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Miles Ahead session details

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July 15, 1964 (8 items; TT = 48:18)
Maruyama Ongaku-do Hall, Kyoto (Japan)
Audience recording (B-)

Miles Davis (tpt); Sam Rivers (ts); Herbie Hancock (p); Ron Carter (b); Tony Williams (d)

1 Introduction 1:13
2 Band warming up 0:47
3 If I Were a Bell (F. Loesser) 11:07
4 Oleo (S. Rollins) 5:55
5 Stella by Starlight (N. Washington-V. Young) 9:31
6 Walkin' (R. Carpenter) 7:34
7 All of You (incomplete) (C. Porter) 9:45

Gap/splice at 8:36 during Davis' closing chorus: nearly half of the theme and much of the following turnaround section is missing
8 Seven Steps to Heaven (incomplete) (V. Feldman-M. Davis) 2:26

1 Introduction
CD: Heavy Blow HB-002

2 Band warming up
CD: Heavy Blow HB-002, Domino 891212

3 If I Were a Bell
CD: Heavy Blow HB-002, Domino 891212

4 Oleo
CD: Heavy Blow HB-002, Domino 891212

5 Stella by Starlight
CD: Heavy Blow HB-002, Domino 891212

6 Walkin'
CD: Heavy Blow HB-002, Domino 891212

7 All of You (incomplete)
CD: Heavy Blow HB-002, Domino 891212

8 Seven Steps to Heaven (incomplete)
CD: Heavy Blow HB-002, Domino 891212

George Coleman departed from the Davis Quintet in March or April 1964, leaving Davis once again without a saxophone player. In April Gary Peacock replaced Carter, who took a job with Sonny Rollins. By June Peacock left to join the Bill Evans Trio, and Carter returned. That month Ralph J. Gleason wrote that "Miles Davis has broken up his group and is keeping only drummer Tony Williams and pianist Herbie Hancock. He has hired guitarist Grant Green and probably will work without a tenor saxophone in the future." ("Rhythm Section," The Milwaukee Journal June 27, p. A3).

Meanwhile, the Quintet -- with varying personnel -- continued to perform: e.g. the It Club, Los Angeles (March 26-April 5); Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles (with Count Basie, April 3); Jazz Workshop, San Francisco (April 7-19); Village Vanguard, New York (May 5-14). Hancock and Carter were in Columbia's 30th Street Studio on May 26 and 27 with Bob Brookmeyer.

Since Coleman's departure Tony Williams had been trying to convince Davis to hire Sam Rivers, a fellow Bostonian with whom Williams had played for years. Rivers joined the Quintet, probably in late May or early June. The new group was booked at Birdland in New York (June 30-July 1).

The Quintet apparently performed only three concerts on this short tour: there are recordings from Hibaya Yagai Ongaku-do Hall, Tokyo (July 12), Shinjuku Kohseinenkin Hall, Tokyo (July 14), and Maruyama Ongaku-do Hall, Kyoto (July 15). The group performed without Davis at Osaka Festival Hall on July 13, but in the notes to Domino 891212, Japanese critic Tosiyuki Nomoto is quoted as saying that "the tape on the 13th has still slept in the warehouse of a broadcasting station. There is not a person who heard it." In any case, Rivers left the Quintet as soon as the group returned to the United States. Wayne Shorter was hired as his replacement, and joined the Quintet at the Hollywood Bowl on September 4.

I am grateful to Jan Lohmann and Rick Lopez for help with this session.

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