The 1951 All-Star team of jazz was Miles Davis, Lee Konitz, Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan all of which played on that year’s landmark album of “cool” Conception. Each delivered a tune or two to create this now classic release. Guitarist Billy Bauer delivered tonal color to Indian Summer one of two Saxophone duets he played with Lee Konitz and pianist Al Haig shines on two Stan Getz originals Intoit and Preservation. Hell, who isn’t on this record! Art Blakey, Max Roach, Roy Haynes and Stan Levey work the drums; Jackie McLean throws in some Alto Sax along side Sonny Rollins and Zoot Sims on Tenor. Kal Winding and J.J. Johnston add some bebop slid trombone while Gene Ramey and Arnold Fishkin keep time. By the end of the decade, they all would become big names in the world of Jazz.
Conception finds Miles Davis painting the broad soundscapes he Mulligan and Konitz first constructed during the Birth of the Cool sessions recorded in the late 40s. He would go back to this big band classical style several times in the 50’s with the help of arranger Gil Evans. Together they created the classic albums Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess, and Sketches of Spain, which earned both Davis and Evans a Grammy in 1960.
Miles gets a lot of well deserved credit for the birth of the “cool style”, but the real stars on this record are Konitz, Getz and Mulligan, each of which were instrumental in the idiom’s conception, and its burgeoning popularity. If you ever wondered where the slang term comes from, here you go. Cool huh?