Miles Ahead session details

[Return to main page]

December 4, 1967 (1 item; TT = 33:29)
Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York NY
Commercial for Columbia
Miles Davis Quintet plus Joe Beck

Miles Davis (tpt, chimes, tubular bells); Wayne Shorter (ts); Herbie Hancock (celeste); Joe Beck (g); Ron Carter (b); Tony Williams (d)

1 Circle in the Round (takes 6-11, 14-35) (M. Davis) 33:29

Edited to ca. 26:20 on all Columbia and Sony issues prior to C6K 67398. According to the notes to Mosaic MQ10-177, the studio master includes parts of takes 6-12 and 14-35. At the end of the short version, Davis's voice is spliced in: he angrily asks "Why?"


1 Circle in the Round (takes 6-11, 14-35)
12" LP: Columbia KC2 36278, CBS/Sony 36AP 1409/10, Mosaic MQ10-177
CD: Columbia C2K 46862, Columbia C6K 67398, Columbia C6K 90925, CBS/Sony CSCS 5340/1, Sony SRCS 9308/9, Sony SRCS 8575/80, Sony SICP 663/8, Sony SRCS 9759/60


Davis apparently left the "Newport Jazz Festival in Europe" tour early after a dispute with producer George Wein. The rest of the Quintet performed the final concert or two of the tour as "The Wayne Shorter Quartet."

Once back in New York, the group reunited and resumed its busy studio schedule. This was the first session in which Davis supplemented the Quintet with another voice, to provide more "bottom" as Davis was to call it. In addition, Davis and Teo Macero began to record tunes in pieces, and then rely on editing and other post-production techniques to produce a finished product. (This was not new, of course. Many of tunes resulting from the Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaborations in the late 1950s involve such post-production techniques.)

There are two versions of "Circle in the Round." The first (33:29) was assembled in early 1968 by Teo Macero, but it was put on the shelf and only issued in 1997 as part of the complete 1960s Quintet recordings (Mosaic MQ11-177, Columbia C6K 67398). The second (26:20), edited by Stan Tonkel, appeared in 1979 on the LP Circle in the Round. Enrico Merlin has a nice comparative analysis of the two versions -- see his sessionography in Paul Tingen's book Miles Beyond, and now his excellent Bitches Brew: Genesi del capolavaro di Miles Davis (Milano: Il Saggiatori, 2009). As Merlin notes, 10:01-26:17 of the short version is substantially the same as 17:20-33:01 of the long version: Tonkel's shorter version simply excises a little more than seven minutes from the beginning of Macero's version. The analysis below departs from Merlin's in some small points.

Columbia C6K 67398 Sony Master Sound SRCS 9308/9
Edit After edit
0:00 Introduction - Theme (Shorter)
0:52 Theme (Davis/Shorter)
3:14 Williams solo - Theme (Shorter)
4:02 Theme (Davis/Shorter) - Williams solo
4:47 Groove (Williams accents)
5:27 Groove (Williams accents)
7:01 Hancock solo
8:42 Davis solo #1
9:06 Davis solo #1 (cont.) - Shorter solo #1
10:44 Davis solo #2
11:34 Davis solo #2 (cont.)
12:07 Davis solo #2 (cont.)
12:12 Davis solo #2 (end)
12:58 Shorter solo #2
13:50 Davis solo #3
15:59 Davis solo #3 (cont.)
16:31 Davis solo #3 (cont.)
18:09 Davis solo #3 (cont.)
19:45 Shorter solo #3
21:22 Davis solo #4
22:08 Davis solo #4 (cont.)
23:49 Carter solo
25:26 Williams solo
27:03 Davis solo #5
28:48 Davis solo #6
29:54 Shorter solo #4
30:50 Davis/Shorter interplay
31:35 Davis/Shorter interplay
32:05 Davis/Shorter interplay
32:35 Davis/Shorter interplay
33:01 Davis/Shorter interplay
Edit After edit
0:00 Introduction - Theme (Shorter)
0:52 Theme (Davis)
1:09 Theme (Davis) - Williams solo
2:22 End of Williams solo - Theme (Shorter)
2:49 Theme (Davis/Shorter) - Williams solo #2 - Groove (Williams accents) - Williams solo #3 - Theme (Davis/Shorter)
5:49 Hancock solo
7:30 Opening phrase from Davis solo #1
7:32 Davis solo #2
8:22 Shorter solo
9:14 Davis solo #3
10:03 Davis solo #3 (cont.) from 17:19 of Macero master
10:54 Davis solo #3 (cont.) from 18:09 of Macero master
12:30 Shorter solo #3
14:07 Davis solo #4
14:53 Davis solo #4 (cont.)
16:34 Carter solo
18:12 Williams solo #4
19:49 Davis solo #5
21:34 Davis solo #6
22:41 Shorter solo #4
23:36 Davis solo #7
24:22 Davis/Shorter interplay
24:52 Davis/Shorter interplay
25:22 Davis/Shorter interplay
25:48 Davis/Shorter interplay
26:18 Davis testily asks "Why?"

Several bits are included in The Miles Davis Radio Project (American Public Radio, 1990).

Soon after this studio date the Quintet headed to the Midwest; they were booked at Chicago's Plugged Nickel Club (December 6-10).

All original content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons License