Miles Davis: Conception




Miles Davis (trumpet)


Conception (Prestige OJCCD-1726-2)

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Miles Davis (trumpet), Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Walter Bishop (piano), Tommy Potter (bass), Art Blakey (drums).

Composed by George Shearing


Recorded: New York, October 5, 1951


Rating: 80/100 (learn more)

Smack in the middle of his self-described "four-year horror show" of heroin addiction, and a year after disguising George Shearing's "Conception" (1949) as "Deception" (1950) for Birth of the Cool, Miles restored its original title but retained the six bars he'd appended to Shearing's tune. George cheerfully quipped that Miles was "a master of playing the wrong bridge." But there was something more troubling here than the bridge. The 21-year-old Rollins's unfocused solo can be ascribed to growing pains, but Davis at 25 was an established star whose uncertain, aimless solo renders this track a cautionary portrait of heroin's debilitation.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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