Miles Ahead session details

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November 26, 1945 (16 items; TT = 35:09)
WOR Studios, New York NY
Commercial for Savoy
Charlie Parker's Reboppers

Miles Davis (tpt); Charlie Parker (as); J.B. "Dizzy" Gillespie (p, tpt); Sadik Hakim [Argonne Thornton] (p); Dillon "Curley" Russell (b); Max Roach (d)

1 Billie's Bounce (take 1) (C. Parker) 2:40

Listen for Gillespie's "Yeah!" at 1:11
2 Billie's Bounce (take 2 (inc)) (C. Parker) 1:42
3 Billie's Bounce (take 3) (C. Parker) 3:04
4 Warming Up a Riff (incomplete) [Cherokee] (D. Gillespie-C. Parker) 2:34

Parker warms up a new reed. Track begins midway through Parker's first chorus
5 Billie's Bounce (take 4 (inc)) (C. Parker) 1:37
6 Billie's Bounce (take 5 (master)) (C. Parker) 3:08
7 Now's the Time (take 1 (fs)) (C. Parker) 0:19
8 Now's the Time (take 2 (fs)) (C. Parker) 0:36
9 Now's the Time (take 3) (C. Parker) 3:06
10 Now's the Time (take 4 (master)) (C. Parker) 3:15
11 Thriving on a Riff (take 1) [Anthropology] (D. Gillespie-C. Parker) 2:58
12 Thriving on a Riff (take 2 (inc)) [Anthropology] (D. Gillespie-C. Parker) 0:22
13 Thriving on a Riff (take 3 (master)) [Anthropology] (D. Gillespie-C. Parker) 2:55
14 Meandering (incomplete) [Embraceable You] (C. Parker) 3:18

Another warm-up tune. Davis out
15 Ko Ko (take 1 (fs)) [Cherokee] (C. Parker) 0:40

Herman Lubinsky and Parker abruptly stop the take as Davis plays the "Cherokee" melody
16 Ko Ko (take 2 (master)) (C. Parker) 2:55


1 Billie's Bounce (take 1)
12" LP: Savoy SJL 1107, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

2 Billie's Bounce (take 2 (inc))
12" LP: Savoy (F) 255-SV-121, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

3 Billie's Bounce (take 3)
12" LP: Savoy SJL 1129, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

4 Warming Up a Riff (incomplete)
78 rpm: Savoy 945
12" LP: Savoy MG 12014, Savoy SJL 2201
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, SV-0104, Nippon Columbia COCY-78265, COCY-78264, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

5 Billie's Bounce (take 4 (inc))
12" LP: Savoy (F) WL 70527, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

6 Billie's Bounce (take 5 (master))
78 rpm: Savoy 573; Savoy 918
12" LP: Savoy MG 9001, Savoy MG 12009, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, SV-0103, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, COCY-78263, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

7 Now's the Time (take 1 (fs))
12" LP: Savoy (F) WL 70527, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

8 Now's the Time (take 2 (fs))
12" LP: Savoy (F) WL 70527, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

9 Now's the Time (take 3)
12" LP: Savoy SJL 1107, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

10 Now's the Time (take 4 (master))
78 rpm: Savoy 573; Savoy 918
12" LP: Savoy MG 12001, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, SV-0102, Nippon Columbia COCY-78262, COCY-78264, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400, Columbia C2K 85475, Sony SRCS 2493/4

11 Thriving on a Riff (take 1)
12" LP: Savoy MG 12079, Savoy SJL 1107, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

12 Thriving on a Riff (take 2 (inc))
12" LP: Savoy (F) 70527, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

13 Thriving on a Riff (take 3 (master))
78 rpm: Savoy 903; Savoy 945
12" LP: Savoy MG 12009, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, SV-0103, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, COCY-78263, Masters of Jazz MJCD 131, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

14 Meandering (incomplete)
12" LP: Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

15 Ko Ko (take 1 (fs))
12" LP: Savoy SJL 2201, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400

16 Ko Ko (take 2 (master))
78 rpm: Savoy 597; Savoy 916
12" LP: Savoy MG 12014, Savoy MG 12126, Savoy SJL 2201, Savoy MG 12079, Savoy S5J-5500
CD: Nippon Columbia/Savoy SV-0105, Nippon Columbia COCY-78264, Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8, Definitive Records DRCD 11148, Nippon Columbia COCB-50400


At the time of this session Gillespie was under contract to Musicraft Records, so he's listed as "Hen Gates."

John Mehegan's "Special Notes and Commentary" to the original LP release (Savoy MG-12079) are the source of much confusion about this date. He claims, for example that Bud Powell is the pianist, when in fact Powell was states away recovering from a breakdown. And the Savoy notes also state, apropos of "Ko Ko"

Thornton says he played piano during the intro and coda (while Dizzy played trumpet) and then moved over so that Dizzy could accompany Parker. Teddy Reig, who produced the recording session, says, "Dizzy plays trumpet on the opening and then goes to the piano and we put in the drum solo so Dizzy would have a chance to get back for the ending."

Many discographies accept these claims -- even Larry Koch writes, "Gillespie is the trumpet player on this first chorus, as the line proved a bit much for the young Miles" (Yardbird Suite, p. 73) -- but Tommaso Urbano has patiently laid out the aural evidence, concluding that it is Davis, not Gillespie, playing trumpet on "Ko Ko." He also argues that, although Gillespie plays the piano introduction on take 1 of "Thriving on a Riff," it is Argonne Thornton on the second and third take. See his excellect website, The Music of Miles.

Although Davis seems unsure of himself in places, his style and harmonic sense is already present -- listen especially to his playing on "Now's the Time" and "Thriving on a Riff."

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