Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Miles Davis: In Person Friday Night at the Blackhawk, Complete

Critical opinion will probably always be divided on such aspects of Miles Davis’ career as his early work with Charlie Parker, the collaborations with Gil Evans and his jazz-rock periods. But there’s little controversy about other areas; almost everyone these days agrees about the greatness of the groups that featured John Coltrane and the quintet that featured Wayne Shorter, and the relative drop-off during the intervening tenures of tenor saxophonists Hank Mobley and George Coleman. But the release of the complete recordings made in 1961 by the quintet with Mobley at the Blackhawk in San Francisco affords the opportunity to reexamine and, perhaps, reassess this edition of the group.

There are three points that keep coming up when listening to this music with an ear toward evaluating its relative worth in the Davis canon. The first is that this was a fascinating period for the leader, whose solo style was in the process of redefinition. The second concerns the contributions of Mobley. The last is that Miles is so spectacular that it would be ridiculous to overlook these recordings even if Boots Randolph was sharing the front line.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published