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The Complete Columbia Recordings


The long-awaited Miles Davis with John Coltrane: The Complete Columbia Recordings box set, originally due out on October 26, 1999 (the anniversary of the first Miles recording for Columbia), has been postponed, officially until April 11, 2000.   The reasons for the postponement were not been made public, but they apparently had to do with art work for the box itself and not with the contents.   The release on Columbia Legacy Jazz (six CDs) will be paralleled by a release on Mosaic Records (nine LPs).  

In the meantime, however, a number of reviewers have gotten advance copies of the set, in some cases including a draft of the booklet.  The front and back panels of this special advance box set are shown above and later on this page.  The Columbia/Legacy set includes the complete contents of the following Miles Davis LPs: 'Round About Midnight (CL949), Milestones (CL1193), Kind of Blue (CL1355), and Jazz at the Plaza (C32470).  It also includes material featuring Miles and Coltrane from Jazz Track (CL1268),  Miles and Monk at Newport (CL2178), and Someday My Prince Will Come (CL1656).   It draws together material which appeared on some other LPs (for example, the Leonard Bernstein LP What Is Jazz), and includes (by my count) 16 complete or partial alternate takes.  The advance box set comprises six CDs, with the studio sessions (in chronological order) followed by the two live sessions.

Listed below are the previously unissued tracks  included in the box set.   All previously issued tracks (originals and alternates) are also included, with the exception of the partial alternate take of "Stella by Starlight", issued a few years ago.  The booklet currently includes an introduction by Michael Cuscuna, essays by George Avakian,  Bob Blumenthal, and Jimmy Cobb, a timeline by Bob Belden, a discography/album index by Belden/Cuscuna and the original liner notes to Kind of Blue by Bill Evans.

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From October 27, 1955:
Two Bass Hit (Take 1) 3:18
Ah-Leu-Cha (Take 1) 5:50
Ah-Leu-Cha (Take 5) 5:23
From June 5, 1956:
Bye Bye Blackbird (Take 1) 7:54
Tadd's Delight (Take 5) 4:17
Dear Old Stockholm (Take 5) 6:38
From September 10, 1956:
All Of You (Take 1) 7:30
Sweet Sue, Just You (First Version - Take 1) 4:20
Sweet Sue, Just You (First Version - Take 3) 2:00
false start and discussion between Miles Davis and Leonard Bernstein
Sweet Sue, Just You (Take 5) 3:29
Miles Davis discussion before take 1 of Round Midnight 0:28

 From February 4, 1958:

Two Bass Hit (Take 1 - take 2 was originally issued) 4:28
Straight No Chaser (Take 1 - take 2 was originally issued) 10:26
Milestones (Take 2 - Take 3 was originally issued) 5:59

From March 4, 1958:

Little Melonae (Remake Take 3) 7:50

From May 26, 1958:

Fran-Dance (Take 1)5:50

From March 2, 1959:

Freddie Freeloader (False start -- take 3) 1:25

From April 22, 1959:

Miles Davis comments before take 6 of Flamenco Sketches 0:41

The sessions to be included in the box set (one or more tracks):

October 27, 1955; June 5, 1956; September 10, 1956; February 4, 1958; March 4, 1958; May 26, 1958; July 3, 1958 (Newport Jazz Festival); September 9, 1958 (Plaza Hotel); March 2, 1959; April 22, 1959; March 20, 1961 (Someday My Prince Will Come--Take 15), and March 21, 1961 (Teo).

Thanks to Michael Cuscuna and Don Lucoff for information and assistance.

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