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Miles Ahead session details

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August 20, 1969 (11 items; TT = 53:40)
Columbia Studio B, New York NY
Commercial for Columbia
Show chatter

Miles Davis (tpt); Wayne Shorter (ss); Bennie Maupin (bcl); John McLaughlin (g); Chick Corea (el-p); Josef Zawinul (el-p); Dave Holland (b); Harvey Brooks (el-b); Jack De Johnette (d); Lenny White (d); Charles Don Alias (d); Jumma Santos [Jim Riley] (perc)

1 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (rehearsal) (M. Davis) 0:35
2 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (take 1) (M. Davis) 2:43
3 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (take 2) (M. Davis) 3:48
4 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (take 3) (M. Davis) 1:39
5 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (take 4) (M. Davis) 4:12
6 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (take 5) (M. Davis) 3:59
7 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (take 6) (M. Davis) 6:07
8 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (take 7) (M. Davis) 9:34
9 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (take 8) (M. Davis) 3:08
10 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (take 9 (inc)) (M. Davis) 3:53
11 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (take 9) (M. Davis) 14:02

Edited (2:48) on Columbia 45171 and CSK 41598


11 Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (take 9)
45 rpm: Columbia 4-45171, Columbia 88725 473257 SV
12" LP: Columbia GP 26 (= CS 9996, PG 30977, GQ 30977), Music on Vinyl MOV LP020, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory MFSL 2-439, Columbia C5X 45000, CBS/Sony SONP 50255/6, CBS/Sony SOPL 24/5, CBS/Sony SOPJ 58/9, CBS/Sony 28AP 2151/2, CBS/Sony 36AP 1771/2, Mosaic MQ6-183, Columbia 88697 70274-2, Vinyl Me, Please A017
CD: Columbia C2K 40577, Columbia Legacy C4K 45000, Columbia Legacy C4K 86569, Columbia Legacy C2K 65774, Columbia Legacy C4K 65570, Columbia Legacy C4K 90924, Columbia Legacy C2K 85475, Columbia Legacy 88697 70274, Columbia Legacy 88697 54519, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory UDSACD 2149, CBS/Sony 50DP 703/4, CBS/Sony CSCS 5151/52, CBS/Sony 80DP 5430/3, Sony SICP 5037/40, Sony SRCS 9118/9, Sony 8837/40, Sony SICP 669/72, Sony SRCS 9714/5, Sony SRCS 2493/4, Sony SIGP 20/1, Sony SICP 834/5, Sony SICP 1220/1, SICJ 10008/9, Sony SICP 20002/3, Sony SICJ 30077/8, Sony SICP 30267/68, Columbia Legacy 86975 24922 [= Columbia (F) 86975 52492] (CD 33)


"Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" was a staple in the Quintet's live book by the time this session was scheduled. The tune changes dramatically on this date, however. The first few takes are the familiar live version, which begins with Davis playing a descending phrase, Corea responding, and the band embarking on a slow groove. The studio group tries this version four times (takes 1-4), but beginning with take 5, a new vamp is introduced, with a snaky drum/hi-hat pattern courtesy of Don Alias, who takes over on Lenny White's kit; soon he and Harvey Brooks have worked out the vamp, and the tune takes off. Take 5 adds Davis and McLaughlin to the mix; take 6 includes solos by Davis, Maupin, and McLaughlin; take 7 has solos by Holland, Maupin, Shorter, and McLaughlin; a short take 8 includes only a Maupin solo before it breaks down; and the incomplete take 9 includes a Corea solo before it slows to a halt. But the group is ready. The issued take 9 is a continuous unedited performance, with structure as follows:

"Miles Runs the Voodoo Down"
0:00-0:34 Opening vamp; McLaughlin, Maupin
0:34-1:24 Davis states theme
1:24-4:28 Davis solo, Corea active comping
4:28-6:13 McLaughlin solo, Corea active comping
6:13-8:00 Shorter solo, Corea more restrained
8:00-10:41 Corea solo
10:41-14:02 Davis solo - closing theme

The music that does not appear on Bitches Brew is included on the bootleg CDs Deep Brew, Volume 1 and Deep Brew, Volume 2 (Mega Disc) and Unreleased Bitches Brew Session (So What (CDR) SW-146/47).

The tapes of these sessions contain a large number of gaps, the result of Teo Macero's editing and post-production. Apparently on this occasion Macero worked directly from the master tapes, not from safety copies; as a result there are no extant "complete" recordings of these sessions. For the details, consult Enrico Merlin and Veniero Rizzardi's Bitches Brew: Genesi del capolavaro di Miles Davis (Milano: Il Saggiatori, 2009), which carefully analyzes the issued recording and all available unused studio material.

The Davis Quintet maintained a busy touring schedule during this time: Rutgers University Stadium, New Brunswick (Rutgers Jazz Festival) (July 27); Sheraton Park Hotel, French Lick (French Lick Jazz Festival) (July 31); Spectrum, Philadelphia (August 15); Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis (St. Louis Jazz Festival) (August 16); Grant Park Auditorium Theatre, Chicago (August 22); Crosley Field, Cincinnati (Ohio Jazz Festival) (August 23); Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis (Memphis Jazz Festival) (August 24); Shelly's Manne-Hole, Los Angeles (September 9-21).

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