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Miles Ahead session details

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December 16, 1970 (11 items; TT = 102:35)
Cellar Door Club, Washington DC
Commercial for Columbia

Miles Davis (tpt); Gary Bartz (ss, as); Keith Jarrett (el-p, org); Michael Henderson (el-b); Jack De Johnette (d)

First set
1 Directions (incomplete) (J. Zawinul) 8:55

Theme stated at 2:19
2 Yesternow (M. Davis) 17:05
3 What I Say (M. Davis) 12:33
4 Sanctuary (closing theme, applause) (W. Shorter-M. Davis) 0:40

Second set
5 Directions (incomplete) (J. Zawinul) 10:21

Theme never played
6 Honky Tonk (M. Davis) 19:31
7 What I Say (M. Davis) 2:05
8 Sanctuary (incomplete) (W. Shorter-M. Davis) 2:04

Gap at 0:33, several seconds missing
9 It's About That Time (M. Davis) 9:56
10 Funky Tonk (M. Davis) 18:08
11 Sanctuary (closing theme, applause, announcement) (W. Shorter-M. Davis) 1:17


1 Directions (incomplete)
CD: Columbia C6K 93614, Sony SICP 910/5

2 Yesternow
CD: Columbia C6K 93614, Sony SICP 910/5

3 What I Say
CD: Columbia C6K 93614, Sony SICP 910/5

4 Sanctuary (closing theme, applause)
CD: Columbia C6K 93614, Sony SICP 910/5

10 Funky Tonk
CD: Columbia C6K 93614, Sony SICP 910/5

11 Sanctuary (closing theme, applause, announcement)
CD: Columbia C6K 93614, Sony SICP 910/5


Both sets are incomplete. The Sextet seems to have performed three sets per night during this week-long Cellar Door engagement (December 14-19)

I have not followed Columbia in referring to Jarrett's solo at the beginning of "Funky Tonk" as "Improvisation," or in referring to "Funky Tonk" itself as "Inamorata." Jarrett's improvisation is a part of "Funky Tonk," which always begins with a distinctive coded phrase played on the trumpet (missing on this incomplete version), after which Jarrett improvises before the group rejoins for the rest of the tune, until the closing "Sanctuary" theme.

Chick Corea and Dave Holland left the Davis Septet to form Circle in late September, after returning from a brief post-Isle of Wight European tour. Davis hired Michael Henderson (then 19 years old) as Holland's replacement. For some reason this newly constituted Sextet was never brought into the studio. The group played in the Brookhaven Gymnasium, Suffolk Community College (November 25), and in the SUSB Gymnasium at SUNY Stony Brook (December 12), and they were booked at the Loyola Fieldhouse, New Orleans (December 20). There are some mystery recordings in circulation that probably date from this period.

Thanks to Jan Lohmann for help with this session, and to Ron Fritts for help with Davis's itinerary.

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