued many times. Blue Note recently released a version using the original tapes from Rudy Van Gelder, who produced the album.

Contents

Background and recording history

Gil Evans contributed some charts to the sessions, acting as an advisor to a group of musicians who had met in his small New York apartment above a Chinese laundry. Evans had gained a reputation in the jazz world for his orchestration of bebop tunes for the Claude Thornhill orchestra, including Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee". Davis was seeking an alternative to the small groups typical of contemporary jazz (he was a member of Charlie Parker's quintet at the time), and in 1947 started to organize the loose circle of musicians into a working group. Rehearsals and experiments took place over the next year.

The nonet performed live only briefly—initially for a two week engagement in late August and early September 1948 at the Royal Roost Club in New York. Billed as the "Miles Davis Band", the group at this time consisted of Davis (trumpet), Mike Zwerin (trombone), Bill Barber (tuba), Junior Collins (French horn), Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone), Lee Konitz (alto saxophone), John Lewis (piano), Al McKibbon (bass), and Max Roach (drums). Former Dizzy Gillespie vocalist Kenny Hagood was featured on a few songs. Unusually, the arrangers (Mulligan, Evans and Lewis) were given credit. The group returned to the Royal Roost later in September, and recordings from 4 September and 18 September 1948, were included on the 1998 Complete Birth of the Cool CD, alongside the later studio sides. There was a further short residency the following year at the Clique Club, but the nonet was not a financial success, and disbanded. In 1949 Davis had a contract with Capitol to record twelve sides for 78 rpm singles. He thus reformed the nonet to record three sessions in January and April 1949 and March 1950. Davis, Konitz, Mulligan and Barber were the only musicians who played on all three sessions, though the instrumental lineup was constant (excepting the omission of piano on a few songs). Originally released as singles, eight of the tracks were compiled in 1953 on a 10" vinyl album in Capitol's Classics in Jazz series, and Birth of the Cool was released in 1957 as a 12" LP that added the remaining three unreleased instrumental pieces ("Move", "Budo" and "Boplicity").[8] The final track, "Darn That Dream" (the only song with vocals, by Hagood), was included with the other eleven on a 1971 LP.[8] Subsequent releases have been based on this last arrangement.

Musically, the songs on Birth of the Cool stand as an important reaction to the prominent bebop form in contemporary jazz. Though the break can be exaggerated—Charlie Parker participated in the discussions Evans led, most of the musicians were drawn from the bebop scene, and many continued to play in that style for years afterward—it inspired a whole school of jazz musicians, particularly in California in what is usually referred to as "West Coast jazz" or the "cool school".

Cleo Henry

Cleo Henry was the pen name used by Davis as the composer credit on the track "Boplicity", which was in fact written by Davis and arranged by Gil Evans. Cleota Henry Davis was Davis's mother. No other composition was ever written under this pen name by Davis.[citation needed]

Track listing (CD)

Arrangements by the composer unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Move" (Denzil Best, arranged by John Lewis) – 2:32
  2. "Jeru" (Gerry Mulligan) – 3:10
  3. "Moon Dreams" (Chummy MacGregor, Johnny Mercer, arranged by Gil Evans) – 3:17
  4. "Venus de Milo" (Mulligan) – 3:10
  5. "Budo" (Miles Davis, Bud Powell, arranged by Lewis) – 2:32
  6. "Deception" (Davis, arranged by Mulligan) – 2:45
  7. "Godchild" (George Wallington, arranged by Mulligan) – 3:07
  8. "Boplicity" (Cleo Henry, i.e. Davis and Gil Evans, arranged by Evans) – 2:59
  9. "Rocker" (Mulligan) – 3:03
  10. "Israel" (Johnny Carisi) – 2:15
  11. "Rouge" (John Lewis) – 3:13
  12. "Darn That Dream" (Eddie DeLange, James Van Heusen, arranged by Mulligan) – 3:26

Recording dates

  • Tracks 1, 2, 5, 7 – 21 January 1949
  • Tracks 4, 8, 10, 11 – 22 April 1949
  • Tracks 3, 6, 9, 12 – 9 March 1950

Recorded at WOR Studios, New York, New York.

Track listing (LP)

side A

  1. "Jeru" (Gerry Mulligan) – 3:09
  2. "Move" (Denzil Best, arranged by John Lewis) – 2:29
  3. "Godchild" (George Wallington, arranged by Mulligan) – 3:02
  4. "Budo" (Miles Davis, Bud Powell, arranged by Lewis) – 2:28
  5. "Venus de Milo" (Mulligan) – 3:05
  6. "Rouge" (John Lewis) – 3:07

side B

  1. "Boplicity" (Cleo Henry, i.e. Davis and Gil Evans, arranged by Evans) – 2:55
  2. "Israel" (Johnny Carisi) – 2:12
  3. "Deception" (Davis, arranged by Mulligan) – 2:42
  4. "Rocker" (Mulligan) – 2:59
  5. "Moon Dreams" (Chummy MacGregor, Johnny Mercer, arranged by Gil Evans) – 3:13
  6. "Darn That Dream" (Eddie DeLange, James Van Heusen, arranged by Mulligan) – 3:20 (Bonus Track added in 1971)

The Complete Birth of the Cool (The Studio Sessions)

Arrangements by the composer unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Move" (Denzil Best, arranged by John Lewis) – 2:32
  2. "Jeru" (Gerry Mulligan) – 3:10
  3. "Moon Dreams" (Chummy MacGregor, Johnny Mercer, arranged by Gil Evans) – 3:17
  4. "Venus de Milo" (Mulligan) – 3:10
  5. "Budo" (Miles Davis, Bud Powell, arranged by Lewis) – 2:32
  6. "Deception" (Davis, arranged by Mulligan) – 2:45
  7. "Godchild" (George Wallington, arranged by Mulligan) – 3:07
  8. "Boplicity" (Cleo Henry, i.e. Davis and Gil Evans, arranged by Evans) – 2:59
  9. "Rocker" (Mulligan) – 3:03
  10. "Israel" (Johnny Carisi) – 2:15
  11. "Rouge" (John Lewis) – 3:13
  12. "Darn That Dream" (Eddie DeLange, James Van Heusen, arranged by Mulligan) – 3:26

Recording dates

  • Tracks 1, 2, 5, 7 – 21 January 1949
  • Tracks 4, 8, 10, 11 – 22 April 1949
  • Tracks 3, 6, 9, 12 – 9 March 1950

Recorded at WOR Studios, New York, New York.

The Complete Birth of the Cool (The Live Sessions)

Arrangements by the composer unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Birth of the Cool Theme" (Gil Evans) – 0:19 – (arranged by G.Evans)
  2. "Symphony Sid announces the band"
  3. "Move" (Denzil Best) – 3:40
  4. "Why Do I love You" (DeSylva, Gershwin, Gershwin) – 3:41 – (arranged by J.Lewis)
  5. "Godchild" (George Wallington) – 5:15
  6. "Symphony Sid introduction" – 0:27
  7. "S'il Vous Plait" (John Lewis) – (arranged by J.Lewis)
  8. "Moon Dreams" (Chummy MacGregor, Johnny Mercer) – 5:06
  9. "Budo (Hallucinations)" (Bud Powell, Miles Davis) – 3:24
  10. "Darn That Dream" (Eddie DeLange, James Van Heusen) – 4:25
  11. "Move" (Denzil Best) – 4:48
  12. "Moon Dreams" (Chummy MacGregor, Johnny Mercer) – 3:46
  13. "Budo (Hallucinations)" (Bud Powell, Miles Davis) – 4:23

Recording dates

  • Tracks 1–9 recorded on September 4, 1948; tracks 10–13 on September 18, 1948, live at Royal Roost in New York.

Personnel

The Complete Birth Of The Cool (The Live Sessions)

Notes

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (November 1, 2001). Review: Birth of the Cool. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2011-01-02.
  2. ^ Fortuna, Michael (July 1, 2001). Review: Birth of the Cool. All About Jazz. Retrieved on 2011-01-02.
  3. ^ a b c Acclaimed Music – Classics in Jazz/Birth of the Cool. AcclaimedMusic. Retrieved on 2011-01-02.
  4. ^ Product Notes – Birth of the Cool. Muze. Retrieved on 2011-01-02.
  5. ^ Hoard, Christian (November 1, 2004). "Review: Miles Smiles". Rolling Stone: 214, 217.
  6. ^ Smith, Chris (2009). 101 Albums That Changed Popular Music. US: Oxford University Press. p. 9. ISBN 0195373715. http://books.google.com/books?id=Jk5fPOyRIXEC&pg=PA9&dq=. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  7. ^ Davis, Miles; Jeff Sultanof (2002). Miles Davis – Birth of the Cool Complete Score Book. US: Hal Leonard. pp. 2–3. ISBN 634006827. http://www.scribd.com/doc/35654619/Miles-Davis-Birth-of-the-Cool-Hal-Leonard. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  8. ^ a b c Smith, Chris. "101 Albums That Changed Popular Music: Birth of the Cool". Oxford University Press: 7–9. 2009.

References

Further reading

External links


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