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Free Birth of the Cool Listening Session, Talk in NYC on July 18

The event at Jazz at Lincoln Center is free and open to the public

Gil Evans and Miles Davis

Listen to the music of Birth of the Cool, the landmark album by Miles Davis’ massively influential nonet, for free on Thursday, July 18 at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

First, composer, arranger, and producer Ryan Truesdell will discuss the history behind the iconic album. Then a nonet of New York musicians will perform the music—composed by Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, Gil Evans, and others—that completely changed the future of jazz composition and arranging.

The event comes a few months following the release of The Complete Birth of the Cool boxed set on Blue Note/Ume, which collects all 12 studio sides the nonet recorded in 1949-50, as well as the ensemble’s only extant live recordings, recorded at New York’s Royal Roost.

That box’s release, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the group’s formation, marked the first time since 1957 that the recordings have been remastered for vinyl and the first time all the Birth of the Cool performances —studio and live—were available together on LP. The two-LP vinyl package includes a booklet filled with archival photographs and a new essay by music historian and regular JazzTimes contributor Ashley Kahn.

The event will be held inside Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Edward John Noble Studio at 7 p.m.. Jazz at Lincoln Center is located at 10 Columbus Circle in Manhattan.


The musicians performing Birth of the Cool are: Alexa Tarantino (alto), Owen Broder (bari), Riley Mulherkar (trumpet), Frank Kimbrough (piano), David Peel (horn), Jay Anderson (bass), Jeff Hirshfield (drums), Ibanda Ruhumbika (tuba), and Nick Finzer (trombone).