Seventy years ago, in a nondescript basement room behind a Chinese laundry in midtown Manhattan, a group of like-minded jazz modernists formed a groundbreaking collective. Among them were jazz headliners soon-to-be: Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, Max Roach, John Lewis, the arranger Gil Evans and significantly, the 22-year-old trumpeter Miles Davis, who became the leader of the project. The music this historic nine-piece group created together in 1949 and 1950 — in the studio and onstage — came and went with little notice at first. Seven years later, when the music was collected on a full LP for the first time, the world came to understand its impact: a true watershed moment in postwar music, dubbed with the name that remains one of the best known in modern jazz: Birth of the Cool.
To be released June 7th by Blue Note/UMe/Urban Legends, The Complete Birth of the Cool chronicles the brief yet monumental importance of the Miles Davis Nonet. Honoring the 70th anniversary of the initial Birth of the Cool sessions, The Complete Birth of the Cool presents together all the music created by this collective. Available now for pre-order in 2LP vinyl, CD, and digital formats, the collection includes the twelve sides they recorded in 1949/’50, as well as the ensemble’s only extant live recordings, recorded at the Royal Roost. The new release marks the first time since 1957 that the recordings have been remastered for vinyl and the first time all the Birth of the Cool performances — studio and live – are available together on LP. The 2LP vinyl and CD packages include a booklet filled with archival photographs and an extensive new essay by GRAMMY®-winning American music historian Ashley Kahn.