Charlie Parker (with Miles Davis): Milestones




Miles Davis All-Stars


Best of the Complete Savoy & Dial Studio Recordings (Savoy SVY 17120)

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Charlie Parker (tenor sax), Miles Davis (trumpet), John Lewis (piano), Nelson Boyd (bass), Max Roach (drums).

Composed by Miles Davis


Recorded: New York, August 14, 1947


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

This session is significant for three reasons: Miles Davis is the leader and composer, Bird is playing tenor sax rather than alto, and the tune is technically one of the first “cool jazz” ensemble recordings. By the summer of 1947, Miles was coming under the influence of Claude Thornhill arranger Gil Evans, whose apartment on 55th St. was a crash pad and music-theory think tank for Bird, Miles and Gerry Mulligan. In the summer of 1947, Miles certainly was exposed to Evans’ radical charts for Anthropology and Robbin’s Nest. Miles’ interactions with Evans intensified in the months that followed, resulting in the Birth of the Cool nonet in late1948 and early 1949. Unlike many straight bop rave-ups based on the blues or Tin Pan Alley chord changes, Milestones in 1947 embraced space and featured a cooler, Evans-like melody line. Listen to Miles’ solo and you’ll hear the 1950s Miles breaking through bop's shell. Swing, bop, cool—call it what you will, it was all the same to Bird, who turns in a fabulous solo on tenor.

Reviewer: Marc Myers

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  • 1 Miles fan // May 08, 2009 at 06:06 PM
    Miles Davis actually wrote 2 tunes called "Milestones", this one, which is a bebop tune with 2 chords per bar, and another one in 1958 which is a modal tune that would be more aptly described as a tune that "embraced space and featured a cooler, Evans-like melody line."