Saturday, November 22, 2014

miles davis and the modern jazz giants

Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants were workin' and relaxin' as they laid out some cookin' and steamin' vibes on this controversial collaboration.

Most of 'Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants' was recorded at Van Gelder Studio in Hackensack, New Jersy on December 24, 1954 with Miles Davis on trumpet, Milt Jackson on vibraphone, Thelonious Monk on piano, Percy Heath on bass, and Kenny Clarke on drums.

It was the only time that Monk and Davis would record together in the studio. The fact that Davis asked Monk to 'lay out' during his solo has been built up to be some kind of fisticuff. Davis would express in his autobiography: "Monk was a serious musician. When I first met him, he used to stay fucked up a lot, high off Dexedrines. At least, that's what I heard. But when I was learning music from him - and I learned a lot from him - he wasn't getting high so much. He was a big, strong motherfucker, about six feet two, and over two hundred pounds. He didn't take no shit off nobody. When I heard stories later saying that me and him was almost about to fight after I had him lay out while I was playing on "Bags' Groove," I was shocked, because Monk and I were, first, very close, and second, he was too big and strong for me to even be thinking about fighting. Shit, man, he could have just squashed me if he wanted to. All I did was tell him to lay out when I was playing. My asking him to lay out had something to do with music, not friendship. He used to tell cats to lay out himself. But as great a musician as he was, I just didn't like what he played behind me, that is, the way he used to play chords in the rhythm. See, you had to play like Coltrane to play with Monk - all that space and disjointed shit he used to play. But that shit was bad, now. It was some top of the shit music. But it was just different."

"'Round Midnight" is an early version of the song from the new quintet of Miles Davis on trumpet, John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums. It comes from a marathon two day session to crank out four albums
('Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet', 'Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet', 'Workin' with the Miles Davis Quintet', and 'Cookin' with the Miles Davis Quintet') to fulfill Davis' contract with Prestige so he could move on to Colombia Records and release the classic 'Round Midnight' album.

'Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants'
full album:

Side one
1. "The Man I Love" (Take 2) George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin 7:59
2. "Swing Spring"   Miles Davis 10:46
Side two
1. "'Round Midnight"   Bernie Hanighen, Cootie Williams & Thelonious Monk 5:25
2. "Bemsha Swing"   Thelonious Monk & Denzil Best 9:33
3. "The Man I Love" (Take 1) George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin 8:29

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