Miles Ahead session details

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October 25, 1966 (11 items; TT = 26:51)
Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York NY
Commercial for Columbia
Miles Davis Quintet

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

1 Gingerbread Boy (rehearsal) (J. Heath) 0:50

Williams and Hancock singing melody. Williams: "It's just four..." Davis: "Yeah. I heard that today in my sleep." Macero: "OK..." Count off; they play (0:46). Davis: "OK, we'll take it over. Let's make one, Teo..." Macero: "OK, stand by..."
2 Gingerbread Boy (take 1 inc) (J. Heath) 0:37

Macero: "This is called '502 D and D Blues'? What's this called?" Davis: "Hey Herbie, when you play, don't play chords in your, your left hand..." Williams: "'Gingerbread Boy'..." Macero: "'Gingerbread Boy', OK, 'Gingerbread Boy', take one." Hancock: [undecipherable]. Davis: "Keep it on top, Tony." They play (0:16). Davis: "Try it again. Keep it... Keep it kinda straight, Tony..." Hancock: [undecipherable]
3 Gingerbread Boy (take 2 inc) (J. Heath) 0:32

Count off; they play (0:17). Hancock: "You gotta decide how many bars you're gonna have here..." (sings familiar melody). Davis practicing. Macero: "Do those phones work, Herbie?" Frank Laico (engineer): "Herbie, I'm ready."
4 Gingerbread Boy (take 3 inc) (J. Heath) 0:50

Count off; they play (0:29), then start again for another short take (0:12)
5 Gingerbread Boy (take 4 inc) (J. Heath) 0:26

Macero: "Four." Short take (0:20) followed by Carter tuning
6 Gingerbread Boy (take 5) (J. Heath) 7:54

Macero: "Five." Davis practicing, false start. Davis: [undecipherable]. Complete take (7:44); at the end Davis: "Teo, play that. Teo... Teo... Teo... Teo, play that, so..."
7 Footprints (rehearsal) (W. Shorter) 0:34

Macero: "What's this called?" Davis: "With Force (?)" Shorter: "'Footprints'..." Macero: "'Footprints'?" Hancock playing. Davis: "No. You don't want..." Macero: "We ought to call it 'Wood Prints'... (to Shorter) Is this yours?" Davis and Hancock working on chord progression. Hancock: "Oh yeah. Yeah, right." Shorter: "...cabaret card..." Williams: "'Linoleum Prints'..." Shorter: "We'll call it Church Street, down there where you get it..." Davis (to Hancock): "Yeah, you go up..."
8 Footprints (take 1 inc) (W. Shorter) 3:51

Macero: "OK, this is 'Wood Prints', take one." [A woman's voice is audible -- Cicely Tyson?] Shorter: "FOOT..." Macero: "Oh. excuse me, 'Footprints'..." False start (0:17). Davis: "Keep it together, Herbie." Hancock: "Huh?" Davis: "You got it?" Hancock: "No, not yet, 'cause I don't know the melody (he plays two chords) -- you want me to play that all the way through?" Davis: "I want you to play that for the introduction." Hancock: "Right, that's what I thought. OK." They play (2:56). Davis: "Hey, play that, man. Play some of it..." Hancock plays some chords. Hancock: "Oh wait, what A flat? Second chord?"
9 Footprints (take 2 inc) (W. Shorter) 0:57

Macero: "91178, 'Footprints', take one... Two, I'm sorry." Davis counts off; Carter, after fluffing the opening: "Sorry..." They play (0:39). Hancock: "Yeah, a little slower than that. A little slower than that..." Davis: "I thought it would get into something if it was that fast..." Carter: "It did. The drums... (cut off)
10 Footprints (take 3 fs) (W. Shorter) 0:20

Macero: "Three." Davis and Carter: [undecipherable]. Count off; false start (0:12). Hancock: "Aha, do it again."
11 Footprints (take 4) (W. Shorter) 10:00

Macero: "Four." Count off; false start (one piano chord). Complete take (9:45); as it winds down, Davis: "Hey Teo... You can take any parts of that you want..." Hancock (laughing with Davis): "And throw it, put it in the trash." Macero: "It's great, we'll play it back."


1 Gingerbread Boy (rehearsal)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

2 Gingerbread Boy (take 1 inc)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

3 Gingerbread Boy (take 2 inc)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

4 Gingerbread Boy (take 3 inc)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

5 Gingerbread Boy (take 4 inc)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

6 Gingerbread Boy (take 5)
12" LP: Columbia CL 2601 (= CS 9401), Speakers Corner CS 9401, CBS/Sony SONP 50177, CBS/Sony SONT 52042, CBS/Sony SOPL 165, CBS/Sony 18AP 2069, CBS/Sony 23AP 2569, CBS/Sony 25AP 765, Mosaic MQ10-177
CD: Columbia CK 48849, Columbia CK 65682, Columbia CK 65945, Columbia C6K 67398, Columbia C6K 90925, Columbia 88985 35737, CBS/Sony 32DP 724, Sony SRCS 5707, Sony SRCS 9114, Sony SRCS 9710, Sony SRCS 8575/80, Sony SICP 663/8, Sony SRCS 2230, Sony SRGS 4538, Sony SICP 827, Sony SICP 1216, Sony SICP 20058

7 Footprints (rehearsal)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

8 Footprints (take 1 inc)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

9 Footprints (take 2 inc)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

10 Footprints (take 3 fs)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

11 Footprints (take 4)
12" LP: Columbia CL 2601 (= CS 9401), Speakers Corner CS 9401, Columbia C5X 45000, CBS/Sony SONP 50177, CBS/Sony SONT 52042, CBS/Sony SOPL 165, CBS/Sony 18AP 2069, CBS/Sony 23AP 2569, CBS/Sony 25AP 765, Mosaic MQ10-177
CD: Columbia CK 48849, Columbia C4K 45000, Columbia C4K 86569, Columbia CK 65682, Columbia CK 65945, Columbia C6K 67398, Columbia C6K 90925, Columbia 88985 35737, CBS/Sony 32DP 724, Sony SRCS 5707, CBS/Sony 80DP 5430/3, Sony SICP 5037/40, Sony SRCS 9114, Sony SRCS 9710, Sony SRCS 8575/80, Sony SICP 663/8, Sony SRGS 4538, Sony SICP 827, Sony SICP 1216, Sony SICP 20058, Sony SRCS 2230


At the beginning of take 1 of "Gingerbread Boy" Macero asks whether this is "502 D and D Blues" -- a reference to Jimmy Rowles' "502 Blues (Drinkin' and Drivin')," which Shorter and Hancock had recorded in February for Blue Note while Davis was in the hospital. (Was this tune brought into the studio for this date? It was not played.) Both it and "Footprints" were included on Shorter's Adam's Apple (Blue Note BST-84232), which had been released earlier in October.

A tambourine can be heard toward the end of Davis' solo on take 1 of "Footprints" (listen between 3:06 and 3:21 of take 1 or between 3:41 and 4:06 of the "session reel" issued on Columbia Legacy). Maybe Shorter picked it up after his solo? Or maybe it's the woman whose voice is briefly audible at the beginning of the take.

There is one extant live version of "Dolores," and a few live versions of "Gingerbread Boy," but the only tune from the Miles Smiles sessions that entered the live book immediately and stayed there was Shorter's "Footprints." Davis continued to play the tune regularly; the last extant recording is from April 1970, after Shorter's departure from Davis' working group.

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