‘Frankly Green Bay’ features ‘Birth of the Cool’

Frankly Green Bay recently featured this week’s 6:30 Concert Series — Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool” on its website. “It’s weird because it is literally the birth of the cool before anybody actually knew what the hell cool was,” said UW-Green Bay Prof. Adam Gaines (Music). Here is part of the post:

Like several of Miles Davis’ recordings, “Birth of the Cool” was ahead of its time. Originally recorded in 1949, when bebop was the predominant jazz style of the day, “Birth of the Cool” was a different animal. The nonet assembled for the project featured the tuba and French horn; instruments not usually associated with smaller jazz outfits and incorporated elements of classical music that would pave the way for the future of jazz. The recording also marked the first collaboration between Davis and composer/arranger Gil Evans.

Originally released on a 78-rpm format, “Birth of the Cool” would have to wait a few years before listeners caught on. “The stuff was recorded in ’49 but it’s really the 1957 album — because the technology changed by that point to have all of it on one album on two sides — that’s when people really started to notice it, even though it was eight years old by that point,” says Gaines.


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