Miles Ahead session details

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May 11, 1956 (14 items; TT = 81:49)
Rudy van Gelder Studio, Hackensack NJ
Commercial for Prestige
Miles Davis Quintet

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

1 In Your Own Sweet Way (D. Brubeck) 5:40
2 Diane (E. Rapee-L. Pollack) 7:44
3 Trane's Blues [John Paul Jones] (M. Davis) 8:25

Before the tune starts, Davis says, "Blues..." followed by Chambers tuning
4 Something I Dreamed Last Night (J. Yellen-S. Fain-H. Magidson) 6:12
5 It Could Happen to You (J. Burke-J. Van Heusen) 6:36

After the tune Davis asks, "How was that, Bob? OK if we do Woody 'n' You? All right, just Joe..."
6 Woody 'n' You (D. Gillespie) 5:00

After the tune, this exchange: "OK?" Weinstock (joking): "Do that one over." Davis (testily): "Why?" Coltrane (nonchalantly): "Could I have the beer opener?"
7 Ahmad's Blues (A. Jamal) 7:20
8 Surrey with the Fringe on Top (R. Rodgers-O. Hammerstein) 9:00
9 It Never Entered My Mind (R. Rodgers-L. Hart) 5:20
10 When I Fall in Love (E. Heyman-V. Young) 4:20

Issued without piano solo on Prestige 45-195
11 Salt Peanuts (D. Gillespie-K. Clarke) 6:03
12 Four (M. Davis) 7:10
13 The Theme (take 1) (M. Davis) 1:57
14 The Theme (take 2) (M. Davis) 1:02


1 In Your Own Sweet Way
12" LP: Prestige 7166, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7166, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7166 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7166 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6503, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-296, Prestige PRCD 6019, Prestige PRCD 7166, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1063, Analogue Productions APJSA 7166, Victor VICJ-23505, Victor VICJ-5095, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60236, Victor VICJ-41438, Victor VICJ-60267, Victor VICJ-60126, Victor VICJ-2064, Victor VICJ-61048, Victor VICJ-41029, Victor VICJ-41606, Universal UCCO-5019, Universal UCCO-9022, Universal UCCO-9219, Universal UCCO-9654

2 Diane
45 rpm: Prestige 45-248
12" LP: Prestige 7200, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7200, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7200 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7200 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6533, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-391, Prestige PRCD 5701, Prestige PRCD 7200, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1065, Analogue Productions APJSA 7200, Victor VICJ-23506, Victor VICJ-5094, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60268, Victor VICJ-60128, Victor VICJ-60522 (= VICJ 60525), Victor VICJ-2065, Victor VICJ-61049, Victor VICJ-41030, Victor VICJ-41607, Universal UCCO-5022, Universal UCCO-9021, Universal UCCO-9222, Universal UCCO-9655, Victor VICJ-60525, Victor VICJ-41434

3 Trane's Blues
12" LP: Prestige 7166, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7166, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7166 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7166 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6503, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-296, Prestige PRCD 6019, Prestige PRCD 7166, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1063, Analogue Productions APJSA 7166, Victor VICJ-23505, Victor VICJ-5095, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60267, Victor VICJ-60126, Victor VICJ-2064, Victor VICJ-61048, Victor VICJ-41029, Victor VICJ-41606, Universal UCCO-5019, Universal UCCO-9022, Universal UCCO-9219, Universal UCCO-9654

4 Something I Dreamed Last Night
12" LP: Prestige 7200, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7200, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7200 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7200 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6533, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-391, Prestige PRCD 5701, Prestige PRCD 7200, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1065, Analogue Productions APJSA 7200, Victor VICJ-23506, Victor VICJ-5094, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60268, Victor VICJ-60128, Victor VICJ-60522 (= VICJ 60525), Victor VICJ-2065, Victor VICJ-61049, Victor VICJ-41030, Victor VICJ-41607, Universal UCCO-5022, Universal UCCO-9021, Universal UCCO-9222, Universal UCCO-9655, Victor VICJ-60525, Victor VICJ-41434

5 It Could Happen to You
12" LP: Prestige 7129, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7129, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7129 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7129 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6532, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-190, OJC-6017, Fantasy PRCD 7129, Prestige PRSA 7129, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1052, Analogue Productions APJSA 7129, Victor VICJ-23504, Victor VICJ-5093, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60236, Victor VICJ-41438, Victor VICJ-60266, Victor VICJ-60125, Victor VICJ-60522 (= VICJ 60525), Victor VICJ-60818, Victor VICJ-41437, Victor VICJ-2063, Victor VICJ-61047, Victor VICJ-41025, Victor VICJ-41605, Victor VICJ-41434, Victor VICJ-60525, Universal UCCO-5012, Universal UCCO-9020, Universal UCCO-9212, Universal UCCO-9652

6 Woody 'n' You
12" LP: Prestige 7129, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7129, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7129 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7129 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6532, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-190, OJC-6017, Fantasy PRCD 7129, Prestige PRSA 7129, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1052, Analogue Productions APJSA 7129, Victor VICJ-23504, Victor VICJ-5093, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60266, Victor VICJ-60125, Victor VICJ-2063, Victor VICJ-61047, Victor VICJ-41025, Victor VICJ-41605, Universal UCCO-5012, Universal UCCO-9020, Universal UCCO-9212, Universal UCCO-9652

7 Ahmad's Blues
12" LP: Prestige 7166, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7166, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7166 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7166 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6503, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-296, Prestige PRCD 6019, Prestige PRCD 7166, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1063, Analogue Productions APJSA 7166, Victor VICJ-23505, Victor VICJ-5095, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60267, Victor VICJ-60126, Victor VICJ-2064, Victor VICJ-61048, Victor VICJ-41029, Victor VICJ-41606, Universal UCCO-5019, Universal UCCO-9022, Universal UCCO-9219, Universal UCCO-9654

8 Surrey with the Fringe on Top
45 rpm: Prestige 45-248
12" LP: Prestige 7200, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7200, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7200 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7200 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6533, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-391, Prestige PRCD 5701, Prestige PRCD 7200, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1065, Analogue Productions APJSA 7200, Victor VICJ-23506, Victor VICJ-5094, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60268, Victor VICJ-60128, Victor VICJ-2065, Victor VICJ-61049, Victor VICJ-41030, Victor VICJ-41607, Universal UCCO-5022, Universal UCCO-9021, Universal UCCO-9222, Universal UCCO-9655

9 It Never Entered My Mind
45 rpm: Prestige 45-165
12" LP: Prestige 7166, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7166, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7166 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7166 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6503, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-296, Prestige PRCD 6019, Prestige PRCD 7166, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1063, Victor VICJ-23505, Victor VICJ-23850, Victor VICJ-5095, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60236, Victor VICJ-41438, Victor VICJ-60126, Victor VICJ-60522 (= VICJ 60525), Victor VICJ-60818, Victor VICJ-41437, Victor VICJ-2064, Victor VICJ-60267, Victor VICJ-41122, Victor VICJ-60525, Victor VICJ-41434

10 When I Fall in Love
45 rpm: Prestige 45-195
12" LP: Prestige 7200, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7200, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7200 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7200 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6533, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-391, Prestige PRCD 5701, Prestige PRCD 7200, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1065, Analogue Productions APJSA 7200, Victor VICJ-23506, Victor VICJ-23850, Victor VICJ-5094, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60236, Victor VICJ-41438, Victor VICJ-60268, Victor VICJ-60128, Victor VICJ-60522 (= VICJ 60525), Victor VICJ-60818, Victor VICJ-41437, Victor VICJ-2065, Victor VICJ-61049, Victor VICJ-41030, Victor VICJ-41607, Universal UCCO-5022, Universal UCCO-9021, Universal UCCO-9222, Universal UCCO-9655, Victor VICJ-41122

11 Salt Peanuts
12" LP: Prestige 7200, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7200, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7200 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7200 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6533, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-391, Prestige PRCD 5701, Prestige PRCD 7200, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1065, Analogue Productions APJSA 7200, Victor VICJ-23506, Victor VICJ-5094, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60268, Victor VICJ-60128, Victor VICJ-2065, Victor VICJ-61049, Victor VICJ-41030, Victor VICJ-41607, Universal UCCO-5022, Universal UCCO-9021, Universal UCCO-9222, Universal UCCO-9655

12 Four
12" LP: Prestige 7166, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7166, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7166 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7166 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6503, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-296, Prestige PRCD 6019, Prestige PRCD 7166, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1063, Analogue Productions APJSA 7166, Victor VICJ-23505, Victor VICJ-23850, Victor VICJ-5095, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60267, Victor VICJ-60126, Victor VICJ-60818, Victor VICJ-41437, Victor VICJ-2064, Victor VICJ-61048, Victor VICJ-41029, Victor VICJ-41606, Universal UCCO-5019, Universal UCCO-9022, Universal UCCO-9219, Universal UCCO-9654, Victor VICJ-41122

13 The Theme (take 1)
12" LP: Prestige 7166, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7166, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7166 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7166 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6503, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-296, Prestige PRCD 6019, Prestige PRCD 7166, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1063, Analogue Productions APJSA 7166, Victor VICJ-23505, Victor VICJ-23850, Victor VICJ-5095, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60267, Victor VICJ-60126, Victor VICJ-60818, Victor VICJ-41437, Victor VICJ-2064, Victor VICJ-61048, Victor VICJ-41029, Victor VICJ-41606, Universal UCCO-5019, Universal UCCO-9022, Universal UCCO-9219, Universal UCCO-9654

14 The Theme (take 2)
12" LP: Prestige 7166, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035 (5 LP), Analogue Productions APJ 7166, Analogue Productions AJAZ 7166 (45 rpm), Analogue Productions ARPJ 7166 (mono LP), Analogue Productions APJ 035-45 (10-45 rpm), Victor SMJ-6503, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-296, Prestige PRCD 6019, Prestige PRCD 7166, Prestige 8PCD-012, Prestige PRCD4-4444, DCC GZS-1063, Analogue Productions APJSA 7166, Victor VICJ-23505, Victor VICJ-5095, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-60267, Victor VICJ-60126, Victor VICJ-2064, Victor VICJ-61048, Victor VICJ-41029, Victor VICJ-41606, Universal UCCO-5019, Universal UCCO-9022, Universal UCCO-9219, Universal UCCO-9654


Davis signed with Columbia in the fall of 1955, but at the time he owed Bob Weinstock five albums -- plus half an album left over from the calamitous 1953 session with Charlie "Chan" Parker. This was first of two marathon sessions scheduled in 1956 to satisfy the demands of Davis's contract with Prestige. The resulting four LPs were parceled out over five years, with the last one, Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 7200), appearing in August 1961. Less than a month after this session took place, Davis and the Quintet would be back in Columbia studios for their second session.

Davis recorded "In Your Own Sweet Way" at a short March 1956 Prestige session with Sonny Rollins, Tommy Flanagan, Chambers, and Art Taylor. This version is much more confident. The arrangement is similar to the more familiar "'Round Midnight." Davis is muted on the opening and closing choruses, and an suspended-time ensemble passage precedes Coltrane's two-chorus solo (the suspended time reappears at the bridges of Coltrane's solo). Both Davis and Coltrane navigate the rhythmic challenges with apparent ease.

Davis is muted again on "Diane" -- he takes three choruses, Coltrane and Garland each take two (Garland makes great use of block chords in his second chorus), and Davis returns for one more.

"Trane's Blues" was also recorded in March with Rollins and Flanagan, where it was given the title "Vierd Blues"; and it was recorded in April by Coltrane and Paul Chambers, where it was titled "John Paul Jones." The tempo here is brighter than either of the earlier versions. Davis, Coltrane, and Garland each play three choruses, Chambers two. Two brief choruses of "The Hymn," recorded for Dial in 1947 by the Charlie Parker Quintet, precede the closing theme.

Coltrane is out on "Something I Dreamed Last Night" -- Davis takes a leisurely three-chorus muted solo, Garland takes one chorus, again with block chords, and Davis has the closing theme chorus.

Davis remains muted on "It Could Happen to You" -- he and Coltrane both take three choruses, Garland two, before the closing theme is re-stated by a muted Davis.

"Woody 'n' You" has Davis on open trumpet, and his solo is bright and outgoing. Coltrane follows. Davis returns for the out chorus, during which Jones takes a sixteen-bar solo.

Davis and Coltrane are both out for "Ahmad's Blues," a Jamal original from 1952. Garland's long solo alternates between block chords and nimble single-note passages. Chambers follows with two bowed choruses. Garland and Jones share four choruses of eight-measure piano/drums exchanges before the melody is re-stated.

"Surrey With the Fringe on Top" is another tune associated with Ahmad Jamal -- he recorded it during his 1951 debut session for Epic. Davis's two muted choruses both end with a four-measure tag which arrests the forward motion; when Coltrane enters at 2:41, it only heightens the contrast between Davis's delicate muted sound and Coltrane's declamatory solo. Many of the Quintet's performances exploited this contrast, and this is one of the best examples. Coltrane's two choruses are brimming with ideas; Garland follows with two of his own, moving again from light single-note passages to block chords. Davis returns for a final chorus, including the four-bar tag, before the tune ends.

Coltrane is out on "It Never Entered My Mind," which Davis had recorded for Blue Note in 1954 and which the Quintet frequently performed live. The contrast between the Blue Note version and this one is striking. Garland plays a repeated four-note pattern over Chambers's pedal-point bass, and Davis states the delicate melody a couple times -- muted, of course. Garland is really the only soloist. His allusion to "Country Gardens" at 3:58-4:06 of his solo sounds a little hackneyed, but it was part of his schtick: listen to his earlier solo from Pasadena Civic Auditorium, February 18, 1956 (at 3:47-3:57), where the allusion elicits laughs from the audience, or to the solo from Café Bohemia, September 15, 1956 (3:40-3:48). Davis returns for the closing statement, and Coltrane even sneaks in on the last two notes.

Coltrane is out again on "When I Fall in Love," and Davis is muted again. This is a tune that Davis stuck with for many years -- he returns to it in 1963 on Seven Steps to Heaven, and there are two versions from the Plugged Nickel in December 1965. Davis plays a haunting chorus, followed by a half-chorus of Garland's block chords. Davis returns for the coda.

Coltrane is back for "Salt Peanuts," and Davis plays open horn. After the angular melody is stated, Garland is the first soloist (0:42-1:08), followed by Davis (1:08-1:59) and Coltrane (1:59-2:45). Jones takes a long solo (2:45-5:57), and the take ends with a brief re-statement of the melody.

"Four" is another re-tread -- Davis recorded it in March 1954 with Horace Silver. It's another tune that remained in Davis's live book until well into the mid-1960s. The version here is much more concentrated than the earlier version with Silver. Davis plays three strong choruses on the open trumpet; Coltrane follows with three of his own (he loses his way midway in his second chorus -- listen at 3:30); Garland takes only two choruses, leaving room for one of four-measure trumpet/drums exchanges before the melody is re-stated at the end.

The first take of "The Theme" begins with eight measures of trumpet/saxophone call-and-response; Davis plays the next eight, and Chambers finishes the chorus. More call-and-response for the first half of the second chorus; an ascending flourish from Davis announces a short drum break, and the familiar sign-off tag ends the take. The second take is only one chorus: sixteen measures of call-and-response, another Davis flourish, and a more insistent drum break before the take ends with the sign-off phrase.

There are some quite audible sonic defects in the original tapes, most notably on "Four," released in 1960 on Workin'. But remember -- these tapes are from the mid-1950s; the microphones, especially on Davis's muted trumpet, were often badly overdriven; in many places the tape is saturated. For most releases, engineers have compensated for these defects, e.g. by rolling off the cutting masters at low levels. If you don't mind occasional distortion from the above-mentioned causes, the Analogue Productions LPs and CDs allow you to get much closer to these recordings than even the original LPs. With a good turntable and cartridge you will hear things you never knew were there! (See my review of the Analogue Productions sets for more details.)

In the time between the two Prestige sessions, the Quintet maintained a busy touring schedule: Café Bohemia, New York (May 3-9 and May 25-June 10);; Blue Note, Philadelphia (June 11-16); Crown Propeller Lounge, Chicago (June 19-July 8); Graystone Ballroom, Detroit (Monday, July 9); Peacock Alley, St. Louis (July 13-21); Rouge Lounge, Detroit (July 24-29, probably canceled); Café Bohemia, New York (September 7-29); Storyville, Boston (October 1-7); Café Bohemia, New York (October 15-29).

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