5 classic Miles Davis albums from the 50s – all packaged together in tiny LP-styled sleeves! First up is Miles Davis & Horns – a batch of all-star sessions that has him playing with some really tremendous contemporaries! The set compiles early Miles Davis sides from two different Prestige sessions of the early 50s – material originally issued as 10 inch LPs, but brought together here in a very cool full length package with a cover image by Mad Magazine's Don Martin! Side one features Miles with a sextet that includes Sonny Rollins, Bennie Green, John Lewis, Percy Heath, and Roy Haynes – on the tracks "Morpheus", "Down", "Blue Room", and "Whispering" – all taken in a boppish mode, but with slight modern touches. Side two features the compositions of Al Cohn
– "Tasty Pudding", "Floppy", "Willie The Wailer", and "For Adults Only" – played by a septet that features Cohn
, Zoot Sims
, John Lewis, Kenny Clarke, Leonard Gaskin, and Sonny Truitt – a very nice match to the sound of side one, and a surprisingly unified record overall! Next is a set of Collectors Items that Miles Davis recorded for Prestige in the 50s – both dates that were too short to be issued as albums by themselves, combined here into one full length record! The first batch of material is from 1953 – and features Davis working with Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker (playing here under his "Charlie Chan" session name) – all in a mode that steps off a bit from the boppishness of Davis' Blue Note recordings. Titles include 2 takes of "Serpent's Tooth", plus "Round Midnight" and "Compulsion". The second half of the record is from 3 year later, 1956 – and again features Rollins, plus Tommy Flanagan on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Art Taylor on drums. Tracks are a bit longer and more mature in the Davis idiom – and titles include "In Your Own Sweet Way", "Vierd Blues", and "No Line". Blue Haze is an early full-length album issued under Miles Davis' name – one that brings together some earlier 10" and single recordings for Prestige! The feel here is quite similar to Davis' work of the time for Blue Note – done with tracks that are short and tight, and very boppish – less of the glistening Davis style of later years, but still quite strongly voiced nonetheless. Players include Horace Silver on piano on most tracks, plus a bit of keys from John Lewis – and one track even features Charles Mingus on piano! Other players on the sessions include Art Blakey, Max Roach, or Kenny Clarke on drums – plus Percy Heath on bass, and a bit of alto from Davey Schildkraut. Titles include "I'll Remember April", "Old Devil Moon", "Tune Up", "Miles Ahead", "Four", and "Smooch". Walkin is as classic an early album by Miles Davis as you can find – truly filled with the "all star" players billed in the title, and a session that has the sharpness of Davis' bop work for Blue Note, yet also lets him stretch out in a slightly more relaxed format! The album features Miles trumpet with 2 different groups – one a sextet with Horace Silver, JJ Johnson, and Lucky Thompson; the other a quintet with Silver and the obscure altoist Davey Schildkraut! Tracks are long, with lots of solo room – and titles include his classic takes on "Walkin", "Blue N Boogie", and "Solar" – plus versions of "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "Love Me Or Leave Me". Steamin is an early pairing of Miles Davis & John Coltrane – one of the duo's mid 50s classics for Prestige, as you might guess from the verb in the title! And although "Steamin" might be a word that's a bit too firey to describe the action going on here, the album's got a tremendous sense of presence throughout – as Davis' cooler trumpet is matched with Trane's earthier solo work – all supported by Red Garland trio backing in a style that's as near-classic as it comes for 50s jazz. Titles include "Diane", "Something I Dreamed Last Night", "When I Fall In Love", and "Salt Peanuts".