Miles Ahead session details

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July 20, 1957 (7 items; TT = 24:27)
Café Bohemia, New York NY
Mutual Network radio broadcast (B+)
Miles Davis Quintet

Miles Davis (tpt); Sonny Rollins (ts); William "Red" Garland (p); Paul Chambers (b); Arthur Taylor (d); Guy Wallace (ann); Maynard Ferguson (guest)

1 Introduction (Guy Wallace) 0:59

"Bandstand USA... Hey, come aboard, everyone. We're glad to have you with us. From Manhattan, coast to coast on Mutual we bring you Bandstand USA, the only live jazz show in radio today. The show that brings you the live inspired performances of the world's great jazzmen. You see, the Bandstand microphones are taken into the very spots where these jazzmen are performing in person. We can bring it to you live because we have the cooperation of the American Federation of Musicians, James C. Petrillo, President. My name is Guy Wallace, and listen to what we have lined up for you tonight. From the Café Bohemia, 15 Barrow Street in Greenwich Village here in New York, Miles Davis; from the Village Vanguard, the Modern Jazz Quartet. And so, let's get the show on the road, shall we, as Bandstand USA takes you direct to the Café Bohemia, where Jimmy Giarofolo is presenting Miles Davis..."
2 Dear Old Stockholm (Traditional, arr. S. Getz) 6:19
3 Bags' Groove (M. Jackson) 7:23

Voiceover 2:37-5:20. "That's the Miles Davis Group, playing for you from Café Bohemia. We hate to interrupt a sterling performance, but we have some real news for you tonight. Maynard Ferguson, one of the outstanding exponents of modern swing jazz, is standing by ready to answer a question submitted by a listener in the new Bandstand USA contest called 'Ask the Stars'. Now here's the new way that you can win some fabulous hi-fi equipment, plus records and perfume, all by just writing a question that we can ask the stars. You know, jazz is full of changing patterns, personalities, events that seem to mark historic moments in this new art field, and what's it all about? What do you wanna know? Just ask the questions and we'll get the stars to answer them for you in person. Put your question on a postcard and address it to Bandstand USA, Mutual Broadcasting System, 1440 Broadway, New York 18, New York. Let me repeat that: Bandstand USA, Mutual Broadcasting System, 1440 Broadway, New York 18, New York. And for every question we use, we'll send the listener who wrote the question an RCA Victor and a Columbia jazz LP, jazz album, plus a bottle of Le Monde perfume -- 'Nothing can make a woman more feminine than Le Monde...'. That's what it says. Then we just, uh, send that and, uh, we take that question and enter it at the end of the month in the contest for the best letter of the month. We'll award a complete hi-fi set for the winner of this contest. Now the hi-fi set includes first, an H.H. Scott 311B FM tuner with circuits in it that audio experts have called the most significant development in tuner design in years. And second, an H.H. Scott 99C 22-watt amplifier, with complete controls, plus a preamplifier. There's nothing finer than Scott equipment. Scott -- the name that has won more engineering awards than anyone else in the field. And wait -- you'll also need a speaker, won't you? All right, we want you to have the finest, and so from Stephens, the pioneers in high fidelity and commercial sound equipment, their latest Tru-Sonic ADFR, a full-range eight-inch speaker in a handsome enclosure finished in a natural walnut. Listen. Listen with a Stephens -- you'll always hear more on your Stephens Tru-Sonic speaker. Well, there's the pitch, now you write the questions, and the address again is Bandstand USA, Mutual Broadcasting System, 1440 Broadway, New York 18, New York, and we'll ask the stars. And you wind up with this hi-fi system all your own. And Maynard Ferguson, here's our big surprise, Maynard Ferguson is going to be here in person, in just about seven minutes, to answer a question that has been asked of the star. All right now, let's get back to the Café Bohemia, 15 Barrow Street in the Village, for a little more Miles Davis -- live, mind you, on Bandstand USA. OK, here he is..."
4 Nature Boy (E. Ahbez) 4:25

Voiceover 4:22-4:25. "It's a wonderful thing, 'Nature Boy'..."
5 S'posin' (incomplete) (P. Denniker-A. Razaf) 0:05

Voiceover 0:00-0:05. "...played for you by Miles Davis, from the Café Bohemia, 15 Barrow Street in Greenwich Village, our first live presentation on..." (cut off)
6 Bags' Groove (incomplete) (M. Jackson) 2:52

Voiceover interview begins at 2:30: "That's the Miles Davis Group, playing for you from Café Bohemia. We hate to interrupt a sterling performance, but we have some real news for you tonight. Maynard Ferguson, one of the outstanding exponents of modern swing jazz, is standing by ready to answer a question submitted by a listener..."
7 S'posin' (incomplete) (P. Denniker-A. Razaf) 2:24

Voiceover continues. Wallace: "Maynard, welcome to the bandstand, we've heard your music many, many times on the show, and we broadcast it coast to coast, and it's so wonderful, and we're so happy to have you with us in person tonight." Ferguson: "Well, thank you, Guy, it's a real pleasure to be here." Wallace: "Ah, the question we have for you to answer tonight comes from Leo G. Sanchez, he's a radar technician at the Palm Beach Air Force base, West Palm Beach in Florida, and it goes like this: 'How, or was, modern jazz derived from Dixieland jazz?' Well, that's the question -- how're you gonna answer that?" Ferguson: "Well, uh, when you say derived from, it was not an absolute thing that suddenly happened, where a whole bunch of people suddenly said we're gonna stop playing Dixieland and play modern jazz. I think that probably it was more of a case of, uh, oh, you can take for instance your difference between Harry Edison from the Count Basie Band as opposed to Louie Armstrong, and, uh, in other words, and I'm sure you can get much closer people than that. But, uh, what I'm tryin' to say is, it was a gradual, uh, change, just as automobiles change and things like that, but however there's still very many good arguments about, uh, how that the..., they don't build automobiles like they used to, and that's where a Dixielander, the Dixieland crowd can shout and wave their banners, and, uh, it's all jazz so as far as I'm concerned it's all wonderful." Wallace: "Well, I think to elucidate a little bit more, you mean that was really no actual flip-over switch. It started in the back rooms among the musicians, although the public probably first became aware of the big switch when Diz started playin' as opposed to Louie's horn. Right?" Ferguson: "Yes, I would say that, uh, that's a very, very good explanation. In other words, uh, I'm sure that the, there was a young guy listening to Louie Armstrong, many of them, when he was also fairly young, and, uh, loved the way Louie played, but yet didn't completely imitate him. I don't think anybody ever should, and I think that, uh, music is not... modern jazz music is always changing and, uh, the modern jazz that we hear today, uh, will not be as modern, uh, five or ten years from today." Wallace: "Or twenty years from today..." Ferguson: "Right." Wallace: "There you are, Leo, that answers your question, and, uh, I don't blame you for not being able to find the switch from Dixie to progressive in any book that, uh, you've picked up, because I don't know of any book that it's written in. But right now, let's listen, shall we, as Bandstand USA takes you direct to the Village Vanguard and the Modern Jazz Quartet..." (fade out)


2 Dear Old Stockholm
CD: Rare Live Recordings RLR 88665

6 Bags' Groove (incomplete)
CD: Rare Live Recordings RLR 88665

7 S'posin' (incomplete)
CD: Rare Live Recordings RLR 88665


This is from Mutual's Bandstand USA, which was broadcast live on Saturday nights beginning in 1956. There seem to be at least two broadcast recordings of this date -- one includes a complete version of "Bags' Groove" but no interview with Maynard Ferguson; the other includes an edited version of "Bags' Groove" that segues into the Ferguson interview, which is conducted over a bit of "S'posin'" Both versions are listed above. Thanks to Jan Lohmann for helpful discussion of this session.

In the first few months of 1957 the Davis Quintet spent very little time in New York: Jazz City, Hollywood (January 4-17); Blackhawk Supper Club, San Francisco (January 22-February 10); Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh (Wednesday, February 13, two shows); Peacock Alley, St. Louis (February 15-23); Preview's Modern Jazz Room, Chicago (February 27-March 10); Comedy Club, Baltimore (March 26-31); Café Bohemia, New York (April 5-28, last 2+ wks canceled). The Quintet was disbanded during the Café Bohemia engagement -- Davis apparently fired Coltrane and Philly Joe Jones for increasingly erratic behavior.

The Davis Quintet (with Rollins instead of Coltrane and Art Taylor instead of Jones) was booked at the Café Bohemia for two weeks in June (June 17-27) and for a month in July (July 8-August 11).

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