Miles Davis - The Birth of Cool (1957)
Everything I wrote about Thelonious Monk's Brilliant Corners two reviews ago stands for Miles' debut as a band-leader, here, as well. Birth of the Cool is both testament and witness to Miles' apprenticeship under Dizzy and Bird. One difference here is song duration. Unlike Monk, Miles was still sticking to the mythical "3 minutes" that songwriters believed was the "perfect" length for a successful piece of music. This perhaps makes Birth of the Cool the better starting point for someone wanting an introduction to modern or "cool" jazz, as Brilliant Corners' never-ending epics take a lot more out of the listener. That's not to say Birth of the Cool is Easy Listening. It requires concentration, as does anything of value. This is the kind of music people used to sit in dark, smokey clubs, put on their Jazz Face (everybody's got one) and think real hard about... but mostly they'd be thinking "Who does that guy facing the back of the room think he is? And who farted?" The answer to both those questions was, is, and always shall be an emphatic: "MILES DAVIS!"
Had I heard it before? Yes.
Did I like it then? Yessir.
Do I like it now? Oh, yes.
What percentage of people reading this do I think will like it? Roughly 20-25%, which is actually pretty high!
Am I keeping it? Yes.Standout Tracks? "Move", "Jeru", "Godchild", "Israel", "Darn that Dream"