Miles Davis - Cool and Collected

2007-01-19 15:51
Compilers’ conundrum: got Miles Davis’ Columbia catalogue at hand and tasked with making a compilation. What to include if you’ve only got 70 minutes of disc to play with?

The truth is, no matter what you do, aficionados are going to grumble. So… screw the aficionados. Offer instead an accessible, likeable, recognisable Miles Davis tracklist, opting for popular recognition over partisan adherence. Not that this material is any less delightful than any other work Davis recorded during his near half-century in the biz.

“So What” off the seminal Kind of Blue, Gershwin’s standard “Summertime”, covers of eighties pop hits “Time After Time” (Cyndi Lauper) and “Human Nature” (Michael Jackson) – all remain faithful to the idea that Miles was indeed cool and smooth. And for much of his career he was.

Moreover, the support players’ list still reads like a who’s who of the classic jazz scene. Chick Corea, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock; many of these names have been up in lights by themselves. Here they’ve contributed to a legacy that stretches beyond the borders of Jazz itself.

What this compilation admittedly fails to acknowledge is Miles’ more experimental work. But then… the album isn’t called “Miles Davis Complete and Collected”, is it? Nope, “Cool” is in maximum effect here. Even on up-tempo affairs like “Milestones” and the enchanting “E.S.P”, there’s an inclination to lounge about on the deep sofa in low light, rather than wiggle your jiggle.

Davis collectors won’t really swear by such an abridged effort (where’s the 70s jazz rock stuff? Or the really early catalogue?) but for those seeking a basic overview of Miles’ easy listening affairs, you can’t go wrong here.

- Anton Marshall
Under the circumstances, Cool and Collected is a decent enough one-disc jazz party kit.

Goda 2007/01/22 4:27 PM
Kind of Blue If you are after something chilled from miles, I'd say just buy that. It's amazing. This collection seems ok but not the first one I'd buy. In the softer side, there's also Miles Smiles - I have it on Vinyl only.
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