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Miles Davis’ first classic quintet was formed in 1955 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest combos in jazz history. Workin’ was the third in a series of four albums featuring the group recorded between May and October of 1956. The program presents some tunes the quintet had been playing live, along with others that appear to have been improvised on the spot and which had never been previously recorded. Two short readings of “The Theme” were used to close the two sides of the original LP. Miles had recorded a longer version of the tune for his previous album The New Miles Davis Quintet. “Trane’s Blues” is an improvised blues by John Coltrane, and “Ahmad’s Blues” is a tune by pianist Ahmad Jamal, for whom Miles repeatedly expressed his admiration.
Hackensack, New Jersey, May 11, 1956 & October 26, 1956 (B3).