Milestones

It’s strange that Miles Davis’ 1958 Milestones is, for lack of a better phrase, overlooked. Of course no record that makes into Ben Ratliff’s 100 Essential Jazz Albums and receives four stars in The Penguin Guide to Jazz could really be said to have been overlooked. There is, however, something disappointing in the fact that you have to skip to after the index in Ratliff’s book to find it. The reconvened classic mid 50’s quintet with Cannonball Adderly in tow are cleaned up and play with clear intent and focus. ‘Trane and Cannonball swap saxes like a dream of flat fifths while Miles debuts what will come to be one of his definitive styles, Modal experimentation. How could a record like this be overlooked? It came out between two western music classics, Miles Ahead ( his first with arranger/composer Gil Evans) and Kind of Blue. The refined grace and cerebral intensity of those records are present on this session, however, there is a free wheeling spirit which lends a lighter hand to the music captured here. These are incredible musicians celebrating a renewed connection. Even more so, this is a great, loose snapshot of Davis during one of the most fruitful and inventive periods in his career, or anyone’s for that matter.

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