Miles Davis: Cookin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet

The Songs:

  1. My Funny Valentine
  2. Blues By Five
  3. Airegin
  4. Tune Up/When Lights Are Low


  • Miles Davis – trumpet
  • John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
  • Red Garland – piano
  • Paul Chambers – bass
  • Philly Joe Jones – drums

In the summer of 1955, after his celebrated performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, Miles Davis was offered a recording contract by Columbia Records. As noted earlier on this site, Miles was still under contract to Prestige Records. A deal was worked out that allowed Miles to record for Columbia, but not release any material until his obligations to Prestige were fulfilled. To accomplish this, Miles took his newly formed quintet into the studio for a flurry of recording on two dates in 1956, which resulted in four albums, the first of which was Cookin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet.

The recording sessions for these albums were treated like a club date. The band didn’t work on any new material or even record multiple takes. They simply went in, laid down about a dozen songs on each of the two dates, and considered their work done for Prestige. The resulting albums have an immediacy and spontaneity to them that have established them as classics in Miles’ large discography. This first of the four includes some classics from the Davis live set lists, such as “My Funny Valentine”, “Tune Up”, and “When Lights Are Low”. (Buy it here.)

Suggested Reading:

Horricks, Raymond. Miles Davis/John Coltrane: The Good, The Bad… And The Experimental.