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Miles Ahead session details

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October 18, 1946 (12 items; TT = 34:29)
Radio Recorders Studio, Hollywood CA
Commercial for unknown label

Miles Davis (tpt); Gene Ammons (ts); Connie Wainwright (g); Linton Garner (p); Tommy Potter (d); Art Blakey (d); Earl Coleman (voc); Ann Baker (voc)

1 Don't Sing Me the Blues (take 1) (E. Coleman) 2:54
2 Don't Sing Me the Blues (take 2) (E. Coleman) 2:53
3 Don't Explain to Me Baby (take 1) (E. Coleman) 3:00
4 Don't Explain to Me Baby (take 2) (E. Coleman) 2:49
5 Don't Explain to Me Baby (take 3) (E. Coleman) 2:53
6 Don't Explain to Me Baby (take 4) (E. Coleman) 2:53
7 Baby, Won't You Make up Your Mind? (take 1) (A. Baker) 2:54
8 Baby, Won't You Make up Your Mind? (take 2) (A. Baker) 2:55
9 Baby, Won't You Make up Your Mind? (take 3) (A. Baker) 3:10
10 I've Always Got the Blues (take 1 (inc)) (A. Baker) 2:15
11 I've Always Got the Blues (take 2) (A. Baker) 3:07
12 I've Always Got the Blues (take 3) (A. Baker) 2:46


1 Don't Sing Me the Blues (take 1)
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187

2 Don't Sing Me the Blues (take 2)
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187, Definitive Records DRCD 11137, 11160

3 Don't Explain to Me Baby (take 1)
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187

4 Don't Explain to Me Baby (take 2)
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187, Definitive Records DRCD 11137, 11160

5 Don't Explain to Me Baby (take 3)
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187

6 Don't Explain to Me Baby (take 4)
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187

7 Baby, Won't You Make up Your Mind? (take 1)
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187

8 Baby, Won't You Make up Your Mind? (take 2)
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187

9 Baby, Won't You Make up Your Mind? (take 3)
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187, Definitive Records DRCD 11137, 11160

10 I've Always Got the Blues (take 1 (inc))
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187

11 I've Always Got the Blues (take 2)
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187, Definitive Records DRCD 11137, 11160

12 I've Always Got the Blues (take 3)
12" LP: Black Lion BLP 60102, ORG Music ORGM-1048
CD: Black Lion BLCD 760102, Masters of Jazz MJCD 187


Coleman is the vocalist on all takes of "Don't Sing Me the Blues" and "Don't Explain to Me Baby"; Baker is on all takes of "I've Always Got the Blues" and "Baby, Won't You Make up Your Mind."

There is a lot of confusion and uncertainty about the identity of Ann Baker. She has been identified with another singer, Ann(e) Hathaway, but evidence suggests that this is a mistake.

In the liner notes for the 1956 Prestige album Earl Coleman Returns (PRLP 7045), Coleman alludes to a recording he made for Keynote which was never released, a session including Miles Davis, Gene Ammons, and Art Blakey. This session is clearly what he had in mind.

In a discographical note in Jazz Monthly 1970, reviewer "A.M." mentions the Coleman album and adds: "It is possible that Coleman's memory is slightly at fault, and that the session was not actually for Keynote. Masters of the recordings have now come to light and have been purchased from Eddie Laguna who supervised the date. Coleman sings on two titles while Anne Hathaway sings on two further titles. It is possible that Laguna supervised the session for Keynote."

These recordings with Coleman and "Anne Hathaway" were eventually issued by Black Lion in the late 1960s, with liner notes by producer Alun Morgan ("A.M.") in which he claims that Ann Baker "was professionally known as Anne Hathaway." Morgan admits that he "knows little of her career apart from the fact that she recorded for the Lamb and Keynote labels in 1945 and turned up on a Count Basie RCA date in 1947."

This is the source of the confusion, I think.

Ann Hathaway was born in Gloversville NY, and after graduating high school she embarked to New York where she joined Georgie Auld's band. She recorded with Ellis Larkin and His Orchestra for Keynote in 1946 -- "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" were recorded in a New York Studio in June 1946 and were issued on Keynote K-641. I cannot find any information about a recording on the Lamb label. There is a Basie recording from 1947 with an Ann Moore singing "Open the Door, Richard" and "Me and the Blues" (RCA Victor 20-2127); but nothing with either Ann Hathaway or Ann Baker. Hathaway later participated in a January 1949 CBS-TV studio jam session with Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and many others. In 1956 she recorded an album of easy listening jazz tunes with an orchestra and chorus conducted by Andre Brummer, The Intimate Ann (Motif ML 501). The cover of this LP shows Hathaway as a brunette white woman, as does a photo of her in Washington Square. Well known photographs of her with Mary Lou Williams and Imogene Coca, or at Café Society in 1947 (both in the William P. Gottlieb collection at the Library of Congress) make it clear that she was indeed a petite brunette white woman.

Ann Baker, on the other hand, was a statuesque African-American jazz singer. She grew up in Pennsylvania and began her career singing in Pittsburgh where she was discovered by Louis Armstrong in the early 1940s. She later sang with Lionel Hampton and the Basie band. Baker replaced Sarah Vaughan in Billy Eckstine's band, and performed "I Cried for You" in the 1946 film Rhythm in a Riff.

The recordings listed above were made during her tenure with the Eckstine band.

Ann Baker left the scene in the late 1940s and returned to her home town, Charleston WV, where she and her husband, Delaney "Wag" Wagner, ran a well-known barbecue restaurant for many years. She continued to perform in and around Charleston and eventually became known as "Charleston's First Lady of Jazz."

The vocalist here is Ann Baker, not Ann Hathaway. They are different people. Alun Morgan must have reasoned that since Coleman and Hathaway both had Keynote recordings in 1940, and since the second vocalist joining Coleman for this session was named Ann, it must be Ann Hathaway. I can find no evidence whatever that Baker "was professionally known" as Ann Hathaway or by any other name.

I am very grateful to Craig Neilson for discussion about this matter.

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