Miles Ahead session details

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April 1946 (c) (7 items; TT = 14:15)
NBC Studios, Hollywood CA
AFRS Jubilee session (B)
Benny Carter Orchestra

Miles Davis (tpt); Howard McGhee (tpt); Fred Trainer (tpt); Calvin Strickland (tpt); Walter Williams (tpt); Ira Pettiford (tpt); Candy Ross (tb); Johnny Morris (tb); Al Grey (tb); Charley Johnson (tb); Benny Carter (as, tpt); Bob Graettinger (as); Joe Epps (as); Harold Clark (ts); Hubert "Bumps" Myers (ts); Willard Brown (ts); James Cannady (g); Sonny White (p); Thomas Moultrie (b); Percy Brice (d); Charlie Parker (as); Willie Smith (as); Nat "King" Cole (p); Oscar Moore (g); Johnny Miller (b); Buddy Rich (d); Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman (ann)

1 Introduction (Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman) 0:10

"Right now we're sending down your gunnel and through your funnel that amazing man of modern music, Benny Carter and Orchestra..."
2 Just You, Just Me (R. Klages-J. Greer) 4:20

Davis plays a sixteen-bar solo (0:42-0:59)
3 Announcement (Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman, Carter, Parker) 1:20

EW: "Right here's where we have another approach shot on the stratosphere. We got a mess of talent lined up that'll square the squares. Pull up your socks, Jack, and you can jump into this. Shake hands with Esquire's gold award winner for this year on alto saxophone, Benny Carter..." BC: "Thanks, Ernie, but right now I want you to meet somebody." EW: "OK, Benny, who is it?" BC: "It's this year's Down Beat poll winner on alto saxophone. His name is Charlie Parker!" EW: "Welcome, Charlie, what's your story?" CP: "Well, Ernie, I want you to meet one of the nation's all-time greats on alto saxophone. He's Down Beat's winner, his name is Willie Smith." EW: "Oh, Willie Smith. Hey, wait a minute, wait a minute. Willie and Charlie. Now I know what's goin' on..." CP: "You do, Ernie?" EW: "Yes sirree. Here we have the greatest alto men in music today. That means a bit of jammin' the likes of which have never been heard before, or even previously. All right, gents, catch this. Willie Smith, you lead off this mess, Benny Carter on deck, Charlie Parker in the hole. Buddy Rich on drums and the ever-lovin' King Cole Trio backing up in the background. Every man for himself, no holds barred, a jazz free-for-all that's free for all of you. It's a great Jubilee first! Go in swingin', men, go in..."
4 Tea for Two (V. Youmans-I. Caesar) 2:44

Smith solos, Parker out
5 Body and Soul (J.W. Green-E. Heyman-R. Sour-F. Eyton) 2:38

Carter solos, Parker out
6 Cherokee (R. Noble) 2:53
7 Closing announcement (Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman) 0:10

"Thank you, Willie Smith, Benny Carter, Charlie Parker, King Cole Trio, and Buddy Rich. That did it, gentlemen, that really did it..."


1 Introduction (Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman)
12" LP: Spotlite SPJ 147
CD: Jazz Door JD 1206, Masters of Jazz MJCD 151

2 Just You, Just Me
12" LP: Spotlite SPJ 147
CD: Jazz Door JD 1206, Masters of Jazz MJCD 151

3 Announcement (Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman, Carter, Parker)
12" LP: Phoenix LP 17, Spotlite SPJ 123
CD: Philology Volume 18 (W 848), Rare Live Recordings RLR 88634, ESP-Disk 4050

4 Tea for Two
12" LP: Phoenix LP 17, Spotlite SPJ 123, Sounds 1206
CD: Philology Volume 18 (W 848), Rare Live Recordings RLR 88634, ESP-Disk 4050

5 Body and Soul
12" LP: Phoenix LP 17, Spotlite SPJ 123, Sounds 1206
CD: Philology Volume 18 (W 848), Rare Live Recordings RLR 88634, ESP-Disk 4050

6 Cherokee
12" LP: Phoenix LP 17, Spotlite SPJ 123, Sounds 1206
CD: Philology Volume 18 (W 848), Volume 43 (W 874), Volume 44 (W 875), Masters of Jazz MJCD 121, Rare Live Recordings RLR 88634, ESP-Disk 4050

7 Closing announcement (Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman)
12" LP: Phoenix LP 17, Spotlite SPJ 123
CD: Philology Volume 18 (W 848), Rare Live Recordings RLR 88634, ESP-Disk 4050


There is a lot of uncertainty about the Benny Carter recordings from 1946. Most of the items usually associated with Miles Davis were Armed Forces Radio Services (AFRS) "Jubilee" sessions which were transcribed on 16" 33-1/3 rpm LPs and distributed to radio stations around the world. The four sessions in questions are numbers 184, 186, 191, and 193. Recording sessions were typically an hour, in front of live studio audiences. The recordings were later edited and assembled into 30-minute Jubilee sides. As a result of this, some announcements and introductions were used more than once, and this contributes to the confusion. Recordings for program #184 were made in early April at NBC Studios in Hollywood; the following titles were included: "Who's Sorry Now?", "I Can't Get Started," and "Jump Call." Program #186 is usually dated in May, and includes "One O'Clock Jump," "Just You, Just Me," "Lover Man," and "Bugle Call Rag." Program #191 has a recording date of April 29 and includes the following titles: "Co-Ed," "I'm the Caring Kind," "Frim Fram Sauce," and "Polishing Brass." Program #193 has the same recording date, and the titles listed are "Cutting Time," "Stardust," "Prelude to a Kiss," "I Cover the Waterfront," and "Back Bay Boogie."

Davis joined the Carter band after a January 1946 engagement at the Riviera Club in St. Louis, and travelled to Los Angeles in February. In addition to playing with Carter's orchestra and a smaller Carter group, Davis began sitting in with Charlie Parker at the Finale Club. In March he became a regular member of the Parker Quintet, and he participated in a Dial session on March 28. He continued to play regularly with Carter's bands, as evidenced by a March 31 broadcast from the Streets of Paris. Eventually the musicians' union caught up with him and he was fined; he chose to leave the Carter group. Exactly when this happened is not clear, but if Davis is in fact present on "Just You Just Me," it must have happened after this recording was made.

On April 12 Parker brought an eight-piece band -- Davis, Britt Woodman (tb), Parker, Lucky Thompson (ts), Dodo Marmarosa (p), Arv Garrison (g), Red Callendar (b), and Perc White (d) -- to a concert at UCLA's Carver Club. Also on the bill were Lester Young, the Nat Cole Trio, Herb Jeffries, and Kay Starr.

The trumpet solo on "Just You, Just Me" contains phrases also used in Davis' solo on "Just You, Just Me" from the Streets of Paris recording from March 31. Compare the opening phrase here (0:49) with that from the beginning of Davis' second chorus from March 31 (at 2:28); and compare the phrase at 0:56-0:58 with the same phrase from Davis' solo on "Sweet Georgia Brown" from the Streets of Paris (at 1:43-1:45).

The issued version of "Just You, Just Me" is about a half-tone sharp.

For an admirable discography, see Carl A. Hällström and Bo Scherman's The AFRS Jubilee Transcription Programs: An Exploratory Discography, Frankfurt am Main: Ruecker, 1985 -- revised and now online, http://home.swipnet.se/dooji/jubilee.htm. I'm grateful to Craig Neilson for his help with these Jubilee sessions, and to Tommaso Urbano for his expertise in identifying the trumpet soloists.

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