Changes: The 1955 Sessions
Catalogue Number: ADDCD3148
It was hailed as one of the greatest comebacks the jazz world had ever seen, but like every step taken by Miles Davis on his ground-breaking musical journey, the trumpeters sensational “relaunch” at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival was part of much more complex continuum of artistic creation and reinvention. For the perpetually mercurial Davis, musical innovation was never a simple case of before and after. Indeed, sixty years on, and with the enormous benefit of hindsight and wider perspective, it is now possible to view the recordings he made surrounding the Newport gig – all too often talked down in jazz histories, or at best merely overlooked – in a fresh light, the link between the old and the new. 1955 would close with the début of the new Miles Davis Quintet, a band destined to become one of the most widely influential small groups within the music, and an outfit that was also to define the working modus operandi Davis would utilize for the much of the following twelve years. The albums he taped immediately prior to the quintet’s launch, however, tell a somewhat different story, with the trumpeter engaged in a fascinated search for instrumentations, sonic textures and new playing partners - changing, revamping, evolving from session to session. These shifting line-ups included a burning bop-based sextet, delivering potent evidence of the lessons Davis had learned from Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie; a unique never-to-be-repeated piano-less combo utilizing trombone and vibes and a stunning quartet, capable of generating equal parts fire and ice. Gathered together, they form a valuable documentary of a transitional year; prototypical milestones marking the way toward future innovations. This release comes complete with period photographs and an in-depth essay by saxophonist and author Simon Spillett.