Miles Ahead session details

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September 10, 1956 (14 items; TT = 53:17)
Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York NY
Commercial for Columbia
Miles Davis Quintet

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

1 All of You (take 1) (C. Porter) 7:53

"'All of You', take one..." At the end Avakian says, "Good..." (gap in tape) "Just one second... Sorry we didn't have the tape running on that, Miles, it would have been a great one to hear..."
2 All of You (take 2) (C. Porter) 7:29

All right, 'All of You', take two..." At the end Avakian says, "Miles, listen..." (sings descending progression). Davis: "You want the ending?" Avakian: "Just play the last eight bars, and we'll splice in on the coda..."
3 All of You (coda 1) (C. Porter) 1:01

"Coda, take one..." As the tune winds down, Avakian says "OK..."
4 Studio chatter 0:13

Bernstein: "...to the publisher of 'Sweet Sue', how's that?" Davis: "All right." Bernstein: "Whaddya mean, all right, haven't you ever had that story before?" Avakian: "OK, Miles, ah, we don't..." (cut off)
5 Sweet Sue, Just You (take 1) (W. Harris-V. Young) 4:30

"'Sweet Sue', take one..." At the end Avakian says, "Good. Conference -- we're coming out..."
6 Sweet Sue, Just You (take 2) (W. Harris-V. Young) 4:00

Davis out; Coltrane solos for 4+ choruses. Breakdown at 3:53, Avakian says, "Fine, Miles..."
7 Sweet Sue, Just You (rehearsal) (W. Harris-V. Young) 4:00

Rehearsal (0:00-0:52). Bernstein: "Beautiful, just beautiful. The release was marvelous... Let's do it. Only one though, huh? With the intro." Davis: "OK, where's the intro?" Bernstein: "...to refresh your memories about it, you haven't done that now for an hour..." Coltrane: "The intro?" Davis: "Yeah, well we'll play it in that same tempo..." Bernstein: "That's right." Davis: "One, here we go..." False start (1:25-1:46). Bernstein: "You know what might [work here] Miles? If you did only the two pickup notes of the tune, and then forget the tune. Just so that everybody knows that you're playing 'Sweet Sue'. Do dah rowd... then you can do anything you want, but just... Every rah..." (Davis plays) "You know what I mean?" Davis: "All right. The introduction..." Bernstein: "So you do the intro (sings)..." Davis: "OK." Bernstein: "No, that's here... the last two chords." Davis: "Red, you straight on those chords?" Garland: "Yeah, I'm all right." Davis: "Just play the intro and play right on the chorus. Here you go..." Garland: "Hey, how many choruses is this?" Davis: "One each. And ah..." Bernstein: "One for Miles, one for, um..." Davis: "Coltrane." Bernstein: "...him and for you, and then a fourth chorus for everybody at once." Davis: "Ah, Trane and I'll play one, you know, together, out, right?" Bernstein: "And that's [our exit]..." Rehearsal 2:57-3:25. Bernstein: "All right, we're ready..." Avakian: "OK, should we make it?" Davis: "Yeah, we'll try one."Avakian: "Good..." Incomplete (1:56) on Mosaic and Columbia
8 Sweet Sue, Just You (take 3 (inc)) (W. Harris-V. Young) 1:22

"Final 'Sweet Sue', take three..." Breakdown at 1:08. Avakian: [undecipherable] "...I'll tell Mr. Stravinsky when he comes in..."
9 Sweet Sue, Just You (take 4) (W. Harris-V. Young) 5:57

"Final 'Sweet Sue', take four..." At the end Davis says, "Say something, please..." Avakian: "We love you... Miles, it's nice. Uh, look Miles, it's, it's rather long, it's five minutes and fifteen seconds..." Davis: "Well, we gonna pick up the tempo a little bit..." Avakian: "...and we'd like it to be shorter. Only one, OK?" Davis: "...and Red, play what you wanna play, all right? And don't piss around, just play what you wanna play." Avakian: "John, just play one chorus this time, OK?"
10 Sweet Sue, Just You (take 5) (W. Harris-V. Young) 3:57

"Final 'Sweet Sue', take five..." At the end Avakian says, "Miles, wonderful." Davis: "Thank you, George." Avakian: "...be at the same tempo, go. OK? Red, a little stronger at the opening of your solo because we have to pull you up a little suddenly, you know, and you can hear that pull on the record..."
11 Sweet Sue, Just You (take 6 (inc)) (W. Harris-V. Young) 0:37

"OK, final 'Sweet Sue', take six..." Breakdown at 0:28. Davis: "I'm sorry..." Avakian: "That's all right." Davis: "I got a map here, you know." Avakian: "Sure..."
12 Sweet Sue, Just You (take 7 (inc)) (W. Harris-V. Young) 0:45

"Well, Route 66, take seven... OK? Go..." Breakdown at 0:29. Avakian: "Miles? one second, yeah..." Bernstein: "Miles? What happened to those two lovely pickups before you go on? You know..." (Sings) Davis (laughing): "Can I quote you?"
13 Sweet Sue, Just You (take 8) (W. Harris-V. Young) 4:08

"Final 'Sweet Sue', take eight..." At the end Avakian says, "Fine, very good..." Bernstein sings. Avakian: "OK..." Davis (to Chambers): "Come on Paul, you gotta pee again?"
14 Studio chatter 0:21

Davis: "We'll attempt it, George." Avakian: "OK." Davis: "First chorus is in the mute, and then I have to open it up for an interlude..." Avakian (interrupting): "OK, just get back to where you were before." Davis: "...of 'Sweet Sue', and we take the middle of 'Sweet Sue' and go out..." (Laughter)
15 'Round Midnight (take 1) (B. Hanighen-C. Williams-T. Monk) 6:32

"OK, ''Round About Midnight', take one..." False start, then "Go ahead..." At the end Avakian says, "Fine..." Edited (2:34) on Columbia 33037
16 Leonard Bernstein narration (incomplete) 0:32

"Well, we've heard jazz as it comes from the past, and we've heard jazz as it comes from the Monongahela, down the Wissahicken, through the tributaries from the northwest to the northeast, Canadian rivulets, rocky streams..." Avakian interrupts, "Way out, man... Take one..." Bernstein continues, "But more about that on the other side of this record..."


1 All of You (take 1)
12" LP: Mosaic MQ9-191
CD: Columbia C6K 65833, Columbia C6K 90922, Sony SRCS 2223/8, Sony SICP 651/6

2 All of You (take 2)
12" LP: Columbia CL 949 (= CS 8649), Columbia 88765 48605, Speakers Corner CL 949, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory MFSL 1-373, Nippon Columbia YS-302, Nippon Columbia SL-1012, CBS/Sony SONP 50033, CBS/Sony SOPC 57139, CBS/Sony SOPL 151, CBS/Sony 18AP 2052, CBS/Sony 23AP 2552, CBS/Sony 25AP 751, CBS/Sony 28AP 2831, Mosaic MQ9-191
CD: Columbia CK 40610, Columbia C6K 65833, Columbia C6K 90922, Columbia CK 85201, Columbia C2K 94750, Columbia 88883 75664, CBS/Sony 32DP 510, CBS/Sony CSCS 5138, Sony SRCS 9101, Sony SRCS 2223/8, Sony SICP 651/6, Sony SRCS 9725, Sony SRGS 4517, Sony SICP 810, Sony SICP 892, Sony SICP 1201

3 All of You (coda 1)
12" LP: Columbia CL 949 (= CS 8649), Columbia 88765 48605, Speakers Corner CL 949, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory MFSL 1-373, Nippon Columbia YS-302, Nippon Columbia SL-1012, CBS/Sony SONP 50033, CBS/Sony SOPC 57139, CBS/Sony SOPL 151, CBS/Sony 18AP 2052, CBS/Sony 23AP 2552, CBS/Sony 25AP 751, CBS/Sony 28AP 2831
CD: Columbia CK 40610, Columbia C6K 65833, Columbia C6K 90922, Columbia CK 85201, Columbia C2K 94750, Columbia 88883 75664, CBS/Sony 32DP 510, CBS/Sony CSCS 5138, Sony SRCS 9101, Sony SRCS 2223/8, Sony SICP 651/6, Sony SRCS 9725, Sony SRGS 4517, Sony SICP 810, Sony SICP 892, Sony SICP 1201

5 Sweet Sue, Just You (take 1)
12" LP: Mosaic MQ9-191
CD: Columbia C6K 65833, Columbia C6K 90922, Sony SRCS 2223/8, Sony SICP 651/6

7 Sweet Sue, Just You (rehearsal)
12" LP: Mosaic MQ9-191
CD: Columbia C6K 65833, Columbia C6K 90922, Sony SRCS 2223/8, Sony SICP 651/6

10 Sweet Sue, Just You (take 5)
12" LP: Mosaic MQ9-191
CD: Columbia C6K 65833, Columbia C6K 90922, Sony SRCS 2223/8, Sony SICP 651/6

13 Sweet Sue, Just You (take 8)
12" LP: Columbia CL 919, Columbia CL 1765, Columbia PC 32025, Mosaic MQ9-191, CBS (F) BPG 62637, CBS/Sony SONP 50199, CBS/Sony SOPM 140
CD: Sony Classical SMK 60566, Columbia C6K 65833, Columbia C6K 90922, Columbia CK 85201, Columbia C2K 94750, Sony SRCS 2223/8, Sony SICP 651/6, Sony SRCS 9725, Sony SICP 810, Sony SICP 892

14 Studio chatter
12" LP: Mosaic MQ9-191
CD: Columbia C6K 65833, Columbia C6K 90922, Sony SRCS 2223/8, Sony SICP 651/6

15 'Round Midnight (take 1)
45 rpm: Columbia 4-33037
12" LP: Columbia CL 949 (= CS 8649), Columbia 88765 48605, Speakers Corner CL 949, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory MFSL 1-373, Nippon Columbia YS-302, Nippon Columbia SL-1012, CBS/Sony SONP 50033, CBS/Sony SOPC 57139, CBS/Sony SOPL 151, CBS/Sony 18AP 2052, CBS/Sony 23AP 2552, CBS/Sony 25AP 751, CBS/Sony 28AP 2831, CBS/Sony 00AP 2076/81, Mosaic MQ9-191
CD: Columbia CK 40610, Columbia C6K 65833, Columbia C6K 90922, Columbia CK 85201, Columbia C2K 94750, Columbia CK 61405, Columbia C2K 85475, Columbia CK 64616, Columbia 88883 75664, CBS/Sony 32DP 510, CBS/Sony 80DP 872/5, Sony SRCS 5691/4, Sony SRCS 6841, Sony SRCS 7218, Sony SRCS 9101, Sony SRCS 2223/8, Sony SICP 651/6, Sony SRCS 9725, Sony SRCS 2493/4, Sony SRGS 4517, Sony SICP 810, Sony SICP 892, Sony SICP 1201


This was the last of the Columbia quintet sessions to be scheduled while Davis was still fulfilling the terms of his contract to Prestige.

The issued version of "Sweet Sue, Just You" (take 8) is used as an illustration of improvisation in Leonard Bernstein's What is Jazz? (Columbia CL 919) and contains a voiceover narration by Bernstein that runs from 3:05-3:25: "Well, we've heard jazz at it comes from the past, and we have a sample of what might turn out to be the future of jazz. What we're hearing now is jazz in the present tense, still a fresh and vital art, with a solid past and an exciting future..." The takes of "'Round Midnight" are included on The Making of 'Round About Midnight (Kind of Blue KOB 004).

In the time between Davis's last two Prestige sessions (May 11 and October 26), and during which he was actively recording for Columbia, 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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