Miles Ahead session details

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February 18, 1956 (8 items; TT = 32:37)
Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena CA
Soundboard recording (B+)
Miles Davis Quintet

Miles Davis (tpt); John Coltrane (ts); William "Red" Garland (p); Paul Chambers (b); Philly Joe Jones (d); Gene Norman (ann)

1 Introduction (Gene Norman) 1:35

"Good evening. Thank you, thank you very much. My name is Gene Norman, and I'd like to bid you welcome officially to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. I think we have a very impressive concert planned for you this evening -- for the jazz purists, the modern sounds fan, this really should be it. We have a great collection of stars which you've all heard many times on record, and now perhaps you'll be seeing them for the first time in person. Of course, ah, it's a little bit unlikely that, ah, so much fine jazz should happen in Pasadena, perhaps -- ah, I've heard Pasadena referred to as being utterly McKinley, but, ah, I think you'll agree that this is one of the finest concert halls in all the world, and we're mighty pleased to be here. Now, ah, we have a little ceremony that we go through each and every time, just to be sure that everybody gets to know everybody else a little better -- because we have such an informal session -- so when I count to three I want everybody to turn around and say hello to the fellow or gal right behind them. One, two three -- everybody turn around... Thank you. And now that we all know each other, I'd like to begin the show tonight by presenting a gentleman who is certainly one of the greats of the cool sound. This young gentleman won the Downbeat award, and also the Critics' award last year, this past year, for the outstanding modern sounds trumpet player of our time. So let's bring him on with his own original called 'Max is Making Wax' -- we bring you Miles Davis and the Quintet. Curtain, let's go..."
2 Max is Making Wax (O. Pettiford) 4:33
3 Walkin' (R. Carpenter) 9:23
4 Introduction 1:06

Norman: "Thank you very much, for Miles Davis, with the opening number. And now, since Miles has asked me to be his interpreter here tonight, I'd like to introduce the band. First of all -- you've met Miles Davis on trumpet -- now on tenor saxophone we have Johnny Coltrane... Johnny, let's have a hand for Johnny... On bass we have Paul Chambers... Paul Chambers... On drums we have Philly Joe Jones... And at the piano we have Mr. Red Garland. Red Garland... So Miles, what's it gonna be this time?" Davis: "'It Never Entered My Mind'..." Norman: 'You Never Entered My Mind' -- Miles, why don't you come up for a moment, huh? Miles, it seems to me that the last time that you presented, uh, or were presented in concert with us was way back in 1951 in the Billy Eckstine-George Shearing show, isn't that right? And they came out with an opening set with Benny Green and Kenny Clarke -- wasn't that it?" Davis: "No, Art Blakey." Norman: "With Art Blakey. Well, all right, I want you to know that you've been away much too long, Miles, we wanna see you here more often, OK? What're you gonna do this time?" Davis: "'It Never Entered My Mind'." Norman: "All right, here we go with Miles Davis. Let's make it."
5 It Never Entered My Mind (R. Rodgers-L. Hart) 5:17

Coltrane out
6 Woody 'n' You (D. Gillespie) 5:45
7 Salt Peanuts (D. Gillespie-K. Clarke) 4:33
8 The Theme (with voiceover) (M. Davis) 0:25

Closing announcement -- "Miles Davis and the Quintet..." -- not included in the version issued on C2K 94750


1 Introduction (Gene Norman)
CD: Columbia C2K 94750, Sony SICP 892, Sony SICP 1201

2 Max is Making Wax
CD: Columbia C2K 94750, Sony SICP 892, Sony SICP 1201

3 Walkin'
CD: Columbia C2K 94750, Sony SICP 892, Sony SICP 1201

4 Introduction
CD: Columbia C2K 94750, Sony SICP 892, Sony SICP 1201

5 It Never Entered My Mind
CD: Columbia C2K 94750, Sony SICP 892, Sony SICP 1201

6 Woody 'n' You
CD: Columbia C2K 94750, Sony SICP 892, Sony SICP 1201

7 Salt Peanuts
CD: Columbia C2K 94750, Sony SICP 892, Sony SICP 1201

8 The Theme (with voiceover)
CD: Columbia C2K 94750, Sony SICP 892, Sony SICP 1201


The Davis Quintet performed as part of the "Modern Sounds Festival" produced by Gene Norman. After spending the Christmas holidays in Chicago (and playing at the Birdland Show Lounge in the Pershing Hotel from December 21-January 1 and the Park City Bowl on New Year's Day), the Quintet headed to southern California, where they were booked at Jazz City, Los Angeles (January 6-19) and the Blackhawk Supper Club, San Francisco (January 24-February 5). They returned to Jazz City in Los Angeles in mid- to late February after the Blackhawk engagement, and it was during this time that they appeared at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. In early March Coltrane, Chambers, and Jones joined Kenny Drew in the studios for a session released under Paul Chambers' name on the Jazz West label, Chambers' Music (Jazz West LP 7). After that the Quintet headed back east: Graystone Ballroom, Detroit (March 12); Loop Lounge, Cleveland (March 19-25); Blue Note, Philadelphia (March 26-31); Ridge Crest Inn, Rochester NY (April 3-8); Oyster Barrel, Quebec City (April 9-15); Storyville Club, Boston (April 16-22); Café Bohemia, New York (May 3-9 and May 25-June 10).

Looking ahead, in May the Quintet participated in the first of two long Prestige studio sessions to fulfill the terms of Davis's contract. Three of the tunes performed here -- "It Never Entered My Mind," "Salt Peanuts," and "Woody 'n' You" -- will be recorded at that session.

Garland like to quote "Country Gardens" during his solo on "It Never Entered My Mind" -- listen here at 3:47-3:57, where the allusion elicits laughs from the audience, and compare his solo from the Prestige session, May 11, 1956 (3:58-4:06), or the later solo from Café Bohemia, September 15, 1956 (3:40-3:48).

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