Thelonious Monk gets kudos on “Well, You Needn’t.” The quintet makes short work of the intricacies of the arrangement, adding the double horn lead on the choruses, redefining this jazz standard.
Selection 2: Surrey with the Fringe on Top (Oklahoma!)
Sing-along-time. I grew up in a household with an older sister infatuated with Hollywood musicals: Oaklahoma, Carousel, The King and I, learning to recite The Farmer and the Cowman should be Friends. (It wasn’t Brokeback Mountain in those days). Miles taking on this song is a blast. A little more surface noise than I would have wished but its 50 years old, so be it.
Miles Davis (t) John Coltrane (ts) Red Garland (p) Paul Chambers (b) Philly Joe Jones (d) Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, May 11 and October 26, 1956
The First Great Miles Davis Quintet. Great.
Music: a definitive manifesto for the hard-bop era
Just two sessions in 1956 resulted in four albums: this one, Relaxin’ , Workin’ and Cookin’ , undertaken by the Miles Davis Quintet to complete their contractual obligation to Prestige before moving to Columbia. Steamin’ was released by Prestige several years later, in 1961, around the same time as Weinstock similarly released a number of earlier Coltrane recordings, making the most of what lay in the Prestige vaults of artists since contracted elsewhere..
The original Prestige cover (right) is dedicated to the missing Constitutional Amendment, The Right to Smoke.
Rather than present new material which would go with them to Columbia, Davis brought the quartet’s live repertoire of standards into the studio, resulting in a thoroughly practiced and confidently executed body of work. The album contains one most unlikely tune, Surrey with the Fringe on Top from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, the sort of tongue in cheek selection you expect from Sonny Rollins.
For the would-be trumpet player
Ever considered taking up trumpet? Well you needn’t – theme and solo transcribed and played in its bare bones, by trumpeter and blogger extraordinaire Tommaso Urbano themusicofmiles. Karaoke Jazz, a remarkable dissection of what Davis was up to.
Vinyl: Esquire 32-138 UK 1st release of US Prestige 7200
As is usual with Esquire/Prestige, pressed with US supplied stampers, RVG mastered with RVG machine stamp, but no trace of the AB (Abbey Manufacturing) plant initials found on many earlier sourced Prestige stampers. Perhaps by 1961 Weinstock had widened his choice of suppliers. An alternative cover which is actually not bad considering it is from Esquire, but still gets a “fail” for putting the track titles on the front cover. Why? They are already on the back.
Hey honey, we must buy this new Miles album, its got Surrey with The Fringe On Top on it. You know, Shirley Jones and Howard Keel wasn’t it Or Gordon Macrae? Got to have that. When I take you out in the surrey…with the fringe… on top! Great!
Worse, it’s got no curtains…
Yet another from the late Brian Clark collection, cover in nice condition, as is the vinyl.
For some reason Steamin’ had always eluded me in Ebay auctions, and this had been the missing title of the apostrophe ” in’ ” series for some years. Perhaps more rare, or a title collectors were less willing to sell when thinning out their collections, who knows. Anyway, now complete.