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**2019 stock, reduced price** Milestones was Miles Davis' third Columbia release after 'Round About Midnight (1957) and Miles Ahead (1957). The recording was made during one of Davis' most creatively intense periods, preceding his recording of the soundtrack for Ascenseur Pour L'echafaud (Fontana, 1958) in late 1957 and the subsequent recordings of Cannonball Adderley's Somethin' Else (Blue Note, 1958) and the repertoire that would become Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959). Milestones is significant as a creative hinge period between Davis' bebop / hard bop period and his future modal period. The recording represented the formal expansion of his famous first quintet into a sextet with the addition of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, a band considered by many to be the finest small jazz ensemble in history. Milestones was to be the only studio recording made by this sextet, as the lineup changed considerable over the next months approaching the Kind of Blue sessions. Davis' famous innovative restlessness had not yet reached the fever pitch it would during the second great quintet, but it was beginning to properly manifest. It seemed as if Davis was doubling down on his contributions to bebop (Dr. Jekill and Two Bass Hit) and hard bop (Sid's Ahead and Straight, No Chaser). At this same time, Davis slides Milestones under the door, his first extension into modal composition, a method he would improve upon on Kind of Blue and perfect in the recordings of his second great quintet. The juxtaposition of, say, this superbly hard bop-rendered recording of Monk's Straight, No Chaser with the sleek and modern refined Milestones is acute. It is the past and the future, side-by-side. Milestones is based on 16 bars of G Dorian mode, followed by 16 bars in A Aeolian, and then back to a final eight bars in G Dorian which is then repeated as a standard jazz chorus. Only the horns solo on the recording, a blues-infused Adderley, an angular and evasive Davis, and finally a probing Coltrane. The song is sharply composed and performed, a definite evolution in Davis' music sounding only one or two steps ahead, but ahead nevertheless. A harbinger of what is to come Milestones remains that elusive and enigmatic masterpiece. - C. Michael Bailey