Monday, September 30, 2013

THE BIRTH OF THE COOL ON CAPITOL RECORDS PART THREE

THE BIRTH OF THE COOL ON CAPITOL RECORDS 
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT (12” LPs)
T-762 [1957]
PART THREE

© James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved

Eleven of the twelve tunes recorded by the various Miles Davis ensembles in January and April of 1949 and March of 1950 that had been released over four 10” LPs as noted in Part Two of this series were finally united on a single 12” LP release in 1957.


The following full page ad ran in the March 6, 1957 issue of Down Beat and the March 1957 issue of Metronome magazine.


(enlargement from above ad)


The cover featured a photo of Miles Davis taken by Aram Avakian.  The album title, BIRTH OF THE COOL, was featured in the upper left corner of the cover, all capital letters in white except for “COOL” in a shade of red/orange.  Miles’ name was spelled out in all lower case letters in white in the center of the cover.  The eleven tunes were also spelled out on the cover in white lower case letters in the lower right corner.

William “PoPsie” Randolph was present at the original January 1949 recording session and took numerous photos of the group including close-ups of Al Haig, Miles Davis, Lee Konitz and Gerry Mulligan.  Herman Leonard was also present at the Royal Roost in September of 1948 when Miles Davis had booked his ensemble into the club for a two week gig.  One photo survives in Leonard’s archive and can be viewed at the Morrison Hotel Gallery. The photo captures Max Roach at the left, Miles in the center with Mike Zwerin at the right.  Herman Leonard cropped this photo eliminating Roach and Zwerin to feature Miles only in his first published collection of jazz photography, L’ŒIL DU JAZZ. None of the vinyl LP releases of the “Birth of the Cool” sessions would feature photos by Popsie or Leonard.

The original labels of Capitol T-762 featured a turquoise background.  The album proved to be a best seller for Capitol and remained in the catalogue for a number of years.  Later pressings of T-762 featured the “rainbow” label with a multi colored band surrounding the central label in black with the Capitol Records logo at the left of the center hole (Canadian pressing) and above the album title, (U.S. pressing).





Metronome did not review T-762 until their August 1957 issue when reviewer Bill Coss wrote a short paragraph in their column devoted to reissues.


Down Beat featured a two part examination of THE BIRTH OF THE COOL in their May 2 & 16, 1957 issues written by Nat Hentoff.  Hentoff focuses on the role of Gil Evans and the genesis of The Birth of the Cool in the Claude Thornhill orchestra.






(Down Beat articles © Maher Publications)

Capitol Records would repackage and reissue the BIRTH OF THE COOL in 1965 as DT-1974 in their “Dimensions in Jazz” series and in 1972 as MILES DAVIS AND HIS ORCHESTRA - THE COMPLETE BIRTH OF THE COOL, Capitol M-11026, CAPITOL JAZZ CLASSICS VOL. 1.  These will be examined in subsequent posts.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

THE BIRTH OF THE COOL ON CAPITOL RECORDS PART TWO

THE BIRTH OF THE COOL ON CAPITOL RECORDS 
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT (10” LPs)
PART TWO

© James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved

The three sessions recorded by Capitol Records in New York in 1949 and 1950 under the leadership of Miles Davis have received widespread coverage in the print media in the sixty plus years since they were recorded.  The sessions have collectively been christened “The Birth of the Cool” sessions ever since the 1957 Capitol Records 12” LP release, T-762, BIRTH OF THE COOL, introduced that phrase to describe the twelve tunes captured in the three sessions.  Eleven of the twelve tunes recorded were released on four Capitol 10” LPs in their “Classics in Jazz” series.  The only tune not released in the 10” LP series was the vocal from the 1950 session, DARN THAT DREAM.  The discography details are taken from The Capitol Label Discography compiled by Michel Ruppli, Bill Daniels and Ed Novitsky with assistance from Michael Cuscuna published by Names & Numbers, © 2007.


Barry Ulanov reviewed the first releases in the “Classics in Jazz” series in the September 1952 issue of Metronome magazine, THE MODERN IDIOM (Capitol H-325) that included BUDO from the January 21, 1949 session and TRUMPET STYLISTS (Capitol H-326) that included MOVE from the same session.




The “Classics in Jazz” series covers shared a common graphic design with the earlier releases framing a central design with a paper clip holding a torn corner with the script “Classics in Jazz” identifying the series concept of reissuing classic jazz sessions from the Capitol tape vault.









BUDO  and MOVE had been released initially on a 78 single as noted in Part One.  They were also included on 45 EP albums that duplicated the tracks contained on the 10” LP releases.

The third Miles Davis tune to be released in the 10” LP “Classics in Jazz” series was BOPLICITY from the April 22, 1949 recording session. BOPLICITY had also been released previously on a Capitol 78 single.  The faux woodgrain frame that had been part of the earlier “Classics in Jazz” covers was dropped for COOL & QUIET (Capitol H-371) but the paper clipped title of the series remained.  This would be the first instance of “cool” being used to describe a tune from the Miles Davis sessions. COOL & QUIET was also released as an EP album.







The last release in the “Classics in Jazz” 10” LP series encompassing tunes from the Miles Davis 1949-1950 sessions finally gathered eight of the tunes from those dates on a single album.  Four of the tunes had never been released previously, MOON DREAMS, DECEPTION, ROCKER and ROUGE.  JERU, VENUS DE MILO, GODCHILD and ISRAEL had been issued previously on 78 singles.  Cool was not an adjective used to describe the eight tunes on this release, they were simply noted as “performances that are really classics in jazz.” The album was also released as a double EP set.




Down Beat reviewed the album in their June 2, 1954 edition of the magazine giving it five stars, their highest rating.


Metronome did not give the album a review.  Issues of Metronome throughout 1954 regularly reviewed releases by Miles Davis, but these were albums on Prestige where he was fulfilling a contract.  Ulanov notes this preference for their review policy in an August column.


The eleven tunes spread over these four 10” LP releases would finally be united on a 12” LP release in 1957 that would be titled “Miles Davis - The Birth of the Cool.” This release, Capitol T-762, will be examined in Part Three.



Thursday, September 5, 2013

THE BIRTH OF THE COOL ON CAPITOL RECORDS PART ONE

THE BIRTH OF THE COOL ON CAPITOL RECORDS 
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT (78s)
PART ONE


© James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected, All Rights Reserved

The three sessions recorded by Capitol Records in New York in 1949 and 1950 under the leadership of Miles Davis have received widespread coverage in the print media during the sixty plus years since they were recorded.  The sessions have collectively been christened “The Birth of the Cool” sessions ever since the 1957 Capitol Records 12” LP release, BIRTH OF THE COOL, T-762, introduced that phrase to describe the twelve tunes captured in the three sessions.  

This series of articles will examine the Capitol Records release series, first the 78 rpm releases, second the 10” LP releases and lastly the 12” LP releases.  Eight of the twelve tunes recorded in those sessions were released on 78 rpm singles, a total of four 78 rpm records. The discography details are taken from The Capitol Label Discography compiled by Michel Ruppli, Bill Daniels and Ed Novitsky with assistance from Michael Cuscuna published by Names & Numbers, © 2007.



Capitol released MOVE and BUDO, from the January session, on Capitol Records #15404.  It was reviewed by Metronome and Down Beat in their April 1949 issues.






This was followed by the release of JERU and GODCHILD on Capitol Records #57-60005.  It was reviewed by Metronome and Down Beat in their May 1949 issues.





The third 78 rpm release paired BOPLICITY and ISRAEL from the Aril 22, 1949 session on Capitol Records #57-60011.  The review from Metronome was published in the September 1949 issue. The composer credit on BOPLICITY, Cleo Henry, was the maiden name of Miles Davis' mother.




The fourth and final 78 rpm release combined VENUS DE MILO from the April 22, 1949 session with the only vocal recorded by the nonet, DARN THAT DREAM, with Kenny Hagood from the March 9, 1950 session.  The Metronome review was published in the January 1951 issue of the magazine. Down Beat noted the session in their Things To Come column of April 21, 1950.  The title listed as THE COOP in this column would be released as ROCKER on a Capitol 10” LP release in 1954.



The next release of tunes from the Miles Davis nonet sessions would occur when Capitol launched their “Classics In Jazz” 10” LP series in the early 1950s.  Eleven of the twelve tunes would be released in this series.  The only tune that would not be included in this 10” LP series was the single vocal, DARN THAT DREAM.  These will be examined in Part Two.