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Miles Ahead session details

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September 26, 1948 (3 items; TT = 4:52)
Pershing Ballroom, Chicago IL
Audience recording (C)

Miles Davis (tpt); Charlie Parker (as); Unknown (ts); Unknown (p); Unknown (b); Unknown (d)

1 Groovin' High (D. Gillespie-F. Paparelli) 1:21
2 All the Things You Are (16 bars) (J. Kern-O. Hammerstein) 0:50
3 Half Nelson (M. Davis) 2:41

No audible Parker; Davis solo

1 Groovin' High
CD: Philology Volume 5/6 (W 19/29), Volume 66 (W 897)

2 All the Things You Are (16 bars)
CD: Philology Volume 13 (W 843), Volume 41 (W 872)

3 Half Nelson
CD: Philology Volume 40 (W 871)

In the October 20, 1948 issue of Down Beat ("Chicago Band Briefs," pp. 4-5), it is stated that Gillespie and Parker played the Pershing ballroom on September 26, one week before Duke Ellington appeared there.

Philology W 19/29 puts "Groovin' High" at the Pershing Ballroom in 1948. It's hard to tell (and there's no announcement or context), so I've left it there. It's just a fragment of a Parker solo with no trumpet audible.

The other two fragments are usually thrown in with the Gillespie Big Band titles, but these are small-group performances. The personnel is unknown, and it may be that Parker and Davis are accompanied here by the rhythm section of the Gillespie orchestra. Compare Davis' phrasing on "All the Things You Are" with that of the Dial takes from October 1947. And during his solo on "Half Nelson" Davis plays phrases that he repeats during the "Half Nelson" solo from the Royal Roost on September 25, 1948.

A tenor saxophone is audible in both "Groovin' High" and "All the Things You Are." The former fragment consists almost entirely of a two-chorus Parker solo, but the second saxophone can be heard for a few seconds at the beginning and again at the end, after brief applause and before the track is cut off. When Davis plays the theme of "All the Things You Are," there are two saxophones playing obbligatos behind him. The identity of the second saxophonist is a mystery.

I am grateful to Tommaso Urbano, Alexander Keth, and Leif Bo Petersen for help with this session.

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