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

Miles Davis: Birdland 1951

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Comprised of material from three dates and featuring two contrasting groups, Birdland 1951 finds Miles Davis in particularly good form. The trumpeter was on the rebound from personal and professional setbacks, so musically he returned to basics: bebop.

Consistently prodded by Art Blakey, the only other player who appears on all 10 tracks, Davis’ playing has as much fire and finesse as any other recording from this period, which overlaps the beginning of his relationship with Prestige and Clef dates with Charlie Parker. Even though only three tracks have not been previously issued on various bootlegs, the overall impact of the CD is of a minor revelation; more than contemporaneous studio dates, this collection conveys the excitement Miles created.

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.