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Cool & Collected


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by William Ruhlmann

Throughout a professional career lasting 50 years, Miles Davis played the trumpet in a lyrical, introspective, and melodic style, often employing a stemless Harmon mute to make his sound more personal and intimate. But if his approach to his instrument was constant, his approach to jazz was dazzlingly protean. To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz ... Read more in Amazon's Miles Davis Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Aug 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music TV Projects
  • ASIN: B000GNOHOQ
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 251,880 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. So What
2. Summertime
3. Generique
4. Stella By Starlight
5. Fran-Dance
6. Milestones
7. 'Round Midnight
8. Bye Bye Blackbird
9. Seven Steps To Heaven
10. Time After Time
11. E.S.P.
12. Human Nature
13. It's About That Time

Product Description

Album features 13 of the most recognizable and melodic highlights from one of the most influential, most innovative and coolest musicians of the 20th century. Includes "It's About That Time" - Remix featuring Carlos Santana.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Francis Olvez Wilshaw on 10 Nov 2006
Format: Audio CD
Despite reports to the contrary, this new collection of Miles Davis' work amounts to an interesting compilation of Davis' career. In particular his work with jazz saxophonist John Coltrane surfaces quite nicely, especially with the opening track 'So What', originally featured on the album 'Kind of Blue'. Davis' playing range is amply demonstrated on numerous tracks, in particular 'E.S.P', 'Milestones' and the beautifully crafted simplicity of 'Generique'. His talent as a jazz great is also demonstrated as he performs 'standards' such as 'Bye Bye Blackbird' and 'Summertime'. We also hear a range of Davis' trumpet playing styles, both 'open' and muted. The latter method of playing almost becoming Davis' trademark. Towards the end of the collection, the inclusion of 80's pop sounds, including; 'Time after Time' and 'Human Nature', demonstrates Davis' ability to keep in touch with the contemporary music scene at that time. Indeed the original artists, perhaps might have felt honoured to have their pieces individually interpreted by one of the jazz greats of the last fifty years. The Very Best Of Miles Davis Cool & Collected, is a worthy addition to your CD collection, plus is also a more then adaquate introduction into not only the world of modern jazz, but of a true jazz giant.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By l.a on 14 Aug 2006
Format: Audio CD
I don't think this is a particularly good introduction to Miles Davis' work, as it features so little of his groundbreaking albums, Kind of Blue, Sketches of Spain and Birth of the Cool. While Davis was a prolific artist, and it's hard to distill his work down to a few tunes, it's shocking that this album has none of Sketches of Spain and only 1 track from Kind of Blue and Porgy & Bess. Either of these albums would be a better introduction for a first-timer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great music in the wrong context 16 Sep 2006
By R. Riis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There's no denying that these are outstanding and representative performances and that this CD is a fine introduction to an essential musical icon. However, while this collection encompasses a greater stylistic range than, say, "Miles Davis Greatest Hits", it still only scratches the surface. For pure listening enjoyment that range can make this CD a less satisfying experience than any of the original albums from which these tracks are taken. And remixing Miles (the last track) is like "touching up" a painting by Picasso. Rating : 5 stars if you've never heard Miles Davis and just want a taste, 3 stars if you're already a fan.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Cool? Yes. Collected? Barely a Drop in the Proverbial Bucket... 30 Oct 2006
By Thomas D. Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Regarding "Cool and Collected," I must first say that it is very aptly named. It is indeed quite cool, and it also incredibly collected. I happen to love the music of Miles Davis, so it would be virtually impossible for me to speak negatively of a CD collection that compiles a handful of his best-known performances. For the same reason, it is almost impossible to blindly endorse a product that reduces such diversity to a single disk. Observing the changes of Davis' career over the decades has been one of the most musically rewarding experiences I could expect from any musician. His diversity is immensely important to understanding his style - his `coolness' - and the only way to really understand why Miles is so important as a trendsetter, a leader and performer of huge significance is to understand the various aspects of his career.

On an extraordinarily superficial level, this CD is quite cool. If you really want to understand the depths of its coolness, though, you have to dig a lot deeper. Each and every recording on "Cool and Collected" is excellent; naturally, though, some are more significant than others. "So What" is both accessible and challenging. It deserves a rating of 7 stars in a 5-star system, and "Stella By Starlight" represents the smallest taste of live Miles, with some of the best musicians in the world. His version of "Human Nature" can still spark a debate about its intrinsic value, but regardless of your take, it is still decidedly `cool'. But is it cooler to own this collection or to own both "Kind of Blue," "Live at the Plugged Nickel" and "You're Under Arrest" instead? Is it cool being unfamiliar with "In a Silent Way" or "Bitches Brew"?

My point is that there is no shortcut to being `cool.' To qualify, you have to pay a few dues, and invest a part of your time to understand the nature of something that is universally accepted as `cool'. If you are a neophyte and need a starting place to discover the music of Miles Davis, then this is a cool place to start, but its value will diminish once you really understand the incredibly diverse nature of Miles Davis. A- Tom Ryan
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Cool Music, Poorly Collected 24 July 2008
By Dennis G. Voss Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I love the music that Miles Davis created, from his early "Birth of the Cool" recordings all the way to some of his better 1980s work (e.g., "Aura). I don't think highly of this collection, though. It's a spotty and not terribly representative selection of the man's music.

I'm not just complaining because of the difficulties faced in cramming a career onto one CD. I'm complaining about the poor distribution of music over that career. First, the CD contains nothing from the excellent recordings Miles issued with Capitol, Blue Note, and Prestige from 1949 until the mid-1950s. That may be understandable, given that Columbia produced this compilation. But they do not survey his CBS recordings well either. The first eight tracks all come from the late 1950s. There's only one track from his many "orchestrated" albums, and aside from one remixed song there's nothing from 1966 to 1984 (skipping his entire "electric period" as well as the most advanced work of his second great acoustic quintet).

About the best I can say is that, if you wanted to focus on the "cool" side of the music and leave aside anything else, it's hits the high points. It's a good CD to play if you have guests over for dinner who don't much like jazz, but who might appreciate some of the best out there if it doesn't get "too busy."
excellent collection 15 Aug 2013
By musicgalaxyman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I must disagree with those who are critical of this collection. Much of Miles' later work is so eclectic and approaching atonality that there was, and is real doubt whether it is accessible to the ear.

I have no qualm with those who want to hear music they find appealing.

I ran into this collection at the library and just ordered it on Amazon.

As collections go, it's one of the best. Each is of great interest to a large number of listeners, and who cannot enjoy his best work, which must include SO WHAT and the haunting GENERIQUE, and the last track... IT'S ABOUT THAT TIME with Santana is really a masterpiece in its own right.

It's a great mix, reflecting many different sounds.

Frankly, if and when you listen to his entire body of work, and by that I mean all the tracks available to you, you're going to have a lot of trouble with much of the material. Even his contemporary musicians had trouble appreciating much of his later work, and they were very pro-Miles.

Of course, no "collection" can reflect all a musician's work, but as collections go, this is top notch.

I don't think you'll ever find another single CD collection of any artist's work to top this grouping.
Just a taste & overview 13 Feb 2013
By william a. roesler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have been listening to Miles for about forty years. Although this is not my favorite CD from this musical genius, I hardly think it deserves to be kicked in the mud like it has. For example, if I were teaching a coarse in Jazz history to a bunch of 20 somethings this is what I would use to motivate them to go out and discover the man who gave us "Kind of Blue" and "In A Silent Way". It would foster debate, and everyone, or most, would seek other listening like "Bitches Brew" or heaven forbid "Live Evil".It is good for what it is.....a taste. Just to listen to the last track "It's About That Time" with just enough Carlos Santana would get the juices flowing. We owe these neophytes at least that, so we can say without them knowing what we mean "Miles Chases The Voodoo Down". After that, they are hooked like I was back in 1968.....
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