|1. Dr. Jackle|
|2. Sid's Ahead|
|3. Two Bass Hit|
|5. Billy Boy|
|6. Straight, No Chaser|
|7. Two Bass Hit (Alternate Take)|
|8. Milestones (Alternate Take)|
|9. Straight, No Chaser (Alternate Take)|
"Milestones" (a.k.a. "Miles") is better. Like most of the material on Miles's 'Kind of Blue' album it's a simply constructed but interesting modal theme which challenges the soloists and inspires them to some carefully thought out solos. Even better in my opinion is the group's version of Thelonius Monk's up-tempo blues, "Straight No Chaser". Like "Milestones" (though it's a different kind of piece) it's an interesting composition in its own right, ingeniously constructed out of a simple motif. With its strong harmonic foundation and bouncing swing it brings out the best in Coltrane and Adderley, as in Miles himself who plays with elegance as well as 'bite'. "Sid's Ahead" is another 12-bar blues, this one at a moderate 'walking' pace - a type of piece and a tempo which suited Miles and inspired some of his best improvising (try "Walkin' " and "Bags' Groove" from 1954 and "All Blues" and "Freddie Freeloader" on 'Kind of Blue').
If you like Coltrane's and Adderley's playing of this vintage (before Trane went 'avant garde' and Cannonball went commercial) you will probably want this album if you don't already have it. If you like Garland's piano playing you will enjoy "Billy Boy" more than I do. I respect his technical skill, but I never hear any kind of 'depth' in anything he played. I've known people to feel the same about 'Cannonball' Adderley. Miles in his solos never plays less than well and there is some of his best work on what I've identified as the three best tracks. Paul Chambers is superb as usual. Philly Joe Jones is magnificent and, for aficionados of the better modern jazz drumming, he may well be the real star of the session.
Neither Bill nor Gil Evans is participating on this album and as great and fine musicians they were, I'm not quite sure that their influence on Miles musical production was entirely good.
There's a lot of John Coltrane on this album and I'm a big fan of him. The title tune, "Milestones" is the ultimate hard-bop jazz anthem.
My favorite track of the whole album, the title track, which is presented in two different takes, for the listener's enjoyment.