"Cookin, " "Relaxin," "Steamin," and "Workin," were all recorded in one afternoon in 1955 to fulfill Davis' contractuaral obligations to Prestige records so he could work full time with Columbia records.
The results of the 4 lps are varied, each with highs and lows (a noticably sad low is John Coltrane's playing on these sides, as Trane was battling, and losing to, any number of addictions from alcohol to overeating...Trane would soon take a forced sabbatical to get his life in order and Sonny Rollins would join the group), but the overall feel of all these sides are relaxed, with the group enjoying themselves.
Of wonderful note on these sides is the underrated piano of Red Garland, who, in more than one place, is allowed to lead himself, bassist Chambers, and drummer Jones, in a trio setting. The results were a very fine trio who would later record under Garland's leadership. Red's playing is simple- he loved to play block chords- and his soloing is basic yet very effective, blending well with his rhythm section battery mates.
On "Cookin," all members are focused on the 4 numbers at task, with "Blues By Five" being my personal favorite track. Miles' blowing on "My Funny Valentine" is pure and melodic, with more than a hint of emotion in it- and why it would remain a concert staple well into the late 60's.
This lp (as well as the other 3) are treats, and show the 1st great quintet (while not quite great yet- a clean and rejuvinated Coltrane would push the group to greatness) at ease and having fun.