An extremely influential Jazz album recorded in three sessions by three incarnations of the Miles Davis Nonet. Generally regarded (as the title suggests) to be the "birth" of Cool Jazz, the album mixed the intricate tonalities of bebop with lucid, tightly-focused arranging and a laid-back atmosphere. The instrumentation, which was chosen to imitate the broad textural and coloristic palette of a large orchestra while keeping the group small enough to retain the freshness of improvised jazz, still remains unusual for a jazz setting: tuba, french horn, trombone, baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, trumpet, piano, bass, and drums. However, the musicians that took part in the sessions were all top-notch. Like most music considered "ahead of its time," the critics and musicians who listened were generally enthused, however, the public's initial reaction to the Nonet's performances was mixed at best.

Session one took place on January 21, 1949 in New York City. The songs Move, Jeru, Budo, and Godchild were recorded by a band consisting of:

Session two took place on April 22, 1949, in New York City. The songs Venus de Milo, Boplicity, Israel, and Rouge were recorded and the band lineup changed as follows:

Session three was recorded on March 9, 1950, again in New York City. The songs were Moon Dreams, Deception, Rocker, and Darn That Dream. The musicians were:

Miles Davis
Birth of the Cool
Capitol Records/Capitol Jazz

  1. Move (2:32) (Denzil Best)
  2. Jeru (3:10) (Gerry Mulligan)
  3. Moon Dreams (3:17) (Chummy MacGregor-Johnny Mercer)
  4. Venus De Milo (3:17) (Gerry Mulligan)
  5. Budo (2:32) (Bud Powell-Miles Davis)
  6. Deception (2:54) (Miles Davis)
  7. Godchild (3:07) (George Wallington)
  8. Boplicity (2:59) (Cleo Henry)
  9. Rocker (3:03) (Gerry Mulligan)
  10. Israel (2:15) (Johnny Carisi)
  11. Rouge (3:13) (John Lewis)
  12. Darn That Dream(3:26) (Delange-Van Heusen)