(Miles Davis, trumpet; John Coltrane, tenor sax; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Philly Joe Jones, drums)
This is one of those four classic sessions done for Prestige, all with a “‘” in their titles and all featuring Miles and Coltrane. This one dates from May 11 and October 26, 1956. The goal Miles had in the series was creating the feeling of the gig his band had at the Cafe Bohemia. Everyone involved made strong efforts to communicate the very best snapshot of the band at this time in their development. Engineer Rudy Van Gelder repeats that he feels strongly that he is the messenger of what the performers wanted to get across in these sessions.
There are six tracks here, plus two takes of the band’s theme. Things start off with a ballad on It Never Entered My Mind. Trane’s Blues is the longest track and and an ebullient treatment of the blues to be sure. These four sessions have been reissued a number of times in various forms, but recent advances in CD mastering have made a hearable difference in some of the recent releases. I had a Fantasy SACD reissue of the Relaxin’ session and compared it with this standard-CD Workin’ session. Couldn’t hear an identifiable difference – that’s how good these 24-bit iterations of the analog master tapes are.
Tracklist: It Never Entered My Mind, Four, In Your Own Sweet Way, Theme (take 1), Trane’s Blues, Ahmad’s Blues, Half Nelson, The Theme (take 2)
– John Henry