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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Birth Of The Cool

Miles Davis

1957

Birth Of The Cool

Album Summary

Birth of the Cool is a compilation album by American jazz trumpeter and bandleader Miles Davis, released in February 1957 by Capitol Records. It compiles eleven tracks recorded by Davis's nonet for the label over the course of three sessions during 1949 and 1950.Featuring unusual instrumentation and several notable musicians, the music consisted of innovative arrangements influenced by classical music techniques such as polyphony, and marked a major development in post-bebop jazz. As the title suggests, these recordings are considered seminal in the history of cool jazz. Most of them were originally released in the 10-inch 78-rpm format and are all approximately three minutes long.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.67

Votes

6081

Genres

  • Jazz
Reviews
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Fri Sep 24 2021
2

I really liked this. Well, by liked, I mean tolerated it. Well, by tolerated it, I mean I would rather have my eyeballs injected with spider eggs, whilst having by pubes yanked out by an aggressive Bulgarian dinner lady, all the while a parrot is screeching "Jordan Henderson is the best in the world" down my ear, with every woman I've ever fancied and my family and friends all watching on; than ever listen to a single second of this ever again.

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

I know I am biased here because I really do love Miles Davis and a lot of his "cool jazz" contemporaries and artists that followed their lead, and I am also influenced by the music reviews of the time that likened this album and similar works to impressionist-style visual arts, but, what the heck, I'll embrace it all. This album is gorgeous. The layers, textures, colors...man. I love to imagine what it would be like to find a little time-space portal to loop back to NYC in the late 40s through early 60s when so much amazing jazz was happening. I love this album. Such art.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
3

'The Birth of Cool' reminds me of when I spent my forties as an adult baby. We would meet up in groups of 12-15 and our mums would feed us milk, hug us and change our nappies. I would often piss and shit myself for real, which was a source of such joy for both me and the mums. I was thrown out in disgrace after an incident. I suggested, or more tried to force myself up one of the mums, so I could be reborn. Please understand that this was not sexual, I was merely trying to understand how it would feel to be born, to experience the journey from the womb, through the vagina and into the world, all with the awareness of an adult. Needless to say, the police were called in, the adult baby centre was shut down and I served 18 months in prison.

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Mon Sep 21 2020
5

Good ass jazz

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Mon Mar 15 2021
5

Just cool.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Fantastic album, completely different from what I would normally listen to but enjoyed it a lot.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
5

One of his very best

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Smooth. Really enjoyed this. Godchild is the best of the album for me. I like the low bass intro.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
5

EYE POP EMOJI

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Thu Feb 25 2021
5

This is a very pleasant jazz album, and I’m actually really excited to see something from the 50s come up. I don’t think I had ever really listened to any Miles Davis before, although I’d heard lots about him.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Feels like you should have a cigar and a whisky. Very smooth

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

They don’t call this Birth of the Cool for nothing. What a fucking classic

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Wed Dec 08 2021
5

Too hip. Possibly in my top five all time jazz albums. Responsible for a whole subgenre full of bad imitators but, both as the wellspring of an aesthetic and as a standalone collection of music, this is crazy good

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Wed Aug 03 2022
5

I love when I see an album that can be pointed to and say "Right here. That's where it all started." What a cool formative moment in jazz history, and not to mention its fucking BALLER. The head for Budo always slaps, and the ending section of Moon Dreams slays me every time.

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Tue Apr 12 2022
4

Miles Davis is probably the single most talented musician to have lived in the 20th century, well known for occasionally blowing open the entire genre he worked in and inspiring dozens if not hundreds of imitators. For any other musician, this would be their masterpiece - for Davis, it barely cracks the top ten.

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Thu Oct 08 2020
5

Canciones cortas, album corto. Cool indeed. Easy to listen to. Escuchá con Edgard.

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Sun Apr 03 2022
5

It's interesting to understand that "Birth of the Cool" is a compilation and not an album per se. Comprised of songs recorded in three sessions during 1949 and early 1950, it's a record that shows the evolution of cool jazz, a style being molded on the go with different session bands full of musicians that would make history or were already doing so. Max Roach, Gerry Mulligan, Kenny Clarke, Lee Konitz and John Lewis all have great contributions on this release, showing that Miles Davis was not only a great musician, but also great at chosing his band. It's an 11 track compilation with 11 pieces of jazz history put together.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

I'm a huge Miles Davis fan, and jazz of this era in general. This album came two years before Kind of Blue, and it has such a different vibe. The songs are short, and the album is short too. It doesn't have the long solos I'm used to in a Davis album. It's all about the band playing together, and not about Davis in particular. It's a very sweet and complicated at the same time. This is such a good recording too. I really loved this album, but I'm likely to give all Davis albums of this era a 5.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

I need more Miles Davis in my life.

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Wed Aug 03 2022
5

Ok, now this was truly Cool. A smooth set of tracks. I can get behind this Miles, and listening to this might be a better entry point than the other 2 I've had on the list so far.

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Sun Dec 11 2022
5

Walk into a random jazzclub across the globe and there's a good chance that the orchestra playing is still trying to mimic the sound and atmosphere created on Birth of the Cool. With one collection of songs, bebop was surpassed by cool jazz, and smoke-filled venues never looked back. Highlights were 'Venus de Milo', 'Godchild' and 'Boplicity', but everything was just cool as heck.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
4

Can't say no to some more Miles. I can definitely tell that this came before Kind of Blue. The songs are shorter, less exploratory and experimental. Still, there are flashes here and there that bear the Miles Davis edge, like the end of "Moon Dreams." I was about to say I'm not feeling as jazzed by this, then "Budo" hit me like ONE TWO THREE HO! This is great, and a welcome reprieve from the middling selections last week. Favorite tracks: Budo, Move, Moon Dreams. Album art: Like Kind of Blue, this cover is unimaginative. Granted, it's 1957. But it's a black and white photo of Miles Davis. I do like the angle of the photo and the framing of text all around the picture. As far as '50s jazz album covers go, this one's not bad. 4/5

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Mon Jun 07 2021
4

Shorter jazz compositions when cool jazz was just emerging. This is the peak of music of the era and so I would have to give it 4 stars. However, jazz still has quite a journey to go, and Davis has yet to attain his zenith of creativity. I don't think the shorter pieces work well with the genre.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
4

If peeing your pants is cool, then I'm Miles Davis.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
2

What a talent. Imagine being able to play that much trumpet while smacked out of your eyeballs? It should be a lesson to all these namby pamby modern rock'n' rollers, get off the 'gram and get on the smack.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

miles davis is so damn good

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Cool Jazz!

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

holy fuck, this album made me feel things.....one of the best pieces of musical composition I've ever, and will ever listen to.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Essential

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Wed Feb 10 2021
5

Greate

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Mon Feb 15 2021
5

Miles Davis is a Jazz classic

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

Hadn’t heard this Davis album but just like his others, I love it. These are shorter songs than his longer, later albums but they are still fantastic to listen to. I’ll have to listen to this album more as time goes on to find my true favs but I love the entire thing. The album cover is very basic but it’s what’s inside that counts. Great way to start off the week!

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

You already know

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Mon Mar 15 2021
5

Super great work time listening. Will do again

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Tue Feb 16 2021
5

Funky as hell. Really drifted off in the bathtub to this one. Inspiration to be had.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

Excelente

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Fri Jul 16 2021
5

Cool.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

love jazz

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Sun May 02 2021
5

Klassiker

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Mon May 10 2021
5

It is absolutely appropriate for the band to be called The Cool.

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Tue Jul 13 2021
5

Miles is the king baby

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Tue May 11 2021
5

Loved it. Great relaxing and thinking music.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
5

Exactly what it says on the tin

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Tue Jun 08 2021
5

A great band is behind this, but Miles(🐐) is here to lead and crack the whip. Consequently there is a sense of perfection to this record.

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Wed May 26 2021
5

I mean, it's Miles Davis. This is like hitting a first-pitch home run.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

Excellent! Amazing performance

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Fri Jul 30 2021
5

Come on it is Miles Davis, what else would I rate it?

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Sat Jul 31 2021
5

Incredible.

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Fri Aug 20 2021
5

An Absolute Classic

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Thu Aug 26 2021
5

Lovely, calming and uplifting, ‘Some like it hot’ vibes

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Tue Aug 31 2021
5

One of best Jazz album of all time.

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Tue Sep 07 2021
5

Lovely

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

Delivers what is promised

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Fri Oct 01 2021
5

Brilliant

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Mon Nov 08 2021
5

Inventions for new music dating 70 years from now. And those are surprising us yet.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
5

A CLASSSIC MANNN

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Sun Nov 21 2021
5

Paired well with early Sunday morning coffee and studies.

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

Cool

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

Cool.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
5

Classic. The wellspring of Cool Jazz which was hugely influential.

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Tue Dec 21 2021
5

Come on. Five stars. I have nothing to add that hasn’t already been said about this album. Come back to me when we get to the harder stuff, like Bitches Brew.

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Tue Dec 21 2021
5

I love this album! I used to own this album! I don’t know what happens to this album, but I feel like John Hillery stole this album from me! If I see you on the streets John Hillery imma ask you if you have my album and if so, lights out son! That being said, this album gives me life. The energy is outstanding while contained. Had my blood flowing and air playing all the horn section. Perfect for a gathering with some friends or some solo nerding out in your living room. I actually have it on in my office now!

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Thu Dec 30 2021
5

It's Miles Davis.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

Enjoyed it - need to hear it more…

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

Very good! Can’t go wrong with a bit of Miles Davis.

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

Indeed

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

Just love the 50s jazz

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

This album was the first work of jazz that I appreciated. It is so involving and revolutionary. With it, Miles changed history.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

Cool

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Sun Feb 20 2022
5

impecável

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Sun Feb 20 2022
5

birth of the drip

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Mon Mar 07 2022
5

Cool, but not yet Blue

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

The first of what would be many of Miles' groundbreaking stylistic changes in jazz, leading the genre through some uncertain yet inevitable shifts that would eventually lead to it being the status quo for music. Don't miss out on the Royal Rooster live set from this time period as well, it captures the songs too well in its warm, steady quality.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
5

Not often a claim like this can be actually backed up, but this seems to do so. A really solid album from someone who seems to have defined and redefined jazz over and over for others to follow behind him.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
5

Great miles album.

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Fri May 20 2022
5

I am by no means qualified nor worthy to do justice to any sort of review of this album (as if I am of any of the other albums). But here it goes. This is a compilation of 11 tracks recorded by Davis' nonet (nine musicians) over three sessions between 1949 and 1950. The music was a major development in post-bebop jazz. Bebop is 1940's jazz with a fast tempo, complex chord progressions and changes of key. There are several songs that fit maybe more into the bebop fast tempo area. On the flipside is cool jazz which is a more relaxed tempo and this album is credited with starting this cool jazz movement. A number of songs fall in this category. One of the innovative arrangements used on this album is polyphony which is two or more independent melody lines. Again, multiple examples of this throughout the album. There is a lot more history and in-depth breakdown to this album and music but the above-mentioned musical techniques are the ones I found to standout while listening. This is another album with really not a bad song to choose. The first song is "Move" and it does just that rolling along fitting maybe more in the bebop category. A good example of the polyphony with multiple melodies. "Jeru" and "Venus De Milo" are slower tempo, definitely cool jazz. "Jeru" also has a couple outstanding horn solos. I learned a lot from this album. Definitely a good album to chill to. I'm sure to get more jazz and Miles in this challenge and it'll be interesting to see the differences. I'm sure to learn more.

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Tue Jun 14 2022
5

Budo, Move, Jeru

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Mon Jun 27 2022
5

It really is cool

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Sat Jul 02 2022
5

So very good.

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Thu Jul 07 2022
5

Five stars. Tempted to deduct a quarter of a point for the vocal jazz on track 12, but really can't complain.

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Tue Jul 12 2022
5

Short, sharp and punchy as fuck. Listened to it twice through and loved every second.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

Assez incontournable merci. On ne réinvente pas la musique tous les jours. Il y a Darn that dream qui me met sur mes gardes à chaque fois. C’est peut-être la seule pièce qui fitte moins.

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Mon Aug 01 2022
5

Love me some Miles Davis

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Wed Aug 03 2022
5

I really do need to sit down with more albums by some of these great jazz musicians. This album was such a fantastic listen. I will definitely circle back to this one someday and really listen deeply. There's so much subtlety in there that there's a lot you can miss.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
5

One of the perfect trio of Miles’ records.

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

Uvodni miles. I odmah jebeni zakon

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

Great ambient sound. One of the classics.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

I love jazz, so that one's is a definite yes for me. -- I really enjoyed listening to it, one of my favourite jazz albums. This kind of music can instantly lift up my mood.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
5

One of the most important albums in Jazz history.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

jazz perfection

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

Based

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Thu Sep 22 2022
5

Classic, really really enjoyed this look into early davis.

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

While I like this album because Miles Davis is a GOAT, it is a compilation album and lacks the unity of a complete, focused album. All the songs are really good, but it just feels as if it is missing that album feel.

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

Miles Davis is truly the goat of jazz.

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

Track 1: Great fast paced start with the horns section rhythm. Awesome light and quick trumpet solo into the sax solo. Incredible speed of the bass on this; the bassline is absolutely moving. Perfect drum fills and solo break. Track 2: Nice pace on this song with the cool off-beat rhythm. Lil Poly thing going on. Incredibly crisp chord changes in the horns. Smooth trumpet solo. The off-beat melody now with the drums are super crispy. Sax solo is good a lil lackluster at times. Once again really tight changes on the ending and slowing it down a bit. Track 3: Slow and beautiful Start. Silky smooth progressions that feel like a walk through a park on a warm dark night. Bassline relaxes a bit in the background and provides just enough to keep a loose structure. Wow incredible note hold by the trumpet, and then busting right into these minor chords. Nice soft finish at the end. Track 4: Very tight walking bassline. Nice soft horn hits on the main section. Light and playful trumpet solo on top. Very airy sax solo but keeps smooth. The off rhythm hits and fills from the drums are great. Track 5: Fast pace song with light kit drums. The runs in the trumpet solo are nice and together. Lightning quick melodies. Great drum fills right at the end. Track 6: Nice trumpet lead on the melody right off the bat. A bit scattered with these solo sections but drums hold it together. Oh lord a very pretty trombone/euphonium solo super slick. Track 7: Incredible main melody led by the low brass and sax line. The drums accompany the horn hits super well. The trumpet joining that low melody line after the solo is a nice touch. Nice reach for the high note at the end. Track 8: Personal favorite song off the album. Great splashy cymbals. The main melody is just so catchy the way they toy around with the notes. The sax solo is just perfectly placed and light on the top. The trumpet solo brings some beautiful airy runs. Piano solo quickly brings it back to the main melody. Song just feels so laid back and relaxed. Track 9: light and playful with the intro melody. Great rises and falls of the song. Trumpet and sax solos were okay; felt a bit forced. Great dynamic shifts in the high and low parts. Track 10: fluid sax right off the bat. Nice 3 over 4 melody line. Trumpet solo was crispy and then slowly fades back into the backing track. Sax solo is an absolute highlight. Good lord the sax runs are insane in this. Was not a fan of the Forced ending. Track 11: clean and smooth melodic line. Nice percussive cutoffs for effect. Best piano solo on the album for sure; perfectly placed. Piano solo goes right to sax with some beautiful fast paced runs. Solo to solo transitions are incredibly smooth. Drums have some nice fills but I wish there was more. Brings back the main melody line at the end. Album is incredible and pretty much individually kicked off the cool jazz genre. I love Miles Davis, and I'll hold the uncommon opinion that this is my favorite album of his.

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Sat Oct 01 2022
5

Incredible. Probably the easiest 5 star album so far for me. And that's despite that weird last song that is worth negative 10 stars.

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

It’s Miles changing music for the first time. Landmark. Beyond that, I’m not qualified to comment, but I will keep listening.

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Wed Oct 26 2022
5

A classic through and through. In many ways this defined modern jazz and set the stage for the decades that followed. This is quintessential mood music and a singular achievement. It also is one of the first jazz albums I purchased (a thanks to my Uncle Marty) and has been played consistently since then.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
5

какими-то мотивами так напоминает светлые смешные советские комедии

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Mon Dec 19 2022
5

One of my all-time favorite albums. Fabulous.

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