Trumpeter Miles Davis began the recording session for Miles Ahead, one of his earliest forays into large-ensemble cool jazz, on this day (May 6) in 1957. The album, which featured a total of 20 musicians (the album is credited to Miles Davis +19), served as a reunion of sorts between Davis and composer-arranger Gil Evans, marking their first collaboration since 1949’s Birth of the Cool. They would continue to work together throughout the decade to produce some of the most enduring albums in jazz, including 1959’s Porgy and Bess and 1960’s Sketches of Spain.
Today’s Song of the Day is the title track to Miles Ahead, which perfectly captures the Davis-Evans aesthetic. It’s harmonically dense yet light as a feather, endlessly complex yet elegantly simple.