Miles Ahead session details

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June 7, 1967 (9 items; TT = 32:52)
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 Water Babies (rehearsal) (W. Shorter) 1:25

Macero: "...on the mic, Miles?" Davis: "I'm not playin', I got... I wanna hear it, Teo." Macero: "OK, all right. Stand by..." Davis: "One-two-three-four-five-six..." They play (0:35). Davis: "That's enough." Another short take (0:08). Davis: "Don't play like that. Play in between them. One-two-three-four-five-six..." They play (0:23). Davis: "That's all right, Teo, you don't need to record any more."
2 Water Babies (take 1 inc) (W. Shorter) 1:27

Macero: "Take one..." False start (0:04). Davis: "One-two-three, two-two-three..." They play (1:12). Davis: "Hey, play that, Teo." Macero: "It's real pretty..."
3 Water Babies (take 2 inc) (W. Shorter) 2:09

Macero: "This'll be take two..." Davis: "Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Teo." Macero: "OK." Davis: "Turn it off..." [splice] They play (0:11). Macero interrupts: "Start it again, willya, from the top?" They play (1:22). As the take breaks down, Davis: "What happened? If you keep... if you, if you, if you, if you keep... that melody in mind... you keep fillin' out and fillin' out, Tony." Williams: "Mmm-hmm, mmm-hmm." Davis "Yeah. Hey, play that back. (To Williams) I want you to hear it." [splice] Davis: "I did." Carter?: "All right." Davis: "Did you order the champagne?" Macero: "Yeah, I did, yeah, it's comin' right in..."
4 Water Babies (take 3 inc) (W. Shorter) 3:21

Macero: "Take three..." Davis: "OK... One-two-three-four-five-six..." Williams: "Is this 'Water Babies'?" False start (0:02). Hancock: "Wait a minute." Davis: "One-two-three-four-five-six..." They play (0:26). Davis: "Again. One-two-three-four-five-six..." They play (2:32). As the take breaks down, Davis: "I goofed..." Hancock: "Oh no, that was, that was hip, too..." Davis: "Right, let's go again."
5 Water Babies (take 4) (W. Shorter) 5:21

Macero: "It's four..." Davis: "One-two-three-four-five-six..." False start, no Williams (0:04). Davis: "Play the cymbals, Tony... One-two-three-four-five-six..." They play (5:04). At the end, Davis: "Play that, Teo."
6 Nefertiti (take 1) (W. Shorter) 5:02

They play (4:28). At the end, Davis: "Hey man, why don't we make a tune... with just playin' the melody, no play the solos..." Much laughter by Hancock, Williams. Williams: "Right, right, that's what we've been doin'" Hancock: "That's what I've been thinkin' about." Davis: "That's it, right?" Williams: "Yeah! That shit is... groovin' like a m... [undecipherable]" Macero: "That's a good idea." Davis: "Yeah, we'll play this like that." Macero: "Yeah, but you better make another take." Davis: "No, we'll just play it again, man." Macero: "Oh, OK." Williams: "Hey, man, we gotta pick this shit..." Macero: "Part one and part two?" Davis: "Well then, play it. I wanna hear it." Macero: "OK." Davis: "That's finer than a motherfucker..." (Laughter) Williams (singing): "I'm high..." Hancock: Like, like..."
7 Nefertiti (take 2) (W. Shorter) 5:48

Macero: "Co 92239, 'Nefertiti', take two..." Davis: "One-two-three-four..." They play (4:14). Afterward there's some confusion about what had been recorded -- Davis: "I like the first one, Teo." Williams: "Yeah." Macero: "Yeah, compared to that one I didn't..." Davis: "You didn't take." Hancock: "Yeah. Aw, shit." Davis: "The one you didn't take was a motherfucker!" Hancock whistles. Macero: "Well, we can still keep the first one." Davis: "I'm talkin' about the one you didn't take." Macero: "Yeah, we did that." Davis: "Well let's hear it." Macero: "You mean the first one?" Hancock: "Nah, before that, when we were rehearsin' the tune. No, you didn't get that, 'cause it was on standby." Williams: "This is the third one." Macero: "The one that we just, uh..." Stan Tonkel (engineer): "Yeah." Macero: "Well, we had two, this one here and the one before that. But there was another one?" Williams: "Yeah." Hancock: "Yeah, but we, we didn't tell you to do it, though." Macero: "Oh, I see." Hancock: "Unfortunately we didn't tell you..." Davis: "Play the first one. Don't even play the second one." Williams: "Yeah, [undecipherable]." Macero: "Well, you wanna just try one more?" Davis: "I dunno, yeah, that's all right." Hancock: "You're probably tired of playin' the melody. That's right, y'all don't have nothin' to play..." Macero: "Yeah, we can try one... Do you wanna hear it, or you wanna... try one more?" Davis: "Oh, no, we don't have to hear it." Macero: "OK..." Davis (walking over to Hancock): "First, that first one was it." Hancock: "Yes it was, wasn't it? I wish that motherfucker was [undecipherable]" [Splice] Macero: "[undecipherable] I can put 'em all together." (He laughs.) Davis: "We don't wanna go nuts, Teo...." (Laughter)
8 Nefertiti (take 3 fs) (W. Shorter) 0:12

Macero: "Take three..." Davis: "One-two-three-four..." False start. Davis: "Go and play by yourself, Tony."
9 Nefertiti (take 4) (W. Shorter) 8:07

Macero: "Four..." They play (7:48). Davis: "I like, still like that first one. Which one you like, Teo?" Macero: "There's some marvelous moments in this one." Davis: "Play the last one." Hancock: "Yeah, yeah, this one, wasn't bad." Macero: "Yes, we could always fade this out..."


1 Water Babies (rehearsal)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

2 Water Babies (take 1 inc)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

3 Water Babies (take 2 inc)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

4 Water Babies (take 3 inc)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

5 Water Babies (take 4)
12" LP: Columbia PC 34396, Columbia C5X 45000, CBS/Sony 18AP 2072, CBS/Sony 23AP 2572, CBS/Sony 25AP 314, CBS/Sony 00AP 2076/81, Mosaic MQ10-177
CD: Columbia C4K 45000, Columbia C4K 86569, Columbia C6K 67398, Columbia C6K 90925, Columbia 88985 35737, CBS/Sony 80DP 5430/3, Sony SICP 5037/40, CBS/Sony 32DP 727, Sony SRCS 5710, CBS/Sony 80DP 872/5, Sony SRCS 5691/4, Sony SRCS 9307, Sony SRCS 8575/80, Sony SICP 663/8, Sony SRCS 9736, Sony SICP 831

6 Nefertiti (take 1)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

7 Nefertiti (take 2)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

8 Nefertiti (take 3 fs)
CD: Columbia 88985 35737

9 Nefertiti (take 4)
12" LP: Columbia CL 2794 (= CS 9594), Music on Vinyl MOV LP031, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory MFSL 2-45436, CBS/Sony SONP 50186, CBS/Sony SONP 52049, CBS/Sony SOPL 167, CBS/Sony 18AP 2071, CBS/Sony 23AP 2571, CBS/Sony 25AP 767, CBS/Sony 00AP 2076/81, Mosaic MQ10-177
CD: Columbia CK 46113, Columbia CK 65681, Columbia C6K 67398, Columbia C6K 90925, Columbia CK 65945, Columbia C2K 85475, Columbia 88985 35737, CBS/Sony 32DP 726, CBS/Sony CSCS 5149, CBS/Sony 80DP 872/5, Sony SRCS 5691/4, Sony SRCS 6841, Sony SRCS 7218, Sony SRCS 9116, Sony SRCS 8575/80, Sony SICP 663/8, Sony SRCS 9747, Sony SRCS 2230, Sony SRCS 2493/4, Sony SRGS 4521, Sony SICP 829, Sony SICP 1218


This is another in the ongoing series of New York studio sessions during May-July 1967. These sessions allowed the Davis Quintet to develop new repertoire centered around original compositions. Only a few of these tunes -- "Masqualero," "Nefertiti," and "Riot" -- became staples of the Quintet's live performances, however.

"Nefertiti" remained in the live book until late 1969, although it was performed very sporadically. Chick Corea and Dave Holland took it with them when they left the Davis Quintet in 1970 to form Circle. "Water Babies" was not issued by Columbia until 1976, by which time Shorter's own remake of it on his Super Nova (Blue Note BST-84332, recorded in August 1969) was familiar.

After returning from the west coast, the Quintet was booked at the Village Vanguard (June 2-4), then went to the Village Gate (July 4-16 opposite Dizzy Gillespie, and August 15-27 opposite Ornette Coleman).

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