ARTIST: MILES DAVIS
ALBUM: BIRDLAND 1951
In 1951, Miles Davis was blowing full-steam bebop with an incredible band when he settled into Birdland on three separate occasions for exhilarating performances that were broadcast live on Symphony Sid's radio show. A fan recorded them off the air and subsequently released two of the three sets as bootlegs that have since circled the world several times over. More than a half-century later, "Birdland 1951" -- a 10-track disc that features all three sets -- is officially issued for the first time. In these sets, recorded after his "cool" interlude with Gil Evans, Davis lets his bop flag fly high. He's fast, fired up and ignites a flame that sets his bandmates ablaze. Sonny Rollins soars on tenor saxophone, J.J. Johnson romps on trombone and drummer Art Blakey socks and thumps. The sound quality is lacking, especially during Rollins' solo on the second version of "Half Nelson," but it is forgiven, given the exciting performances.
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