SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT (78s)
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.
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.