Miles Davis, “Jeru,” from Birth of the Cool
Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool set the mold for the genre that would come to be known as cool jazz. The trailblazing trumpeter and his musical partner, the imaginative conductor-arranger Gil Evans, began recording the album on this day — January 21 — in 1949. One of the first tunes recorded was “Jeru,” by baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. With its billowing rhythmic feel and pleasantly discursive melodic lines, the tune is indicative of the album and the genre as a whole: serene, watercolored and adamantly hip.
Feature image courtesy Universal Music