Miles Davis ‘Collectors Items’ (Prestige Rudy Van Gelder edition) 3/5

Two separate 1950s sessions are grouped together on this album including an earlier 1953 set that unites Miles Davis with the great Charlie Parker under a pseudonym and a 1956 date with Sonny Rollins and members of the line up that would record the seminal ‘Saxophone Colossus’ in the same year. The former is not in fact an original Rudy Van Gelder recording, but is fascinating for its pairing of a young Miles with an end of career Parker alongside tenorist Sonny Rollins and piainst Walter Bishop. On the now jazz standard ‘Round Midnight’, Davis states the theme with elan and is followed by solos from Rollins and Parker. The composition clearly made an impression on the young trumpeter for he would revisit it at various stages of his career subsequently. Evidently the telepathy between band members is more apparent on the second date with Flanagan and Rollins understanding each other wonderfully as on ‘No line’. In fact there is relatively little playing by Miles. While not essential Miles Davis, this provides compelling evidence of how his sound developed and and as such will make enjoyable listening for the jazz and Miles Davis aficionado alike.

Tim Stenhouse