Miles Ahead session details

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April 1946 (b) (10 items; TT = 15:14)
Trianon Ballroom, Southgate CA
Unknown radio broadcast (B)
Benny Carter Orchestra
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Miles Davis (tpt); Howard McGhee (tpt); Fred Trainer (tpt); Calvin Strickland (tpt); Walter Williams (tpt); Ira Pettiford (tpt); Candy Ross (tb); Johnny Morris (tb); Al Grey (tb); Charley Johnson (tb); Benny Carter (as, tpt); Bob Graettinger (as); Joe Epps (as); Harold Clark (ts); Hubert "Bumps" Myers (ts); Willard Brown (ts); James Cannady (g); Sonny White (p); Thomas Moultrie (b); Percy Brice (d); Lucy Elliott (voc); Unknown (ann)

1 Melancholy Lullaby (theme) (B. Carter) 1:30
2 Introduction 0:07
3 Rose Room (H. Williams-A. Hickman) 3:00

Davis plays a sixteen-measure solo (0:53-1:15)
4 Introduction 0:10
5 I Can't Get Started (V. Duke-I. Gershwin) 2:58

Carter is the only soloist
6 Introduction 0:14
7 Night and Day (C. Porter) 4:23

Davis plays a short eight-measure solo after Elliott's vocal (3:46-3:59)
8 Introduction 0:08
9 One O'Clock Jump (theme) (C. Basie) 1:48

Abrupt splice at 1:48
10 Rose Room (fragment) (H. Williams-A. Hickman) 0:56

First 0:56 of item 3 above; voiceover announcement -- "This is the Armed Forces Radio Service" -- at 0:06-0:09


1 Melancholy Lullaby (theme)
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

2 Introduction
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

3 Rose Room
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

4 Introduction
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

5 I Can't Get Started
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

6 Introduction
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

7 Night and Day
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

8 Introduction
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

9 One O'Clock Jump (theme)
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

10 Rose Room (fragment)
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078


There is no trumpet solo in "I Can't Get Started," but judging from the phrasing and choice of notes, Davis is among the soloists on "Rose Room" and "Night and Day." On the former, he plays phrases that echo his solo on "Jump Call" from another Carter date from around this time. On the latter, the phrase at 3:57-3:59 is the same as that from take 1 of "Don't Sing Me the Blues" (0:32-0:34), recorded in Los Angeles in October. The abbreviated solo on the incomplete "One O'Clock Jump" at the end of the set is probably Howard McGhee: at 1:44-1:46 a phrase appears that is repeated at 1:48-1:50 of McGhee's solo on "Back Bay Boogie" from the April 29 Jubilee session.

Davis joined the Carter band after a January 1946 engagement at the Riviera Club in St. Louis, and travelled to Los Angeles in February. In addition to playing with Carter's orchestra and a smaller Carter group, Davis began sitting in with Charlie Parker at the Finale Club. In March he became a regular member of the Parker Quintet, and he participated in a Dial session on March 28. He continued to play regularly with Carter's bands, as evidenced by a March 31 broadcast from the Streets of Paris. (An announcement from that broadcast mentions that "Benny Carter and his boys, of course, appear through the courtesy of the Trianon in Southgate, where their band currently appears," so the current session is very likely from around the same time.) Eventually the musicians' union caught up with him and he was fined; he chose to leave the Carter group. Exactly when this happened is not clear. On April 12 Parker brought an eight-piece band -- Davis, Britt Woodman (tb), Parker, Lucky Thompson (ts), Dodo Marmarosa (p), Arv Garrison (g), Red Callendar (b), and Perc White (d) -- to a concert at UCLA's Carver Club. Also on the bill were Lester Young, the Nat Cole Trio, Herb Jeffries, and Kay Starr.

I'm grateful to Craig Neilson for his help with this session, and to Tommaso Urbano for his expertise in identifying the trumpet soloists.

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