Jazz 100
Miles Davis
The Best Jazz Ever Released Digitally


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Birth of the Cool
Miles Davis
1950 [Capitol]


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Cool jazz offered musicians an alternative to the lengthy explorations and hot jams favoured by the boppers. The tracks on Birth are all under four minutes and feature the laid-back style of playing that would eventually take the West Coast by storm. Lee Konitz, Gerry Mulligan, Max Roach and Gil Evans would all go on to individual success.





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Workin' [or Cookin']
The Miles Davis Quintet
1956 [Prestige]


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In marathon 1956 recording sessions Davis’ first classic quintet featuring John Coltrane drew on its live repertoire to put down the material that would appear on the contractual obligation albums Relaxin', Cookin’, Workin' & Steamin’. They are all terrific, with Workin' getting the nod over the others for its significant original content.





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Milestones
Miles Davis
1958 [Columbia]


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Featuring the same personnel that appeared on the follow-up Kind of Blue, this record more than holds its own as one of the true classics of jazz. With Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Red Garland's trio on board it was hard to miss. In a quirk of history, however, its justly famous successor was so good that Milestones was almost forgotten.





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Kind Of Blue
Miles Davis
1959 [Columbia]


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Regarded as a landmark record in Davis' conceptual development of modal jazz. The songs are built on chords & scales rather than the key in which they are played. The result is a moving record of haunting beauty - played to perfection by Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb.





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Sketches Of Spain
Miles Davis
1960 [Columbia]


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Arguably the best of the late-50s Miles Davis collaborations with composer/arranger Gil Evans, although there is nothing wrong with the others. Anchoring the record is the stirring 'Concierto de Aranjuez' - a Spanish classical piece around which the rest of the album is built. The orchestra features a host of top-flight trumpeters. Brilliant.





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Miles Smiles
Miles Davis Quintet
1966 [Columbia]


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A transitional album for Davis chronologically sandwiched between the Gil Evans collaborations and his fusion period. Smiles is widely regarded as the best album by Davis' second quintet featuring pianist Herbie Hancock and tenor Wayne Shorter. While there are no real surprises here, the record certainly maintains Davis' stellar standards.





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In a Silent Way
Miles Davis
1969 [Columbia]


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Davis broke new ground again with this timeless record. The future of fusion was on show - with Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, John McLaughlin, Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea all on board. Extending tracks with dubbing and electric instruments set the purists howling, despite the sheer beauty and obvious genius on display.





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Bitches Brew
Miles Davis
1970 [Columbia] 2CD


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Much of the same personnel to appear on Davis' groundbreaking In a Silent Way return to play out an epic set of distorted harmonics, extended jams and funky grooves. Reported tensions between Davis and producer Teo Macero heightened the album's staggering effect. It is impossible to overstate the profound influence of this album.


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