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Miles Ahead session details

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December 7, 1957 (3 items; TT = 6:25)
Buttes Chaumont Studio, Paris (France)
Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF) TV broadcast (B)

Miles Davis (tpt); Barney Wilen (ts); René Urtreger (p); Pierre Michelot (b); Kenny Clarke (d)

1 What's New? (inc, with voiceover) (J. Burke-B. Haggart) 1:36
2 What's New? (inc, with voiceover) (J. Burke-B. Haggart) 0:58
3 Dig [Donna] (J. McLean) 3:51

These items were recorded for a television show, Au clair de la Lune, directed by Jean-Christophe Averty. It was broadcast on December 25, 1957 by Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF). Besides Miles Davis, the 17-minute show features Juliette Gréco and several other artists. A brief account is available elsewhere on this site. The two fragments of "What's New?" are the background for the breathless opening and closing announcements. (The two fragments are actually the same performance, as Tommaso Urbano has pointed out to me.)

Photographs in the RTF archives (two of which are published in the December 2009 issue of Jazz Magazine: the cover and pp. 22-23), in which the Davis-Urtreger group is playing on a set with an elaborate fake lunar landscape -- Davis, Michelot, and Clarke in one crater, Urtreger and Wilen in another -- are dated December 7, 1957. Given the elaborate set and the difficult logistics involved with several performers, it seems unlikely that the Davis-Urtreger group performed more than the music listed above.

Thanks to Pascal Rozat for sharing with me the results of his research in the RTF archives.

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