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Miles Ahead session details

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May 8, 9, 12, 14, or 15, 1949 (10 items; TT = 37:29)
Salle Pleyel, Paris (France)
Commercial for Columbia
Show chatter

Miles Davis (tpt); James Moody (ts); Tadd Dameron (p); Barney Spieler (b); Kenny Clarke (d)

1 Wahoo [Perdido] (T. Dameron) 5:33
2 Wee [Allen's Alley] (D. Best) 4:24
3 Introduction 0:02
4 Embraceable You (G. Gershwin-I. Gershwin) 4:00

Davis plays the "Country Gardens" tag with an extended trill (3:41-3:51)
5 Ornithology (C. Parker-B. Harris) 3:46
6 All the Things You Are (J. Kern-O. Hammerstein) 4:11
7 Lover Man (J. Davis-R. Ramirez-J. Sherman) 3:10
8 The Squirrel (T. Dameron) 4:02
9 Crazy Rhythm (I. Caesar-J. Meyer-R.W. Kahn) 3:36
10 All the Things You Are (J. Kern-O. Hammerstein) 4:45

Voiceover introduction 0:00-0:30


1 Wahoo
12" LP: Columbia JC 34804, CBS/Sony 18AP 2051, CBS/Sony 23AP 2551, CBS/Sony 25AP 91
CD: CBS/Sony 32DP 721, Sony SRCS 5695, Sony SRCS 9301, Sony SRCS 9724, Sony SICP 3965, Philology Volume 19 (W 849), Jazz Door JD 12110, Jazz Factory JFCD 22831, Jazz Factory JFCD 22882

2 Wee
12" LP: Columbia JC 34804, CBS/Sony 18AP 2051, CBS/Sony 23AP 2551, CBS/Sony 25AP 91
CD: CBS/Sony 32DP 721, Sony SRCS 5695, Sony SRCS 9301, Sony SRCS 9724, Sony SICP 3965, Philology Volume 19 (W 849), Jazz Door JD 12110, Jazz Factory JFCD 22831, Jazz Factory JFCD 22882

3 Introduction
12" LP: Columbia JC 34804, CBS/Sony 18AP 2051, CBS/Sony 23AP 2551, CBS/Sony 25AP 91
CD: CBS/Sony 32DP 721, Sony SRCS 5695, Sony SRCS 9301, Sony SRCS 9724, Sony SICP 3965, Jazz Door JD 12110, Jazz Factory JFCD 22831, Jazz Factory JFCD 22882

4 Embraceable You
12" LP: Columbia JC 34804, CBS/Sony 18AP 2051, CBS/Sony 23AP 2551, CBS/Sony 25AP 91
CD: CBS/Sony 32DP 721, Sony SRCS 5695, Sony SRCS 9301, Sony SRCS 9724, Sony SICP 3965, Jazz Door JD 12110, Jazz Factory JFCD 22831, Jazz Factory JFCD 22882

5 Ornithology
12" LP: Columbia JC 34804, CBS/Sony 18AP 2051, CBS/Sony 23AP 2551, CBS/Sony 25AP 91
CD: CBS/Sony 32DP 721, Sony SRCS 5695, Sony SRCS 9301, Sony SRCS 9724, Sony SICP 3965, Jazz Door JD 12110, Jazz Factory JFCD 22831, Jazz Factory JFCD 22882

6 All the Things You Are
12" LP: Columbia JC 34804, CBS/Sony 18AP 2051, CBS/Sony 23AP 2551, CBS/Sony 25AP 91
CD: CBS/Sony 32DP 721, Sony SRCS 5695, Sony SRCS 9301, Sony SRCS 9724, Sony SICP 3965, Jazz Door JD 12110, Jazz Factory JFCD 22831, Jazz Factory JFCD 22882

7 Lover Man
CD: Columbia 88697 52492

8 The Squirrel
12" LP: Phontastic NOST 7602
CD: Philology Volume 19 (W 849), Jazz Factory JFCD 22882

9 Crazy Rhythm
CD: Philology Volume 19 (W 849), Jazz Factory JFCD 22882

10 All the Things You Are
CD: Philology Volume 19 (W 849), Jazz Factory JFCD 22882


This is a broadcast recording from the Festival International 1949 de Jazz. The festival included many traditional acts from the United States -- Sidney Bechet, Russell Moore, Oran "Hot Lips" Paige -- but it also introduced bebop groups like the Charlie Parker Quintet and the Davis-Dameron quintet. Also on the bill were musicians from England (Vic Lewis's big band), Belgium (Toots Thielemans Trio), Switzerland (Hazy Osterwald's quintet), Italy (Armando Trovajoli), and of course many from France (including Aimé Barelli, Hubert Rostang, the Django Reinhardt Quintet). [roster] [program cover] [Jazz Hot Nr. 22 (Mai 1949)]

The Davis-Dameron Quintet were in Paris for eight days (May 8-15). During this period they performed at the Salle Pleyel on the 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th (two concerts), 14th, and 15th (two concerts). In addition, according to André Hodier -- "Le Festival 1949" in Jazz Hot No. 34 (Juin 1949), pp. 7-10 -- the group played at the Lyon Opera on May 11 and the Alhambra in Bordeaux on May 13.

Ken Vail (Miles' Diary) claims that Paris Festival recordings were made on the following days:

  • May 8 (Sunday): Don't Blame Me; Rifftide; The Squirrel; Embraceable You; Ornithology; Good Bait; Lady Bird; Perdido; All the Things You Are; Crazy Rhythm
  • May 9 (Monday): Wahoo; Allen's Alley; Embraceable You; Ornithology; All the Things You Are
  • May 14 (Saturday): Lady Be Good; Don't Blame Me; Allen's Alley; Crazy Rhythm; All the Things You Are
  • May 15 (Sunday): Farewell Blues (jam session)

This is much more than has been issued commercially and on private recordings, and unfortunately Vail includes no documentation for his claims, so it's hard to know whether to hope for more from this important festival. In any case, I have followed the customary dating of the material in circulation.

Philology 849 purports to include alternate unissued versions of "Wahoo" and "Wee," but they are the same as the versions issued by CBS.

I am grateful to Pascal Garnier for providing me with a copy of the 1949 Jazz Hot essay.

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