Miles Ahead session details

[Return to main page]

October 5, 1951 (7 items; TT = 45:19)
Apex Studio, New York NY
Commercial for Prestige
Miles Davis Sextet
Chatter: [show] [hide]

Miles Davis (tpt); Jackie McLean (as); Sonny Rollins (ts); Walter Bishop, Jr. (p); Tommy Potter (b); Art Blakey (d)

1 Conception (G. Shearing) 4:00
2 Out of the Blue (M. Davis) 6:15
3 Denial (M. Davis) 5:39
4 Bluing (M. Davis) 9:56
5 Dig (M. Davis) 7:34
6 My Old Flame (A. Johnston-S. Coslow) 6:32
7 It's Only a Paper Moon (H. Arlen-B. Rose-E.Y. Harburg) 5:23


1 Conception
78 rpm: Prestige 868
45 rpm: Prestige PREP 1349 [EP]
10" LP: Prestige PRLP 124, Prestige PRS-36009-1
12" LP: Prestige 7013, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Victor SMJ-6524, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-005, Victor VICJ-23543, Prestige 8PCD-012, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-60301, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-41031, Victor VICJ-41508, Universal UCCO-5039, Universal UCCO-9038, Universal UCCO-9239, Universal UCCO-9421

2 Out of the Blue
78 rpm: Prestige 876
45 rpm: Prestige PREP 1361 [EP]
10" LP: Prestige PRLP 140, Prestige PRS-36009-1
12" LP: Prestige 7012, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Victor SMJ-6525, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-005, Victor VICJ-23543, Prestige 8PCD-012, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-60301, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-41031, Victor VICJ-41508, Universal UCCO-5039, Universal UCCO-9038, Universal UCCO-9239

3 Denial
45 rpm: Prestige PREP 1361 [EP]
12" LP: Prestige 7012, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Victor SMJ-6525, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-005, Victor VICJ-23543, Prestige 8PCD-012, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-60301, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-41031, Victor VICJ-41508, Universal UCCO-5039, Universal UCCO-9038, Universal UCCO-9239

4 Bluing
78 rpm: Prestige 846, 868
45 rpm: Prestige PREP 1355 [EP]
10" LP: Prestige PRLP 140, Prestige PRS-36009-1
12" LP: Prestige 7012, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Victor SMJ-6525, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-005, Prestige PRCD 11004, Victor VICJ-23543, Prestige 8PCD-012, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-60301, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-41031, Victor VICJ-41508, Universal UCCO-5039, Universal UCCO-9038, Universal UCCO-9239

5 Dig
78 rpm: Prestige 777
45 rpm: Prestige 45-321; Prestige PREP 1339 [EP]
10" LP: Prestige PRLP 124, Prestige PRS-36009-1
12" LP: Prestige 7012, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Victor SMJ-6525, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-005, Prestige FCD 60015, Victor VICJ-23543, Prestige 8PCD-012, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-60301, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-41031, Victor VICJ-41508, Universal UCCO-5039, Universal UCCO-9038, Universal UCCO-9239

6 My Old Flame
78 rpm: Prestige 766
45 rpm: Prestige PREP 1339 [EP]
10" LP: Prestige PRLP 124, Prestige PRS-36009-1
12" LP: Prestige 7013, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Victor SMJ-6524, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-005, OJC-6017, Victor VICJ-23543, Prestige 8PCD-012, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-60301, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-41031, Victor VICJ-41508, Universal UCCO-5039, Universal UCCO-9038, Universal UCCO-9239

7 It's Only a Paper Moon
78 rpm: Prestige 817
45 rpm: Prestige 45-321; Prestige PREP 1339 [EP]
10" LP: Prestige PRLP 124, Prestige PRS-36009-1
12" LP: Prestige 7013, Prestige P-012 (12 LP), Victor SMJ-6524, Victor VIJ-5090/5101 (12 LP)
CD: Fantasy OJC-005, Victor VICJ-23543, Prestige 8PCD-012, Victor VICJ-40225/32, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-60301, Victor VICJ-2015, Victor VICJ-41031, Victor VICJ-41508, Universal UCCO-5039, Universal UCCO-9038, Universal UCCO-9239, Universal UCCO-9421


This was the 19-year old McLean's first studio session. He's out on "Conception," "My Old Flame," and "Paper Moon." Rollins has occasional reed problems but plays well, especially on the early numbers.

"Conception" is the same tune as "Deception," credited to Davis recorded by the Nonet in Capitol Studios on March 9, 1950. The arrangement here is similar to that of the Nonet recording.

"Out of the Blue" is based on the changes of "Get Happy." Davis solos for two choruses; Rollins follows with one, quoting "Well, You Needn't" at 2:26-2:29; McLean follows with one chorus; and Davis returns for three more, quoting "Well, You Needn't" again at 4:04-4:05, before the closing theme.

"Denial" is based on Charlie Parker's "Confirmation"; again, Davis solos first (two choruses), then one chorus from Rollins (more reed problems) and two from McLean, followed by another solo by Davis in which he and Blakey trade fours for two choruses before the theme returns. In the closing chorus the tempo is too fast and Davis has trouble keeping up (listen especially at 5:20-5:36).

"Bluing" contains an impressive three-and-a-half minute, six-chorus solo by Davis, followed by three each from Rollins and McLean; Davis returns for three more and the tune ends with Davis scolding Blakey for missing the ending.

"Dig" is based on the changes of "Sweet Georgia Brown" -- it will be recorded for Blue Note in 1952 with the title "Donna" and credited to McLean. Rollins solos first (3x -- Davis cuts in at 1:34); then Davis (4x -- is that a splice at 6:00?), quoting Monk's "Rhythm-a-ning" briefly at 6:11-6:14; then McLean (4x); Davis returns for two closing choruses before the theme is re-stated.

McLean sits out the last two numbers. On "My Old Flame" Rollins has only 16 bars toward the end. On "Paper Moon" Davis has the first solo (4x), then Rollins (4x); Davis plays two more choruses before the closing theme.

This session was one of the first released by Prestige in its new 10" 33-1/3 rpm LP series. Note the length of several of the tunes -- the session produced enough music for two 10" LPs (PRLP 124 and 140). As Ira Gitler wrote in the notes to PRLP 124, "This album gives Miles more freedom than he has ever had on record for time limits were not strictly enforced. There is opportunity to build ideas into a definite cumulative effect. These ideas sound much more like air-shots than studio recordings... Here are New Sounds at greater length. Listen to them at great length." If Gitler's comments sound like a sales pitch, they probably were -- at the time, the new 10" LPs were almost three times the cost of the familiar 10" 78s.

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