One of the most influential musicians of all time, Miles Davis transcended the very limits of jazz to become one of the 20th century’s greatest visionaries.
- The New Sounds (1951) A-
- The debut of 25-year-old, heroin-addled trumpeter Miles Davis feels watered down and, for lack of a better word, “safe.” No daring in the arrangements or the soloing — just pure, unabated jazz. Nevertheless, the talent (Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey, Jackie McClean and Davis himself) trumps the tripe: a historically important record.
- Young Man with a Horn (1952) A-
- Davis’ second LP found him once again toeing the lines between cool jazz, bebop and “hard” bop. His renditions of “Dear Old Stockholm” and “How Deep is the Ocean?” are highlights of his early Blue Note output.
- Blue Period (1953) A-
- Three longer tunes that allow Davis and co. to stretch out. An enjoyable and easy listen.
- Miles Davis Volume 2 (1953) A-
- Let the good times roll. Of the two 10″ LPs that Davis released in 1953, Vol. 2 is his best.
- Birth of the Cool (1954) A+
- Blue Moods (1955) A
- The Musings of Miles (1956) A-
- Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet (1956) B+
- Quintet/Sextet (1956) A-
- Cookin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet (1957) A-
- Miles Davis’ First Great Quintet was rounded out by John Coltrane, Red Garland, Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chambers. Their chemistry may have been the greatest in jazz history.
- ‘Round About Midnight (1957) A-
- Miles Ahead (1957) A