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Miles Ahead session details

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January 27, 1974 (10 items; TT = 103:53)
Massey Hall, Toronto (Canada)
Audience recording (B-)

Miles Davis (tpt, org); Dave Liebman (ss, ts, fl); Pete Cosey (g, perc); Reggie Lucas (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc)

First set
1 Band warming up 1:25
2 Turnaroundphrase (M. Davis) 12:42

"Tune in 5" theme at 7:20; "Turnaroundphrase" theme at 7:32
3 Tune in 5 (M. Davis) 7:01
4 Zimbabwe (M. Davis) 11:33
5 Right Off (M. Davis) 3:06
6 Funk (with applause) [Prelude, part 1] (M. Davis) 10:35

Davis plays "Turnaroundphrase" theme at 7:20

Second set
7 Band warming up 1:36
8 Ife (M. Davis) 17:26
9 For Dave [Mr. Foster] (M. Davis) 13:44
10 Calypso Frelimo (with applause) (M. Davis) 24:45

Cga solo 14:33-24:00

The Davis Septet had a busy road schedule during this period: Shaboo Inn, Willimantic (January 24-26); Massey Hall, Toronto (January 27); Arie Crown Theatre, Chicago (February 1); Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis (February 5); Allen Theatre, Cleveland (February 8); Allen Theatre, Cleveland (February 8); Masonic Auditorium, Detroit (February 10); Keystone Korner, San Francisco (February 12-17); Club Etcetera, Washington (February 24-March 3); Carnegie Hall, New York (March 30); Chicago Auditorium (April 13). I'm sure there are many other dates here, but I'm still looking for ads and reviews.

A review of a Club Etcetera show begins by describing it as "one of the few local engagements [Davis] has not canceled," and goes on to capture nicely the Septet's performance: "His group is improvising, listening to each other, throwing phrases back and forth. They are not working under predefined changes or chord progressions. Neither are they being guided through the performance of a piece they have rehearsed to perfection with the score in front of them. Davis is giving direction to their improvisation, establishing a control that lessens the low points in communication that high-energy improvisational music is prone to suffer from."

Another review, this one from Detroit's Masonic Auditorium, was less enthusiastic:

On Sunday, February 10, the legendary Miles Davis turned out one of the worst performances of his career at the Masonic Temple in Detroit. It started out badly, as Miles was an hour and a half late... When Miles finally showed up, things went for the worse. His band was sensational, no, indescribably delicious, but Miles appeared sick and possibly drunk and played out of key, and without energy. He kept spitting on the floor, grossing the audience out. Amid catcalls and boos (his pants were even falling down), Miles finally walked off stage, only to return after heated arguments offstage and continue with a lackluster showing. It's sad, too, as the other people in his entourage were remarkable in their show, and also seemed irritated with Miles's unusual weirdness...

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