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Miles Ahead session details

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July 31, 1974 (5 items; TT = 66:29)
Paul's Mall, Boston MA
Audience recording (B-)

Miles Davis (tpt, org); Sonny Fortune (ss, as, fl); Dominique Gaumont (g); Pete Cosey (g, perc); Reggie Lucas (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc)

First set
1 Three Blind Mice (Anonymous) 11:00
2 Funk (with applause) [Prelude, part 1] (M. Davis) 14:53

Second set
3 Band warming up 0:40
4 Turnaroundphrase (M. Davis) 24:02

"Agharta Prelude" intermittently from 15:00 on
5 For Dave (with applause) [Mr. Foster] (M. Davis) 15:54

The tune I have listed as "Three Blind Mice" may be a stripped-down version of "Calypso Frelimo" (it's in the same key). It's played again at Paul's Mall in May 1975.

Davis was in bad shape when the Octet returned from the South American tour. He had missed at least one concert because of a drug overdose. Liebman was also interested in leaving, having recorded his second ECM album, Drum Ode, just before the tour. Davis eventually hired Sonny Fortune, and the Octet resumed touring -- e.g. Rochester's Lewiston Artpark (July 26); Paul's Mall, Boston (July 28-August 3), Avery Fisher Hall, New York (September 13) -- but Davis's health precluded a busy touring schedule.

A review of the Rochester performance noted that "although relativekly few showed up to see Miles Davis, Gordon Lightfoot sold out." The reviewer had trouble with the personnel:

I recognized only two members: Steve Grossman [sic!] played soprano sax and electric flute, and Reggie Lucas worked on his guitar. There was Tall 'n' Skinny on electric bass, Joe Rhythms on congas, Fatty the Pirate was the second guitarist and percussionist, and Billyjack DeJoncobham was the drummer. There was an electric piano sitting on the stage, but no one sitting behind it. I was hoping Lonnie Liston Smith might have taken the wrong subway and was a little late. We would soon see.

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