As the fourth (fifth, if you count the Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel) entry in Columbia's celebrated series of Miles Davis box sets, The Complete Columbia Recordings: Miles Davis & John Coltrane was perhaps the most anticipated set, and it's easy to see why. The push and pull between Miles and Coltraneresulted in dynamic recordings that set the standard for modern jazz -- and this was for their Prestige recordings, before they even moved to Columbia. Once Miles relocated to Columbia, he began to push the boundaries of his music. The progression from the sublime, after-hours 'Round About Midnight to the modal Milestones is remarkable -- all the more so when Kind of Blue, the culmination of Davis' modal direction, is taken into the equation. Over the course of six discs, The Complete Columbia Recordings traces this progression, including the entirety of 'Round About Midnight, Milestones, andKind of Blue, plus selections from Someday My Prince Will Come, live album cuts, and 18 unreleased tracks, all alternate takes. Even if you're familiar with this music -- and any jazz fan will be -- the chronological, session-order sequencing keeps it fresh, and it's possible to marvel at how quickly their talents deepened. For neophytes, this isn't really an ideal way to dive into these remarkable recordings, since there's not only too much, but it's arranged in a way that doesn't ease the listener into the music. It's designed to be a library piece for collectors, fans, and historians that have already absorbed the music fully. After all, the original album covers are not reproduced anywhere in the notes, and the discs themselves are cryptically identified with dots that parallel the numbers on a clock. For anyone who knows and loves this music though, this is an essential addition to a comprehensive jazz library.