Miles Davis: Israel




Miles Davis Nonet


Birth of the Cool (Capitol Jazz RVG Edition 30117)

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Miles Davis (trumpet), J.J. Johnson (trombone), Lee Konitz (alto sax), Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax), John Lewis (piano), Kenny Clarke (drums),

Sandy Siegelstein (French horn), Bill Barber (tuba), Nelson Boyd (bass)


Composed by John Carisi


Recorded: New York, April 22, 1949


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

John Carisi and George Russell were the resident "ultramoderns" in the group that hung out at Gil Evans's midtown Manhattan pad in the late 1940s. Russell's only composition for this band exists but does not seem to have been played publicly. Carisi was one of the few white musicians who jammed at Minton's during the early years of bebop, and was studying composition with Stephan Wolpe while hanging out with Evans and company. In the one musical contribution he made to this ensemble, Carisi blended the traditional blues with modern harmony (some of the chords are dissonant clusters) and counterpoint, with solos for Davis and Konitz. "Israel" became a standard in the jazz repertoire, and Carisi would later arrange it for Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band. John later taught at Queens College, part of the City University of New York, where this writer studied composition with him.

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof

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