Miles Davis (tp), Lester Young (ts), Gerry Mulligan (bs), René Urtreger, Thelonious Monk (p), Pierre Michelot (b), Christian Garros (d)
Reference: DRCD 11294
This fascinating release comprises live recordings made at the end of 1956, when Miles accepted an offer to tour Europe with a formation called the Birdland All Stars, which also included Lester Young and the Modern Jazz Quartet, along with European musicians such as pianist René Urtréger, bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Christian Garros. We have here the one and only existing evidence of Miles playing with Lester Young and with the MJQ. It also presents a rare occasion to find Miles playing as the sole horn in a quartet format.
As a complement, we offer the complete 1955 Newport Jazz Festival performance, in which Miles played a famous version of Around Midnight backed by Thelonious Monk and Gerry Mulligan.
The two bonus tracks come from a rare Birdland broadcast featuring Miles with tenor saxophonist Bobby Jaspar. Tunes include jazz standards and Miles Davis compositions: How High the Moon, Lester Leaps In, Tune Up, Whats New, Indiana, Four, Walkin, Lady Be Good, Hackensack, Around Midnight, Nows the Time, All of You and a second version of Four.
And then George Wein had an All-Star band that had Zoot Sims, Gerry Mulligan, Monk, Percy Heath, Connie Kay; he later added me. They played a couple of tunes without me and then I joined them on Nows the Time, which was a tribute to Birds memory. And then we played Round Midnight, Monks tune. I played it with a mute and everybody went crazy. It was something. I got a standing ovation. When I got off the bandstand, everybody was looking at me, offering me record deals. All the musicians there were treating me like I was a God, and all for a solo that I had trouble learning a long time ago. It was something else, man, looking up and applauding for what I had done.
- Miles Davis (From the liner notes)
Total Time: 74:15