Miles Ahead session details

[Return to main page]

April 29, 1954 (2 items; TT = 21:40)
Rudy van Gelder Studio, Hackensack NJ
Commercial for Prestige
Miles Davis Sextet

Miles Davis (tpt); J.J. Johnson (tb); Eli "Lucky" Thompson (ts); Horace Silver (p); Percy Heath (b); Kenny Clarke (d)

1 Blue 'n' Boogie (D. Gillespie-F. Paparelli) 8:16
2 Walkin' (R. Carpenter) 13:24


1 Blue 'n' Boogie
45 rpm: Prestige PREP 1358 [EP]
10" LP: Prestige PRLP 182
12" LP: Prestige 7076, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 213, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7076 (45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6528, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-213, Prestige PRCD 11004, Fantasy PRCD 7076, Prestige 8PCD-012, JVC XR 0047, Victor VICJ-23572, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60264, Victor VICJ-2033, Victor VICJ-61045, Victor VICJ-41028, Victor VICJ-41506, Universal UCCO-9018, Universal UCCO-5025

2 Walkin'
45 rpm: Prestige 45-157; Prestige PREP 1357 [EP]
10" LP: Prestige PRLP 182
12" LP: Prestige 7076, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 213, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7076 (45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6528, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-213, Prestige PRCD 5701, Prestige FCD 60015, Fantasy PRCD 7076, Prestige 8PCD-012, Columbia C2K 85475, JVC XR 0047, Victor VICJ-23572, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60264, Victor VICJ-2033, Victor VICJ-61045, Victor VICJ-41028, Victor VICJ-41506, Universal UCCO-9018, Universal UCCO-5025, Universal UCCO-9165, Universal UCCO-9656, Sony SRCS 2493/4


This is the third in a series of remarkable 1954 Prestige studio sessions. The rhythm section was by now very comfortable together, and the addition of Johnson and Thompson gave three strong solo voices. "Walkin'" immediately entered the live book, and Davis continued to perform it into the late 1960s.

"Blue 'n' Boogie" features long solos by Davis (0:30-2:08), Johnson (2:08-3:48), Thompson (3:48-5:55), and Silver (5:55-7:28), followed by a final two choruses by Davis before the closing ensemble.

"Walkin'" is based on "Gravy," recorded by Gene Ammons in 1950. More long fluent solos by all involved: Davis (0:58-3:38), Johnson (3:38-6:16), Thompson (6:16-10:02); two short choruses by Silver and another two powerful ones by Davis, followed by an extended ensemble and the closing theme.

This session -- "A Hi-Fi Modern Jazz Jam Session," as it was described in the notes to PRLP 182 -- garnered a lot of praise from the beginning. In a 1957 review of the original 12" LP, Whitney Balliett described these tunes as "some of the best jazz improvisations set down in the past decade." In 1964, pianist Dick Katz wrote, "Miles's solo [on "Walkin'"] is as good as any he has recorded, before or since. His sound ideas and execution, and the feelings he projects, are prime examples of his art. Every idea that Miles states here is clearly formed and will stay with the listener afterward." The session was still resonating when Ralph J. Gleason wrote the liner notes to Bitches Brew in 1970: "look. miles changed the world. more than once. that's true you know. out of the cool was first. then when it all went wrong miles called all the children home with walkin'. he just got up there and blew it and put it on an lp and all over the world they stopped in their tracks when they heard it. they stopped what they were doing and they listened and it was never the same after that. just never the same."

All original content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons License