Milestones (Miles Davis album)

Studio album by Miles Davis
Released September 2, 1958 (1958-09-02)[1]
Recorded February 4 and March 4, 1958
Studio Columbia 30th Street Studio
New York City
Genre Jazz
Length 47:36
Label Columbia
Producer George Avakian
Miles Davis chronology
Ascenseur pour l'échafaud
Jazz Track
Professional ratings
Review scores
Down Beat
(Original Lp release)

Milestones (CL 1193) is a studio album by American jazz trumpeter and composer Miles Davis, recorded with his "first great quintet" augmented as a sextet. It was released in 1958 by Columbia Records.[4]


Milestones is one of Davis' first forays into the developing modal jazz experiments – with his composition "Milestones", listed on the original LP issue as "Miles". (This modal piece is not to be confused with the earlier composition with the same title recorded by Davis and Charlie Parker in 1947.) These modal techniques were continued and expanded on the groundbreaking album Kind of Blue. It was also the last time the rhythm section of Philly Joe Jones, Red Garland and Paul Chambers played with Davis on record.

Tenor saxophonist John Coltrane's return to Davis' group in 1958 coincided with the "modal phase" albums: Milestones and Kind of Blue (1959) are both considered essential examples of 1950s modern jazz. Davis at this point was experimenting with modes – scale patterns other than major and minor.[5]

Davis plays both trumpet and piano on "Sid's Ahead". He plays trumpet in the ensemble passages and solos on trumpet but switches to piano to accompany the saxophonists in Garland's absence. "Billy Boy" is a solo feature for Garland and the rhythm section.[6]

Critical reception

In a five-star review, Allmusic's Thom Jurek called Milestones a classic album with blues material in both bebop and post-bop veins, as well as the "memorable" title track, which introduced modalism in jazz and defined Davis' subsequent music in the years to follow.[3] Andy Hermann of PopMatters felt that the album offers more aggressive swinging than Kind of Blue and showcases the first session between saxophonists Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, whose different styles "feed off each other and push each musician to greater heights."[7] Jim Santella of All About Jazz said that the quality of the personnel Davis enlisted was "the very best", even though the sextet was short-lived, and that Milestones is "a seminal album that helped shape jazz history."[8]

The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected the album as part of its suggested "Core Collection", calling it "one of the very great modern-jazz albums."[9]

Stereo remix and remaster

Milestones was originally released in mono, as well as in electronically re-channeled stereo (also called pseudo-stereo).[10] The album was remixed and remastered in stereo for The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis with John Coltrane and, in 2009, reissued in stereo on the Columbia/Legacy label.

Track listing

Side one
  1. "Dr. Jackle" – 5:45 (Jackie McLean)
  2. "Sid's Ahead" – 12:59 (Miles Davis)
  3. "Two Bass Hit" – 5:10 (John LewisDizzy Gillespie)
Side two
  1. "Miles" (titled "Milestones" on later LP and CD releases) – 5:42 (Davis)[11]
  2. "Billy Boy" – 7:10 (traditional, arr. Ahmad Jamal)
  3. "Straight, No Chaser" – 10:35 (Thelonious Monk)
CD reissue bonus tracks
  1. "Two Bass Hit" (alternate take) – 4:29
  2. "Milestones" (alternate take) – 5:58
  3. "Straight, No Chaser" (alternate take) – 10:28

Tracks 3–8 recorded on February 4, 1958; tracks 1–2 recorded on March 4, 1958.



  1. Miles
  2. Down Beat: November 13, 1958 Vol. 25, No. 23
  3. 1 2 Jurek, Thom. "Milestones - Miles Davis". Allmusic. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  4. Miles Davis (1990). Miles. Simon & Schuster. p. 422. ISBN 0671725823. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  5. Milestones – Encyclopedia Britannica Online
  6. Blumenthal, Bob (Oct. 2000). From the booklet for the 2001 CD release.
  7. Hermann, Andy (April 16, 2001). "Miles Davis: Milestones". PopMatters. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  8. Santella, Jim (April 1, 2001). "Miles Davis: Milestones". All About Jazz. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  9. Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006) [1992]. "Miles Davis". The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th. ed.). New York: Penguin. pp. 321–2. ISBN 0-14-102327-9.
  10. The Complete Miles & Trane Columbia Sessions
  11. Referred to as "Milestones" on Davis' later recordings, and is not to be confused with the earlier "Milestones", a bebop melody written by John Lewis, credited to Davis, first recorded in 1947.
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