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In 1949, in a nondescript basement room behind a Chinese laundry in midtown Manhattan, a group of like-minded jazz modernists formed a groundbreaking collective. Among them were jazz headliners soon-to-be: Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, Max Roach, John Lewis, the arranger Gil Evans and significantly, the 22-year-old trumpeter Miles Davis, who became the leader of the project. The music this historic nine-piece group created together that year and in 1950 — in the studio and onstage — came and went with little notice at first. Seven years later, when the music was collected on a full LP for the first time, the world came to understand its impact: a true watershed moment in postwar music, dubbed with the name that remains one of the best known in modern jazz: Birth of the Cool.
The Complete Birth of the Cool chronicles the brief yet monumental importance of the Miles Davis Nonet, presenting together all the music created by this collective — the 12 sides they recorded in 1949/‘50, as well as the ensemble’s only extant live recordings, recorded at the Royal Roost.