PLAYS FOR LOVERS
It has not escaped attention that we are stocking an increasing amount of jazz here at Red Lick. And why not? There is a whole world of great jazz to catch up on and our customers seem to appreciate the growing range and variety on offer here at The Lickery.
For some customers however jazz is still perceived as impenetrable, complex and difficult. So what better way to help the case for the defence than this re-issue of a collection of standards and ballads, first issued on LP by Prestige but now re-mastered and extended to include other fine recordings that fit the context of the album.
Recorded in the mid-to-late 50s at different sessions, and with a jaw-dropping array of supporting musicians, the music on offer is always haunting and atmospheric, with an emphasis on the melody and lyricism of each song. Indeed the notes are often underplayed, allowing some silence to build up the tension and effect.
However many times you listen, there is always something new to enjoy in the loveliness of great songs such as My Funny Valentine, That Old Devil Moon, Nature Boy, It Never Entered My Mind, or any of the 16 tracks on display. The interplay between the trumpet of Miles and the other musicians is simply stunning, only to be expected perhaps when they variously include the sax of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, the piano of Red Garland, Bill Evans and Horace Silver, the bass of Charles Mingus and Paul Chambers, or the drums of Elvin Jones, Art Blakey and Max Roach.
This might not be regarded as one of the major works on which Miles reputation was forged, or now rests, but it sure is a darned fine collection of haunting music for the jazz -curious and jazz-committed alike. And at this price, you just can't go wrong!
Review Date: August 2012