Miles Ahead session details

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July 17, 1955 (6 items; TT = 23:48)
Festival Field, Newport RI
Voice of America (VOA) broadcast (B+)
All-Star jam session

Miles Davis (tpt); Zoot Sims [John Haley] (ts); Gerry Mulligan (bs); Thelonious Monk (p); Percy Heath (b); Connie Kay (d); Edward "Duke" Ellington (ann)

1 Introduction (Duke Ellington) 1:16

"Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for Count Basie, Jimmy Rushing, and all of the other Kansas City Kids. Uh, I have another listing here of a group that's coming up. It looks like these gentlemen live in the realm that, ah, Buck Rogers is trying to reach. Ah, we start with a couple of gentlemen you've heard before, Percy Heath, bass, and Connie Kay, drums, of the Modern Jazz Quartet. And then we go on down to Miles Davis, trumpet. Miles Davis... Zoot Sims, tenor... And my very dear friend, ah, the cool one, Gerry Mulligan... And the... high priest of bop, the inimitable Thelonious Monk... And, ah, here's for [undecipherable]..."
2 Introduction (Gerry Mulligan) 0:08

"Thank you. A tune written by Thelonious entitled 'Hackensack'..."
3 Hackensack (T. Monk) 7:48
4 Introduction (Gerry Mulligan) 0:10

"Thank you. Let's see, ah, Thelonious Monk is going to play 'Round About Midnight'..."
5 'Round Midnight (B. Hanighen-C. Williams-T. Monk) 5:56
6 Now's the Time (C. Parker) 8:30

Stage chatter and count-off first 0:10


1 Introduction (Duke Ellington)
CD: Columbia 88875 08195, Jazz Unlimited JUCD 2050, Storyville STA 130467, FAP 001/3, Definitive DRCD 11294

2 Introduction (Gerry Mulligan)
CD: Columbia 88875 08195, Jazz Unlimited JUCD 2050, Storyville STA 130467, FAP 001/3, Definitive DRCD 11294

3 Hackensack
CD: Columbia 88875 08195, Jazz Unlimited JUCD 2050, Storyville STA 130467, FAP 001/3, Definitive DRCD 11294

4 Introduction (Gerry Mulligan)
CD: Columbia 88875 08195, Jazz Unlimited JUCD 2050, Storyville STA 130467, FAP 001/3, Definitive DRCD 11294

5 'Round Midnight
CD: Columbia 88875 08195, Columbia C3K 89076, Columbia C2K 94750, Sony SICP 892, Jazz Unlimited JUCD 2050, Storyville STA 130467, FAP 001/3, Definitive DRCD 11294

6 Now's the Time
CD: Columbia 88875 08195, Jazz Unlimited JUCD 2050, Storyville STA 130467, FAP 001/3, Definitive DRCD 11294


Davis was added at the last minute to this All-Star jam session; they appeared after the Count Basie Orchestra and before the Dave Brubeck Quartet. This is the Newport Jazz Festival at which Davis is supposed to have made such a remarkable comeback -- but remember that few of the excellent late-1954 recordings had been released at the time. For all the hype surrounding his playing on this date (including Davis's own in his autobiography), his playing on "'Round Midnight" begins very tentatively, and the applause following his solo is pretty tepid.

Nevertheless, probably on the strengths of his performance here, Davis was soon approached by George Avakian, who offered him a recording contract with Columbia Records.

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