Miles Ahead session details

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November 20, 1959 (27 items; TT = 62:24)
Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York NY
Commercial for Columbia
Miles Davis with the Gil Evans Orchestra

Miles Davis (tpt, flh); Ernie Royal (tpt); Bernie Glow (tpt); Taft Jordan (tpt); Louis Mucci (tpt); Dick Hixon (tb); Frank Rehak (tb); Jimmy Buffington (frh); John Barrows (frh); Earl Chapin (frh); Jimmy McAllister (tuba); Al Block (fl); Eddie Caine (fl); Romeo Penque (oboe); Harold Feldman (oboe, cl); Danny Bank (bcl); Jack Knitzer (bssn); Janet Putnam (harp); Paul Chambers (b); Jimmy Cobb (d); Elvin Jones (perc); José Mangual (perc); Gil Evans (arr, cond)

1 Concierto de Aranjuez (J. Rodrigo) 5:48
2 Studio chatter 0:50

Evans: "Teo, I'd like to make one insert, bar 33, and then we'll go on, huh?" Macero: "OK, fine..." Various chatter and noodling. Evans: "Bar 35, the first two 'bones, last note..." Macero: "35?" Evans: "OK, never mind. Skip bar 35, I'll have to use that first note, and we'll buld it from there." (Sings)
3 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 1, take 1) (J. Rodrigo) 0:51

Macero: "Insert one, take one, bar 33..." At the end Evans asks, "How 'bout that? OK, bar 39 now, same thing. Teo, don't stop, we're gonna make another insert. Bar 39..." Macero: "All right, but there's no overlap on that, Gil, could you just play the bar after that? If we'll insert these later on, we'll have to..., we'll need a little overlap." Evans: "The bar previous, you mean... Oh I see what you mean, OK."
4 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 1, take 2) (J. Rodrigo) 1:58

Macero: "Gimme bar 33 again." Evans: "Can you start round the bar all right? Is that OK?" Macero: "I think in this case we can, yeah." Evans: "All right, bar 33, we'll go on playing a little bit for overlap." Counts off. At the end Evans says, "We'll get a good start there, huh? We'll keep on going, we'll stop at the end of 40 now."
5 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 2, take 1) (J. Rodrigo) 2:46

Macero: "OK, this is insert one, take... no, insert two take one, bar 39." Evans: "I'll cut you off on the half-note on 40, and then we'll bring it [undecipherable]. Yeah, take it all. Here we go, bar 39, bar 39, good attack. Ready?" Counts off. At the end, Evans: "No, we have to have time, a little time [undecipherable]."
6 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 3, take 1) (J. Rodrigo) 1:10

Macero: "[Undecipeherable], take one." Evans: "I'm sorry, bar fifty-ah, bar 51. Bar 51..." Counts off
7 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 3, take 2) (J. Rodrigo) 1:07

Macero: "Bar 51, take two..." Count off. At the end Evans says, "57 now. Very light tongue, as light as you can make it, men, don't do anything but this -- sings. Real prancy, huh? Like you're all running in Jamaica, huh? Very light..." (Sings. Various noodling.) "Is the percussion ready for bar 57? All ready? Paul, you ready? Uh, could you stand up on that bassoon part, please, at bar 58?" Bassoon: "That's 65?" Evans: "That's 58." Bassoon: "58? You mean?" Plays. Evans: "Right. The first horn has it." Count off
8 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 4, take 1) (J. Rodrigo) 1:20

Macero: "Bar 55, take one..." Afterward Evans: "A little shorter on that last note, Frank, er, Dick." Sings
9 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 4, take 2) (J. Rodrigo) 1:27

Macero: "Take two..." Afterward Evans: "Why don't they [undecipherable] come in quick?" Sings
10 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 5, take 1) (J. Rodrigo) 1:36

Macero: "Bar 64, take one." Evans: "OK, bar 64, it's on directions, I'll just... Oh, never mind, never mind. Again? OK, here's 64..." Afterward Evans: "Gotta have a good one. Real soft..."
11 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 5, take 2) (J. Rodrigo) 4:49

Macero: "Take two." Evans: "Bar 64..." Afterward Evans: "OK!" Laughter and chatter.
12 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 6, take 1) (J. Rodrigo) 4:44

Macero: "Bar 92, take one..." Evans works with percussionists: "OK, let's try it like that, you'll walk in four, right?" Unknown: "94?" Evans: "92." Unknown: "92." Evans: "Bar 92, good and strong now, for the low instruments especially [undecipherable]." Works with percussionists. "I don't know what to ask you to play, play something around the A and E all that. Play like you played it before. 92, 92. Ready when I count, ah, I'm gonna count three and four, give you eight beats all the way through this..." Afterward Evans: "Could we hear that, Teo?" Macero: "OK. This is without Miles?" Evans: "Well, Miles has to play." Unknown: "No, he doesn't." Evans: "He doesn't play there, but he has to play at 104..." Fragment of chatter (0:04) on Mosaic and Columbia Legacy
13 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 6, take 2) (J. Rodrigo) 0:40

Macero: "Take two..." Various noodling. Count off. Afterward Macero: "Four. The beats got away with us again..."
14 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 6, take 3) (J. Rodrigo) 0:33

Macero: Take three..." Unknown: "Can you all do that they do like boom, boom, boom, like that so it be steady?" Evans: "Oh, yeah, like we need like that kind of a thing in this whole..."
15 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 6, take 4) (J. Rodrigo) 2:55

Macero: "Here we go. This is take four." Various noodling. Evans: "Here we go now, bar 92..." Count off. Afterward Evans: "Each one come right in, right on top. Make sure you count it up, ready? Are we rolling, Teo?"
16 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 7, take 1) (J. Rodrigo) 1:16

Macero: "Yeah, we're rolling, go ahead, Gil." Evans: "104, 104. Shh -- everybody needs to be quiet." Macero: "Gil, take it to bar 102, would you please?" Evans: "OK, bar 102..." Count off. Afterward Evans: "If we make this again, would you play this bar 102 in [undecipherable]. A little too strong. 102..."
17 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 7, take 2) (J. Rodrigo) 1:41

Macero: "Take two..." Evans: "Bar 102. Bassoon solo. You get the bassoon all right on this, Teo? Bassoon solo." Unknown: "Whereabouts?" Evans: "102." Count off
18 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 8, take 1) (J. Rodrigo) 0:54

Evans: "Start right there." Unknown: "In eight or four right there?" Evans: "It's in four now, four... now we're starting at bar 110..." Afterward Evans: "After Miles plays with the harp I bring the band in... 110, yeah, 110."
19 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 8, take 2) (J. Rodrigo) 0:46

Macero: "OK, stand by, take two." Evans: "Miles, you can pick that up, and I'll bring 'em in..." Afterward Evans: "That first chord's too loud, it it possible to play that more softly now?"
20 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 8, take 3) (J. Rodrigo) 0:47

Macero: "Three..." Afterward Evans: "Just a little way, way off somewhere. I'm bringin' it in way too... I waited too long. OK..."
21 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 8, take 4) (J. Rodrigo) 1:18

Macero: "Four..."
22 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 9, take 1) (J. Rodrigo) 1:25

Macero: "Bar 92, take five..." Evans: "92. Hey, we need a 90, we also need a bar 90. Let's have that first." Macero: "OK, bar 90, take five." Evans: "That's the one with the..." (Sings) "Let's go to bar 90, and the we'll just make bar 90 and stop, and we'll start 92 later. OK, this is bar 90, ready? All right, bar 89, that'll help us get into it. Bar 89, that'll help us get into it. Ready, four..." They play (0:24). Afterward Evans: "No, let's do that, that bar once more -- a little more gusto, huh? A little more gusto. Sings. Blow it out. All right?"
23 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 9, take 2) (J. Rodrigo) 0:19

Evans "Bar 90. Four, and..."
24 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 6, take 5) (J. Rodrigo) 0:42

Evans, "92... Count off. Afterward: Unknown: "We're slowin' down..." Evans: "Yeah, we are slowin' down." Macero: "Well, we're stoppin'... And is Jimmy Cobb gonna play the, ah..."
25 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 6, take 6) (J. Rodrigo) 2:59

Evans: "OK, 92. Three, and, four, and..."
26 Concierto de Aranjuez (alternate insert ending) (J. Rodrigo) 1:10

As the take winds down, the engineer says, "You'll have to do it again, Gil," and Davis says testily, "Why?!"
27 Unknown fragment 0:15

Short crescendo-decrescendo passage repeated thee times by brass and reeds
28 Concierto de Aranjuez (edited master) (J. Rodrigo) 16:18


12 Concierto de Aranjuez (insert 6, take 1)
12" LP: Mosaic MQ11-164
CD: Columbia CK 65142, Columbia CXK 67397, Columbia CXK 90923, Sony SRCS 7945/50, Sony SICP 657/62, Sony SRCS 9705, Sony SRGS 4502, Sony SICP 817, Sony SICP 1207, Sony SICP 20054

26 Concierto de Aranjuez (alternate insert ending)
12" LP: Mosaic MQ11-164
CD: Columbia CK 65142, Columbia CXK 67397, Columbia CXK 90923, Sony SRCS 7945/50, Sony SICP 657/62, Sony SRCS 9705, Sony SRGS 4502, Sony SICP 817, Sony SICP 1207, Sony SICP 20054

28 Concierto de Aranjuez (edited master)
12" LP: Columbia CL 1480 (= CS 8271), Sony 88765 40765-1, Music on Vinyl MOV LP029, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory MFSL 1-375, Nippon Columbia YS-153, CBS/Sony SONP 50162, CBS/Sony SOPL 156, CBS/Sony 18AP 2057, CBS/Sony 23AP 2557, CBS/Sony 25AP 756, CBS/Sony 28AP 2834, CBS/Sony 00AP 2076/81, Mosaic MQ11-164
CD: Columbia CK 08271, Columbia CK 40578, Columbia CK 65142, Columbia CXK 67397, Columbia CXK 90923, Columbia 88883 75664, CBS/Sony 35DP 63, CBS/Sony 32DP 524, CBS/Sony CSCS 5142, CBS/Sony 80DP 872/5, Sony SRCS 5691/4, Sony SRCS 9108, Sony SRCS 7945/50, Sony SICP 657/62, Sony SRCS 9705, Sony SRGS 4502, Sony SICP 817, Sony SICP 1207, Sony SICP 20054, Jazz Roots CD 56045


Several studio sessions scheduled in late October and early November had to be canceled because Davis had the flu.

According to the notes for Mosaic MQ11-164, "The originally issued master take [CL 1610, etc.] uses the opening harp notes from a November 15 false start (take 4)" and "After this tune was completed, rehearsals of 'Song of Our Country' were taped." Several bits of "Concierto de Aranjuez" and "Saeta" are included in The Miles Davis Radio Project (American Public Radio, 1990).

The Davis Quintet was booked for three weeks at Birdland (November 5-25), but presumably several of these dates were canceled on account of Davis's illness. The Quintet did perform at a "Jazz Dance" at St. Nicholas Arena on November 27. Coltrane, Kelly, Chambers, and Cobb were in Atlantic Studios on November 24 and December 2, recording titles that appeared on Coltrane Jazz. The Quintet (billed as "Miles Davis and His Famous Sextette") played a week-long engagement at Chicago's Regal Theatre (December 25-31).

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