Miles Ahead session details

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November 27, 1968 (13 items; TT = 63:12)
Columbia Studio B, New York NY
Commercial for Columbia
Miles Davis Studio Group
Chatter: [show] [hide]

Miles Davis (tpt); Wayne Shorter (ss, ts); Chick Corea (el-p); Herbie Hancock (el-p); Josef Zawinul (el-p, org); Dave Holland (b, el-b); Jack De Johnette (d, perc); Teo Macero (perc)

1 Ascent (take 1) (J. Zawinul-M. Davis) 4:44
2 Ascent (take 2) (J. Zawinul-M. Davis) 2:28
3 Ascent (take 3) (J. Zawinul-M. Davis) 4:42
4 Ascent (take 4) (J. Zawinul-M. Davis) 4:35

Issued as part of composite take
5 Ascent (take 6) (J. Zawinul-M. Davis) 3:49
6 Ascent (take 7) (J. Zawinul-M. Davis) 3:30
7 Ascent (take 8) (J. Zawinul-M. Davis) 5:09

Issued as part of composite take
8 Ascent (new take 1) (J. Zawinul-M. Davis) 2:38
9 Ascent (new take 2) (J. Zawinul-M. Davis) 2:32
10 Ascent (new take 11) (J. Zawinul-M. Davis) 2:37
11 Ascent (composite take) (J. Zawinul-M. Davis) 14:52

Splices at 4:35, 9:40, and 12:04 of original version (4:35, 9:44, and 12:16 of re-edited version)
12 Directions (take 1) (J. Zawinul) 6:46
13 Directions (take 2) (J. Zawinul) 4:50


11 Ascent (composite take)
12" LP: Columbia KC2 36474, CBS/Sony 38AP 2017/8, Mosaic MQ5-209
CD: Columbia C3K 65362, Columbia C3K 90921, CBS/Sony CSCS 5135/6, Sony SRCS 9310/1, Sony SRCS 9761/2, Sony SICP 35/7, Sony SICP 924/6

12 Directions (take 1)
12" LP: Columbia KC2 36474, CBS/Sony 38AP 2017/8, Mosaic MQ5-209
CD: Columbia C3K 65362, Columbia C3K 90921, CBS/Sony CSCS 5135/6, Sony SRCS 9310/1, Sony SRCS 9761/2, Sony SICP 35/7, Sony SICP 924/6

13 Directions (take 2)
12" LP: Columbia KC2 36474, CBS/Sony 38AP 2017/8, Mosaic MQ5-209
CD: Columbia C3K 65362, Columbia C3K 90921, Columbia CK 65449, CBS/Sony CSCS 5135/6, Sony SRCS 9310/1, Sony SRCS 9761/2, Sony SICP 35/7, Sony SICP 924/6


"Ascent" was recorded in parts. The structure of the issued version is as follows:

LP version 00:00-04:35 = CD version 00:00-04:35 = Take 4 (no tpt or ss)
LP version 04:35-09:40 = CD version 04:35-09:44 = Take 8 (ss solo)
LP version 09:40-12:04 = CD version 09:44-12:16 = New take 11 (tpt solo)
LP version 12:04-14:40 = CD version 12:16-14:52 = New take 1 (tpt solo)

Until recently, I identified items 1-3 with rejected interludes from the November 12 session, and items 5-6 with the rejected interludes from the November 25 session. Jan Lohmann has convinced me that they belong here. The mood, instrumentation, and playing is similar throughout, and it makes good sense that these items belong together. The question then becomes, what's happened to the rejected interludes from those earlier sessions?

Crossfades in the original version at 9:40 and 12:04 resulted in several missing measures. Mosaic MQ5-209 and Columbia C3K 65362 correct this with clean edits that maintain the structure of the piece. Note the additional 12 seconds (14:52 vs. 14:40).

The other short interlude with a Davis solo ("New take 2") was not used.

Hancock is out on both takes of "Directions"; Zawinul takes his place on electric piano. This tune entered the live book immediately -- it was performed at Boston's Jazz Workshop in early December, and Davis continued to perform it as a set-opener until late 1971.

This is Jack De Johnette's first studio session with Davis. He was brought in at Tony Williams's recommendation. Williams was eager to form his own group, which he finally did in early 1969.

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