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Miles Ahead session details

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July 12, 1964 (7 items; TT = 39:00)
Hibaya Yagai Ongaku-do Hall, Tokyo (Japan)
Soundboard recording (B-)

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

1 Band warming up 0:06
2 Autumn Leaves (J. Prevert-J. Mercer-J. Kosma) 10:44
3 So What (M. Davis) 8:23
4 Stella by Starlight (N. Washington-V. Young) 10:29
5 Walkin' (R. Carpenter) 8:52
6 The Theme (with applause) (M. Davis) 0:19
7 Closing announcement (Teruo Isono) 0:07

2 Autumn Leaves
CD: Heavy Blow HB-001, Domino 891212

3 So What
CD: Heavy Blow HB-001, Domino 891212

4 Stella by Starlight
CD: Heavy Blow HB-001, Domino 891212

5 Walkin'
CD: Heavy Blow HB-001, Domino 891212

6 The Theme (with applause)
CD: Heavy Blow HB-001, Domino 891212

7 Closing announcement (Teruo Isono)
CD: Heavy Blow HB-001, Domino 891212

George Coleman left the Davis Quintet in March or April 1964, leaving Davis once again without a saxophone player. In April Gary Peacock replaced Carter, who took a job with Sonny Rollins. By June Peacock left to join the Bill Evans Trio, and Carter returned. That month Ralph J. Gleason wrote that "Miles Davis has broken up his group and is keeping only drummer Tony Williams and pianist Herbie Hancock. He has hired guitarist Grant Green and probably will work without a tenor saxophone in the future." ("Rhythm Section," The Milwaukee Journal June 27, p. A3).

Meanwhile, the Quintet -- with varying personnel -- continued to perform: e.g. the It Club, Los Angeles (March 26-April 5); Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles (with Count Basie, April 3); Jazz Workshop, San Francisco (April 7-19); Village Vanguard, New York (May 5-14).

Since Coleman's departure Tony Williams had been trying to convince Davis to hire Sam Rivers, a fellow Bostonian with whom Williams had played for years. Rivers joined the Quintet, probably in June. The new group was booked at the Showboat Lounge in Philadelphia (June 22-28) and at Birdland in New York (June 30-July 1).

Additional Japanese concerts may have been booked; the Quintet apparently performed only three, possibly four: there are recordings from Hibaya Yagai Ongaku-do Hall, Tokyo (July 12), Shinjuku Kohseinenkin Hall, Tokyo (July 14), and Maruyama Ongaku-do Hall, Kyoto (July 15). There may have been a performance at Osaka Festival Hall on July 13 -- Davis mentions one in his autobiography -- but in the notes to Domino 891212, Japanese critic Tosiyuki Nomoto is quoted as saying that "the tape on the 13th has still slept in the warehouse of a broadcasting station. There is not a person who heard it." In any case, Rivers left the Quintet as soon as the group returned to the United States. Wayne Shorter was hired as his replacement, and joined the Quintet at the Hollywood Bowl on September 4.

I am grateful to Rick Lopez for help with this session.

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