Miles Davis: Walkin'
Miles Davis (trumpet)
Walkin' (Prestige PRCD-7076-2)
Composed by Richard Carpenter (no, not the male half of brother & sister 1970s pop duo the Carpenters).
Recorded: Hackensack, NJ, April 29, 1954
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
Following his Birth of the Cool obstetric triumph, Miles Davis ceased to be a factor in jazz's development. The sharp-as-a-tack hipster became a sprawled-in-the-gutter junkie who disgusted even his own father. In 1954, having kicked heroin, Miles returned, determined "to take the music forward into a more funky kind of blues." Soundman Rudy Van Gelder's reverb adds to the back-alley ambiance of this leisurely 13½-minute stroll, which had a twofold importance. Funky blues gave East Coasters a visceral alternative to cerebral West Coast jazz, and "Walkin'" heralded the resurrection of a charismatic figurehead. Our hero was back in the game!
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz