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Miles Ahead session details

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April 1946 (b) (10 items; TT = 15:14)
Trianon Ballroom, Southgate CA
CBS radio broadcast (B)
Show chatter

Miles Davis (tpt); Howard McGhee (tpt); Fred Trainer (tpt); Calvin Strickland (tpt); Walter Williams (tpt); Ira Pettiford (tpt); Candy Ross (tb); Johnny Morris (tb); Al Grey (tb); Charley Johnson (tb); Benny Carter (as, tpt); Bob Graettinger (as); Joe Epps (as); Harold Clark (ts); Hubert "Bumps" Myers (ts); Willard Brown (ts); James Cannady (g); Sonny White (p); Thomas Moultrie (b); Percy Brice (d); Lucy Elliott (voc); Phil Neilly (ann)

1 Melancholy Lullaby (theme) (B. Carter) 1:30
2 Introduction 0:07
3 Rose Room (H. Williams-A. Hickman) 3:00

Davis plays a sixteen-measure solo (0:53-1:15)
4 Introduction 0:10
5 I Can't Get Started (V. Duke-I. Gershwin) 2:58

Carter is the only soloist
6 Introduction 0:14
7 Night and Day (C. Porter) 4:23

Davis plays a short eight-measure solo after Elliott's vocal (3:46-3:59)
8 Introduction 0:08
9 One O'Clock Jump (theme) (C. Basie) 1:48

Abrupt splice at 1:48
10 Rose Room (fragment) (H. Williams-A. Hickman) 0:56

First 0:56 of item 3 above; voiceover announcement -- "This is the Armed Forces Radio Service" -- at 0:06-0:09

1 Melancholy Lullaby (theme)
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

2 Introduction
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

3 Rose Room
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

4 Introduction
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

5 I Can't Get Started
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

6 Introduction
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

7 Night and Day
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

8 Introduction
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

9 One O'Clock Jump (theme)
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

10 Rose Room (fragment)
CD: Jazz Unlimited 201-2078

There is no trumpet solo in "I Can't Get Started," but judging from the phrasing and choice of notes, Davis is among the soloists on "Rose Room" and "Night and Day." On the former, he plays phrases that echo his solo on "Jump Call" from another Carter date from around this time. On the latter, the phrase at 3:57-3:59 is the same as that from take 1 of "Don't Sing Me the Blues" (0:32-0:34), recorded in Los Angeles in October. The abbreviated solo on the incomplete "One O'Clock Jump" at the end of the set is probably Howard McGhee: at 1:44-1:46 a phrase appears that is repeated at 1:48-1:50 of McGhee's solo on "Back Bay Boogie" from the April 29 Jubilee session.

Davis joined the Carter band after a January 1946 engagement at the Riviera Club in St. Louis, and traveled to Los Angeles in February. Looking back years later, Carter remarked,

When Miles joined me it was quite clear that he was already thinking along different lines. But he was a good reader and certainly had no trouble with the book. (Quoted in Morroe Berger, Ed Berger, and James Patrick, Benny Carter: A Life in American Music, Vol. 2, p. 123)

In addition to playing with Carter's orchestra and a smaller Carter group, Davis began sitting in with Charlie Parker at the Finale Club. In March he became a regular member of the Parker Quintet, and he participated in a Dial session on March 28. He continued to play regularly with Carter's bands, as evidenced by a March 31 broadcast from the Streets of Paris. Eventually the musicians' union caught up with him and he was fined. He chose to leave the Carter group; but exactly when this happened is not clear. On April 12 Parker brought an eight-piece band -- Davis, Britt Woodman (tb), Parker, Lucky Thompson (ts), Dodo Marmarosa (p), Arvin Garrison (g), Red Callendar (b), and Perc White (d) -- to a concert at UCLA's Royce Hall Auditorium, sponsored by the Carver Club. Also on the bill were Lester Young, the Nat Cole Trio, Herb Jeffries, and Kay Starr. There is a nice review in the June 1946 issue of Metronome magazine.

I am grateful to Craig Neilson for his help with this session, and to Tommaso Urbano for his expertise in identifying the trumpet solos. Thanks also to Robert Shoji for pointing me to the UCLA Carver Club photos and for sharing with me the Metronome review.

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