With all the weight accorded each giant, it's hard to conceive of John Coltrane playing in the same quintet as Miles Davis, let alone playing sideman to Davis' leader. But it did happen at a pivotal point in the careers of both musicians: In the late '50s, Davis was about to unleash his modal masterpiece Kind Of Blue while Coltrane was about to set out on his own, both actions that changed jazz immeasurably. The Complete Columbia Recordings is the fourth in the label's series of Davis boxed sets, and, like its predecessors, its contents compensate for the awkward presentation. This six-disc set begins in 1955, when Davis assembled Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones for what would become 'Round About Midnight and continues chronologically through the last recordings Coltrane made with Davis, included on 1961's Someday My Prince Will Come. This means the 1959 classic Kind Of Blue is included out of sequence—in some circles an inexcusable sin. But it also means listeners get to hear the development of Davis' group (which at various points included the above players as well as Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, and Jimmy Cobb) from take to take and year to year, a nice, noteworthy exercise. Added desirables include the 1958 album Milestones presented for the first time in true stereo, as well as a whopping 90 minutes of unreleased alternate takes, compositions, and studio banter. If those bonuses can't convince reissue-jaded collectors to splurge once again, the excellent sound and packaging should do the trick.

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