Miles Davis and Milt Jackson – Quintet / Sextet (1956/2016) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

Miles Davis and Milt Jackson – Quintet / Sextet (1956/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz  | Time – 31:01 minutes | 744 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Booklet, Front Cover | © Prestige Records

This 1956 release features Miles Davis backed by an all-star group including vibraphonist Milt Jackson who shares co-billing, Jackie McLean on alto saxophone on his two original contributions, pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Art Taylor. In addition to McLean’s two songs, the rest of the programme contains Ray Bryant’s Changes and Bitty Ditty, written by Thad Jones.

Less heralded than their collaboration with Thelonious Monk (as documented on Bags’ Groove and Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants), this August 5, 1955 session with vibraphonist Milt Jackson was Davis’ last all-star collaboration before the formation of his first classic quintet. It marked a farewell to an older generation of acolytes and fellow travelers; Davis was entering a new era of leadership and international stardom, and generally he would only record with his working groups. Quintet/Sextet is notable for two compositions by Jackie McLean: “Dr. Jackle” and “Minor March” (it appears on his famous 1959 Blue Note date New Soil as “Minor Apprehension”). The former is a Charlie Parker-ish line featuring a masterful Milt Jackson symposium on the blues – Davis’ typically lyric approach, a tart, spacious flight from McLean, and a soulful, dancing Ray Bryant. The latter is a mysterious minor figure with jabbing rhythm breaks and a joyous bridge that recalls “Tempus Fugit.” McLean’s vaulting cadences and fervent cry anticipate the rapture of his mature style, and Bryant takes a harmonically adventuresome solo. Elsewhere, the group digs into the Bud Powell-like changes of Ray Bryant’s low, slow “Changes” (over the rock-solid groove of Percy Heath and Art Taylor), and the quirky harmonies and angular melodies of Thad Jones’ “Bitty Ditty.” “Changes” inspires a lovely muted statement from Davis, and illustrates Bryant’s unique blend of blues, sanctified gospel, and bebop. Davis and Jackson combine for pungent voicings on the head to “Bitty Ditty,” then demonstrate their elegant mastery of harmony and swing. Both are inspired by the shape of Jones’ line, and are completely unfazed by its intricacies.

01 – Dr. Jackle
02 – Bitty Ditty
03 – Minor March
04 – Changes

Produced by Bob Weinstock.
Recorded on August 5, 1955 at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ.
Digitally Remastered.

Miles Davis – trumpet
Milt Jackson – vibraphone
Jackie McLean – alto saxophone
Ray Bryant – piano
Percy Heath – bass
Art Taylor – drums