Miles Davis' first studio session for the Prestige label took place on January 17, 1951, with a front line of Sonny Rollins on tenor and Bennie Green on trombone. Two years later, Miles made his second session of 1953 in the company of two tenor men deeply touched by the work of Lester Young and Charlie Parker: Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, two of Woody Herman's famous Four Brothers.
These two sessions, featuring a pair of three-horn front lines, make up the music on MILES DAVIS AND HORNS. The John Lewis opener "Morpheus" proceeds from where BIRTH OF THE COOL left off, with the horns harmonizing off a sustained bass vamp/cymbal roll, then introducing a Roy Haynes drum break with fleet lines that pave the way for boppish solos. Davis' own "Down" is an early snapshot of the trumpeter's pensive blues work, with some contrasting Rollins bluster. Other highlights are Lewis' spectral chordal prologue to "Blue Room" and his Basie-style intro to "Whispering," a song on which Miles' attack and tone really come together. "I Know" is a Rollins feature, with Miles on piano.
The 1953 date is a delightful blowing session, with Kenny Clarke providing plenty of percussive salsa, and Al Cohn providing masterful charts. Cohn, Sims and Miles team to provide distinctive, rich harmonies on themes such as the slow, soulful "Tasty Pudding" and "For Adults Only," whith their introspective features. "Willie The Wailer" borrows its intro from Benny Goodman's "Soft Winds" and provides Miles and Cohn with plenty of swing drive. The call and response of "Floppy" leads to powerful Davis-Clarke interplay, a taut John Lewis solo and anthemic Cohn-Sims exchanges.
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1. Tasty Pudding
3. Willie The Wailer
4. For Adults Only
7. Blue Room
8. Blue Room - (alternate take, bonus track)
Miles Davis (trumpet)
Sonny Rollins, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone)
Bennie Green, Sonny Truitt (trombone)
John Lewis (piano)
Percy Heath, Leonard Gaskin (bass)
Roy Haynes, Kenny Clarke (drums).