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Workin', Relaxin', Steamin'

Workin', Relaxin', Steamin'

6 Feb 2011

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 6 Feb 2011
  • Label: Big 3
  • Copyright: 2008 Big 3
  • Total Length: 1:58:50
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B004OLWJEQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,700 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. Monday on 30 Dec 2008
Format: Audio CD
Just picked this up for £3 and I have to say it is a great value package. For your money you get three of Miles' greatest albums, all 5 star rated on the allmusic guide. The photo used on the cover is from the wrong era (I believe taken at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970, whereas the music on these discs was recorded in 1956) and as the other review says some sleave notes would have been nice, but at this price you can't really complain. Get it!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Mullen on 16 Nov 2008
Format: Audio CD
If you like Miles from this period and don't already have these recordings, you can't go wrong with these (at below £5 as of Nov 08). As to quality, admittedly I don't have high end equipment, but I can't tell the difference between disc 3 and my own copy of 'Steamin'. The only reason I did not give 5 stars is that there are no liner notes.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By martin jones on 20 May 2009
Format: Audio CD
In 1956 Miles Davis left Prestige and signed for Columbia Records. When he left he still "owed" Prestige four LPs and as a result two marathon recording sessions were held in May and October of that year. The four albums were issued under the titles Workin', Relaxin', Steamin' and Cookin'. The first three are to be found in this collection.

It was decided that the material to be used would be drawn from that which the band was currently playing on their concert tours. Unusually, there are relatively few Davis compositions and most are well known popular and show songs of the period such as "Surrey with the Fringe on Top", "If I were a Bell" and "When I Fall in Love".

You will not learn any of this from this package (apart from the titles of the numbers and the composers) because, as has already been noted, there are no sleeve notes. Indeed the packaging does not even mention the lengths of the individual tracks. However, there is no real hardship involved as all of the information can be readily obtained on the internet.

I found all of this music most enjoyable and all players are on good form. But I have one reservation. Numerous musicians have related how they would turn up for a recording session with Miles and be given the tunes which were to be recorded (some written the previous night) together with brief notes about how they were to be played. One or two run-throughs and then - first take. And Miles always liked the first take. The result might not be perfect, but that was how he liked it. So there is often a certain edginess, or experimental nature to a lot of Davis's best albums. Listen to "Miles Ahead" (with a glaring wrong note from Miles towards the end of the title track).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Bawden jazz fan on 1 July 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The band featured on these three albums is Miles' great "first quintet" comprising himself, John Coltrane (sax), Red Garland (p), Paul Chambers (b) and Philly Joe Jones (d); a quintet that many people would consider the greatest EVER in the history of jazz.

The quintet came together in 1955, and would last until 1959. Miles was under contract to Prestige but wanted to break the agreement. To enable him to leave, Prestige insisted he record four more albums. This was done over the course of a couple of days in 1956, the subsequent albums being released annually. The albums were entitled "cookin'", "relaxin'", "workin'" and "steamin',. The latter three are to be found in this mini three CD set. "Cookin'" is available separately and should be purchased to complete the set.

One might expect under the circumstances that the group may have produced four lacklustre recordings, as was common when musicians wanted to change recording label. Instead we have amongst the finest recordings ever made in the history of recording, not just jazz.

The five musicians are all on the top of their game, albeit drugged to the eyeballs. Everyone of the five give pearls of performances. The choice of music was largely that of the popular song e.g. "If I Was A Bell", "Surrey With The Fringe On Top" together with jazz classics e.g. "Oleo" or "Salt Peanuts".

This particular package of three discs has twenty tunes ranging from a couple of minutes to nearly ten in length.

There is no information beyond personnel and the names of the tunes (not even track length). The cover photo probably dates from 1970, not 1956, but hey, it is the music that one wants, and at around £6 current price this set is a steal. BUY IT AND MARVEL. You'll never tire of listening to these albums.
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