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Milestones (Miles Davis album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 2, 1958 (1958-09-02)[1][2]
RecordedFebruary 4 and March 4, 1958
StudioColumbia 30th Street (New York City)
GenreJazz, modal jazz, bebop
ProducerGeorge Avakian
Miles Davis chronology
Ascenseur pour l'échafaud
Porgy and Bess
Professional ratings
Review scores
(Original LP release)
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[5]
Tom HullB+[7]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings[6]

Milestones is a studio album by Miles Davis. It was recorded with his "first great quintet" augmented as a sextet and released in 1958 by Columbia Records.[8]


Tenor saxophonist John Coltrane's return to Davis' group in 1958 coincided with the "modal phase" albums: Milestones and Kind of Blue (1959) are both considered essential examples of 1950s modern jazz. Davis at this point was experimenting with modes – scale patterns other than major and minor.[9]

Davis plays both trumpet and piano on "Sid's Ahead", a blues which is reminiscent of "Walkin'" that Davis had recorded under the title "Weirdo" for Blue Note in 1954. He plays trumpet in the ensemble passages and solos on trumpet but moves to the piano to accompany the saxophonists and Paul Chambers's bass solo in the absence of pianist Red Garland. "Billy Boy" is a solo feature for Garland and the rhythm section.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

In a five-star review, AllMusic's Thom Jurek called Milestones a classic album with blues material in both bebop and post-bop veins, as well as the "memorable" title track, which introduced modalism in jazz and defined Davis' subsequent music in the years to follow.[4] Andy Hermann of PopMatters felt that the album offers more aggressive swinging than Kind of Blue and showcases the first session between saxophonists Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, whose different styles "feed off each other and push each musician to greater heights."[11] Jim Santella of All About Jazz said that the quality of the personnel Davis enlisted was "the very best", even though the sextet was short-lived, and that Milestones is "a seminal album that helped shape jazz history."[12]

The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected the album as part of its suggested "Core Collection", calling it "one of the very great modern-jazz albums."[6]

Stereo remix and remaster[edit]

Milestones was originally released in mono, as well as in electronically re-channeled stereo (also called pseudo-stereo).[13] The album was remixed and remastered in stereo for The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis with John Coltrane and, in 2001, reissued in stereo on the Columbia/Legacy label.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "Dr. Jekyll" (titled "Dr. Jackle" on later LP and CD releases) – 5:55 (Jackie McLean)
  2. "Sid's Ahead" – 13:13 (Miles Davis)
  3. "Two Bass Hit" – 5:19 (John Lewis, Dizzy Gillespie)
Side two
  1. "Miles" (titled "Milestones" on later LP and CD releases) – 5:49 (Davis)[14]
  2. "Billy Boy" – 7:19 (Traditional; arranged by Ahmad Jamal)
  3. "Straight, No Chaser" – 10:41 (Thelonious Monk)
  • Sides one and two were combined as tracks 1–6 on CD reissues.
CD reissue bonus tracks
  1. "Two Bass Hit" (alternate take) – 4:29
  2. "Milestones" (alternate take) – 5:58
  3. "Straight, No Chaser" (alternate take) – 10:28

Tracks 3–9 recorded on February 4, 1958; tracks 1–2 recorded on March 4, 1958.



  1. ^ "Milestones". Miles Davies. Sony Music. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  2. ^ Porter, Lewis, ed. (2013). The John Coltrane Reference. New York/Abingdon: Routledge. p. 43. ISBN 978-1135112578.
  3. ^ Down Beat: November 13, 1958 Vol. 25, No. 23
  4. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Milestones - Miles Davis". AllMusic. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  6. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006) [1992]. "Miles Davis". The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th. ed.). New York: Penguin. pp. 321–2. ISBN 0-14-102327-9.
  7. ^ Hull, Tom (n.d.). "Jazz (1940s-50s)". tomhull.com. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  8. ^ Miles Davis (1990). Miles. Simon & Schuster. p. 422. ISBN 0671725823. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  9. ^ Milestones – Encyclopædia Britannica Online
  10. ^ Blumenthal, Bob (Oct. 2000). From the booklet for the 2001 CD release.
  11. ^ Hermann, Andy (April 16, 2001). "Miles Davis: Milestones". PopMatters. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  12. ^ Santella, Jim (April 1, 2001). "Miles Davis: Milestones". All About Jazz. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  13. ^ The Complete Miles & Trane Columbia Sessions
  14. ^ Referred to as "Milestones" on Davis' later recordings, and is not to be confused with the earlier "Milestones", a bebop melody written by John Lewis, credited to Davis, first recorded in 1947.

External links[edit]