Miles Ahead session details

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May 14, 1963 (20 items; TT = 50:12)
Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York NY
Commercial for Columbia
Miles Davis Quintet
Chatter: [show] [hide]

Miles Davis (tpt); George Coleman (ts); Herbie Hancock (p); Ron Carter (b); Tony Williams (d)

1 Seven Steps to Heaven (rehearsal) (V. Feldman-M. Davis) 1:06
2 Seven Steps to Heaven (rehearsal take) (V. Feldman-M. Davis) 7:51
3 Seven Steps to Heaven (remake take 1 (nc)) (V. Feldman-M. Davis) 0:28
4 Seven Steps to Heaven (remake take 2 (nc)) (V. Feldman-M. Davis) 0:35
5 Seven Steps to Heaven (remake take 3 (nc)) (V. Feldman-M. Davis) 0:20
6 Seven Steps to Heaven (remake take 3) (V. Feldman-M. Davis) 6:32
7 So Near, So Far (rehearsal take) (T. Crombie-B. Green) 7:16
8 So Near, So Far (take 1 (nc)) (T. Crombie-B. Green) 1:19
9 So Near, So Far (take 2) (T. Crombie-B. Green) 7:26
10 So Near, So Far (insert 1 take 1) (T. Crombie-B. Green) 0:29
11 So Near, So Far (insert 1 take 2) (T. Crombie-B. Green) 0:40
12 So Near, So Far (insert 1 take 3) (T. Crombie-B. Green) 0:29
13 So Near, So Far (insert 1 take 4) (T. Crombie-B. Green) 0:35
14 So Near, So Far (insert 2 take 1) (T. Crombie-B. Green) 1:04
15 So Near, So Far (insert 2 take 2) (T. Crombie-B. Green) 1:30
16 So Near, So Far (insert 2 take 3) (T. Crombie-B. Green) 1:06
17 So Near, So Far (intro take 1) (T. Crombie-B. Green) 1:32
18 Joshua (remake take 1 (fs)) (V. Feldman) 0:24
19 Joshua (remake take 2 (nc)) (V. Feldman) 1:57
20 Joshua (remake take 3) (V. Feldman) 7:33


6 Seven Steps to Heaven (remake take 3)
45 rpm: Columbia 4-42853
12" LP: Columbia CL 2051 (= CS 8851), Columbia C5X 45000, Nippon Columbia YS-292, CBS/Sony SONP 50214, CBS/Sony SOPL 158, CBS/Sony 18AP 2060, CBS/Sony 23AP 2560, CBS/Sony 25AP 758, CBS/Sony 00AP 2076/81, Mosaic MQ10-226
CD: Columbia CK 48827, Columbia C4K 45000, Columbia C4K 86569, Columbia C7K 90840, Columbia CK 93592, Columbia CK 93585, Columbia CK 64616, CBS/Sony 32DP 527, Sony SRCS 5704, CBS/Sony 80DP 872/5, Sony SRCS 5691/4, CBS/Sony 80DP 5430/3, Sony SICP 5037/40, Sony SRCS 9109, Sony SRCS 9755, Sony SIGP 14, Sony SICP 620/5, Sony SICP 820, Sony SICP 1209, Sony SICP 853, Mega Disc Legendary 0514

7 So Near, So Far (rehearsal take)
12" LP: Columbia CL 2051 (= CS 8851), Nippon Columbia YS-292, CBS/Sony SONP 50214, CBS/Sony SOPL 158, CBS/Sony 18AP 2060, CBS/Sony 23AP 2560, CBS/Sony 25AP 758, Mosaic MQ10-226
CD: Columbia CK 48827, Columbia C7K 90840, Columbia CK 93592, CBS/Sony 32DP 527, Sony SRCS 5704, Sony SRCS 9109, Sony SRCS 9755, Sony SIGP 14, Sony SICP 620/5, Sony SICP 820, Sony SICP 1209, Mega Disc Legendary 0514

20 Joshua (remake take 3)
12" LP: Columbia CL 2051 (= CS 8851), Nippon Columbia YS-292, CBS/Sony SONP 50214, CBS/Sony SOPL 158, CBS/Sony 18AP 2060, CBS/Sony 23AP 2560, CBS/Sony 25AP 758, Mosaic MQ10-226
CD: Columbia CK 48827, Columbia C7K 90840, Columbia CK 93592, CBS/Sony 32DP 527, Sony SRCS 5704, Sony SRCS 9109, Sony SRCS 9755, Sony SIGP 14, Sony SICP 620/5, Sony SICP 820, Sony SICP 1209, Mega Disc Legendary 0514


The issued version of "So Near, So Far" is a composite:

Issued version Source
0:00-1:08 Intro take 1 (0:05-1:13)
1:08-5:53 middle of rehearsal take (1:19-6:04)
5:53-6:25 the first 15 measures of insert 2 take 3 (0:00-0:32)
6:25-6:58 the end of insert 2 take 2 (0:53-1:31)

Davis must have liked the sound of this new group, since two of the titles recorded here are remakes of tunes recorded in Columbia's Hollywood studios less than a month before.

The problems Davis had throughout 1962 with keeping a working group continued into 1963. His quintet was booked at the Philadelphia's Uptown Theatre from December 25, 1962 through January 1, 1963 (Wednesday-Tuesday); in addition to missing one of the sets on December 25, Davis walked out and missed the last two nights (and was later ordered by the musicians' union to pay the promoter $8000). A two-week engagement at Chicago's Sutherland Lounge, January 30-February 10 (Wednesday-Sunday) was followed by the sudden departure of Wynton Kelly and Paul Chambers. Davis was forced to cancel an eight-day engagement at Gino's Club in St. Louis, February 15-23 (Friday-Saturday). He was booked for two weeks at the Blackhawk Supper Club in San Francisco, March 5-17 (Tuesday-Sunday), but the opening was delayed for a week while Davis recruited some West Coast players. In addition to Jimmy Cobb, he ended up with Frank Strozier on alto, George Coleman on tenor, Victor Feldman or Harold Mabern on piano, and Ron Carter on bass (at the time Carter was playing with Art Farmer). The sextet played a ten-day gig at Shelly's Manne-Hole in Los Angeles, April 5-14 (Friday-Sunday). Cobb left during or immediately after this engagement and was replaced briefly by Frank Butler. The quintet with Feldman on piano and without Strozier went into Columbia's Hollywood studios (April 16-17). Butler remained in Los Angeles and the rest of the group returned to the East Coast, where they were booked for one night at the Lyric Theatre in Baltimore (May 9; "The Miles Davis Quintette" was listed as Davis, George Coleman, Frank Strozier, Harold Maybern [sic], Jim Cobb. I can't believe that Carter didn't play with the group, so either it was not a "quintette" or else one of the horns, probably Strozier, didn't play. Davis fired Strozier and Mabern soon afterward, hiring Hancock and Williams; and the new Miles Davis Quintet -- Davis, Coleman, Hancock, Carter, Williams -- went into Columbia's 30th Street Studio on May 14, then hit the road: Jazz Villa, St. Louis (May 27-June 4); Sutherland Lounge, Chicago (June 5-16); Jazz Temple, Cleveland (June 20-23 -- listed as the Miles Davis Sextet); Village Vanguard, New York (July 2-14).

Much of this material has been issued on The Sessions of Seven Steps (Mega Disc Legendary 041617 and 0514).

I'm grateful for Tommaso Urbano for help with this session.

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