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Miles Ahead session details

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December 23, 1970 (4 items; TT = 29:45)
Unknown venue, Unknown city
Commercial for Columbia

Miles Davis (tpt); Gary Bartz (ss, as); John McLaughlin (g); Keith Jarrett (el-p, org); Michael Henderson (el-b); Jack De Johnette (d); Airto Moreira (perc, voc)

1 Honky Tonk (incomplete) (M. Davis) 0:08
2 What I Say (M. Davis) 13:57
3 Sanctuary (W. Shorter-M. Davis) 2:10
4 It's About That Time (incomplete) (M. Davis) 13:30

Another puzzle. According to Jan Lohmann, the date December 23 is written on the track sheet accompanying this reel of tape. The location is not specified. John McLaughlin is audible throughout this fragment. In an interview on New York's WBAI in late 1972, McLaughlin talked about a two-night engagement in New Orleans after playing for a week at the Cellar Door. The Davis Sextet was booked in the Loyola Fieldhouse on December 20; I do not know if they played there a second night -- it seems unlikely.

In any case, this recording is almost certainly not from the Cellar Door. First, it sounds like it is from a large hall, larger certainly than the cramped quarters of the Cellar Door Club. Second, this set presumably opened with "Directions" and then proceeded into "Honky Tonk"; this recording picks up at the very end of "Honky Tonk" and then offers 30 minutes before fading out in the middle of "It's About That Time." We don't know what (if anything) was performed after "It's About That Time," but this recording may be from a set considerably longer than those performed at the Cellar Door.

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

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