Cookin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet is an album recorded in 1956 by the Miles Davis Quintet in Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in Hackensack, New Jersey, and released in July 1957. As the musicians had to pay for the studio time (a result of a rather modest contract with Prestige), their recordings are practically live. Two sessions 11 May 1956 and 26 October in the same year resulted in four albums—this one, Relaxin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet, Steamin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet and Workin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet.
It was the first of the four LPs to be released. In response to the album title, Davis said, “After all, that’s what we did—came in and cooked”.
The album was originally released on CD in the U.S. in 1987, and it was remastered for CD most recently by Rudy Van Gelder again in 2006 for Prestige Records (Wikipedia).
“Cookin’ is the first of four albums derived from the Miles Davis Quintet’s fabled extended recording session on October 26, 1956; the concept being that the band would document its vast live-performance catalog in a studio environment, rather than preparing all new tracks for its upcoming long-player. The bounty of material in the band’s live sets – as well as the overwhelming conviction in the quintet’s studio sides — would produce the lion’s share of the Cookin’, Relaxin’, Workin’, and Steamin’ albums. As these recordings demonstrate, there is an undeniable telepathic cohesion that allows this band — consisting of Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums) – to work so efficiently both on the stage and the studio. This same unifying force is also undoubtedly responsible for the extrasensory dimensions scattered throughout these recordings. The immediate yet somewhat understated ability of each musician to react with ingenuity and precision is expressed in the consistency and singularity of each solo as it is maintained from one musician to the next without the slightest deviation. “Blues by Five” reveals the exceptional symmetry between Davis and Coltrane that allows them to complete each other’s thoughts musically. Cookin’ features the pairing of “Tune Up/When Lights Are Low” which is, without a doubt, a highlight not only of this mammoth session, but also the entire tenure of Miles Davis’ mid-’50s quintet. All the elements converge upon this fundamentally swinging medley. Davis’ pure-toned solos and the conversational banter that occurs with Coltrane, and later Garland during “When the Lights Are Low,” resound as some of these musicians’ finest moments.” – Lindsay Planer /AllMusic.
01 My Funny Valentine 0:00
02 Studio Chatter 6:04
03 Blues by Five 6:29
04 Airegin 16:32
05 Tune Up/When Lights Are Low 26:40
Miles Davis – trumpet
John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
Philly Joe Jones – drums
Red Garland – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Released: July 1957
Recorded: October 26, 1956
Studio: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack
Producer: Bob Weinstock