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Miles Ahead session details

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April 29, 1946 (34 items; TT = 60:13)
NBC Studios, Hollywood CA
AFRS Jubilee session (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); Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman (ann); George Dvorak (ann)

Jubilee 191
1 One O'Clock Jump (theme; with voiceover (George Dvorak)) (C. Basie) 0:44
2 Introduction (Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman, Benny Carter) 0:35
3 Co-Ed (B. Carter) 2:19
4 Introduction (Whitman, Lucy Elliott) 0:54
5 I'm the Caring Kind (M. Sullivan) 3:09
6 Introduction (Whitman) 0:40
7 Air Mail Special (B. Goodman-J. Mundy-C. Christian) 2:41
8 Introduction (Whitman, Herb Jeffries) 0:45
9 Prisoner of Love (L. Robin-R. Columbo-C. Gaskill) 3:32
10 Introduction (Whitman, Lucy Elliott) 0:27
11 Frim Fram Sauce (R. Evans-J. Ricardel) 3:49
12 Introduction (Whitman) 0:24
13 She's Funny That Way (R.A. Whiting-N. Moret) 3:16
14 Introduction (Whitman) 0:24
15 Polishin' Brass (J.J. Johnson) 4:27

Davis plays a sixteen-measure solo (2:12-2:34)
16 Closing announcement (Whitman) 0:29
17 One O'Clock Jump (theme, inc) (C. Basie) 0:53
18 One O'Clock Jump (theme) (C. Basie) 1:03

Jubilee 193
19 Introduction (Dvorak, Whitman) 0:33
20 Cuttin' Time (B. Carter) 2:40

Davis plays a sixteen-measure solo (1:12-1:28)
21 Introduction (Whitman, Delta Rhythm Boys) 0:48
22 On the Sunny Side of the Street (D. Fields-J. McHugh) 3:05
23 Introduction (Whitman) 0:10
24 Introduction (Whitman) 0:23

Preceded by a short trumpet and piano excerpt from an unknown tune
25 Stardust (H. Carmichael-M. Parish) 3:44
26 Introduction (Whitman) 0:27
27 Prelude to a Kiss (D. Ellington-I. Gordon-I. Mills) 3:02
28 Introduction (Whitman, Carter) 0:33
29 I Cover the Waterfront (E. Heyman-J.W. Green) 4:19
30 Introduction (Whitman) 0:32
31 Hello, Goodbye, Forget It (J. Mundy-L. Gaines-R. De Knight) 2:59
32 Introduction (Whitman) 0:25
33 Back Bay Boogie (B. Carter) 5:15
34 One O'Clock Jump (theme with voiceover, inc) (C. Basie) 0:47

1 One O'Clock Jump (theme; with voiceover (George Dvorak))
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

2 Introduction (Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman, Benny Carter)
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

3 Co-Ed
12" LP: Queen Disc Q-009, Palm Club 12
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

4 Introduction (Whitman, Lucy Elliott)
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

5 I'm the Caring Kind
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

10 Introduction (Whitman, Lucy Elliott)
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

11 Frim Fram Sauce
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

12 Introduction (Whitman)
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

13 She's Funny That Way
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

14 Introduction (Whitman)
12" LP: Spotlite SPJ 147
CD: New Sound Planet/Jazz Up JU-327, Jazz Door JD 1206, Masters of Jazz MJCD 151

15 Polishin' Brass
12" LP: Spotlite SPJ 147, Palm Club 12, Extreme Rarities 1007
CD: New Sound Planet/Jazz Up JU-327, Jazz Door JD 1206, Masters of Jazz MJCD 151

16 Closing announcement (Whitman)
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

17 One O'Clock Jump (theme, inc)
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

18 One O'Clock Jump (theme)
CD: RST Records JUBCD 1002

20 Cuttin' Time
12" LP: Extreme Rarities 1007
CD: New Sound Planet/Jazz Up JU-327

27 Prelude to a Kiss
12" LP: V-Disc 823, Queen Disc Q-009

29 I Cover the Waterfront
CD: New Sound Planet/Jazz Up JU-327

33 Back Bay Boogie
12" LP: V-Disc 678, Queen Disc Q-009

There is a long trumpet solo (0:09-1:28) in "I Cover the Waterfront," but as the introduction suggests, it is played by Carter himself: at 0:37-0:40 he plays the same phrase he played on alto saxophone during his solo on "I Can't Get Started" from the Trianon Ballroom. Carter is also the soloist on "Frim-Fram Sauce" -- compare the phrasing at 2:35-2:40 with 0:34-0:37 of his "I Cover the Waterfront" solo.

McGhee solos on "Co-Ed" and "Back Bay Boogie." On the former, phrases repeated in the last A section of his solo will appear in his solos during "Cheers" from the February 26, 1947 Dial session with Charlie Parker: take 1 (2:27-2:30) and take 2 (2:22-2:23 and 2:27-2:29). McGhee ends his solo on "Back Bay Boogie" with a phrase he will use at the beginning of his solo of "Carvin' the Bird," also from the February 26 Dial session -- compare "Back Bay Boogie" 2:17-2:20 and "Carvin' the Bird" 1:50-1:52. (A very similar phrase appears at 1:05-1:07 of "Co-Ed.")

Judging from the phrasing and choice of notes, Davis is the soloist on few of the other titles. The short solo on "Cuttin' Time" contains phrases from the 16-measure solo on "Just You, Just Me" from the March 31 Streets of Paris session (compare "Cuttin' Time" 1:18-1:23 and "Just You, Just Me" 2:37-2:43), and at 1:10-1:13 Davis plays a phrase also used in his aborted introduction to take 2 of "Thriving from a Riff" from the November 26, 1945 Savoy studio session (0:17-0:21).

The issued version of "Polishin' Brass" is about a half-tone sharp. On Jazz Door it is listed as "Untitled Original" -- probably because of Whitman's introduction ("...a jump tune for which there is no title"). But Davis is clearly the soloist: compare the phrasing at 2:14-2:21 with the trumpet solo from take 3 of "Thriving from a Riff" from November 1945 (especially 0:31-0:34). There are other echoes as well: at 2:16-2:18 Davis tosses off a phrase used both in the introduction to "Ko Ko" (0:09-0:10) and in his solo on take 1 of "Thriving from a Riff" (1:47-1:49). The same phrase appears at 1:09-1:11 of his "Anthropology" solo from a live Parker date from around this time. Finally, the phrasing at 2:23-2:25 echoes 1:55-1:58 of take 1 of "Thriving from a Riff."

There is a lot of uncertainty and confusion about the Benny Carter recordings from 1946. Most of the items usually associated with Miles Davis were Armed Forces Radio Services (AFRS) "Jubilee" sessions which were transcribed on 16" 33-1/3 rpm LPs and distributed to radio stations around the world. The four sessions in questions are numbers 184, 186, 191, and 193. Recording sessions were typically an hour, in front of live studio audiences. The recordings were later edited and assembled into 30-minute Jubilee sides. In the process, some announcements and introductions (and tunes) were used more than once, which adds to the confusion. Recordings for the programs numbered 184 and 186 were made in early April at NBC Studios in Hollywood; those for programs numbered 191 and 193 were recorded on April 29.

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.

A nearly complete discography of the Jubilee series was published by Rainer Lötz and Ulrich Neuert: The AFRS Jubilee Transcription Programs: An Exploratory Discography, Vol. 1-2 (1985). Dennis M. Spragg has updated the discography and maintains it on the Glenn Miller Archive website, http://www.colorado.edu/amrc/glenn-miller-archive/gma-catalogs/jubilee. I am grateful to Craig Neilson, Jan Lohmann, and Leif Bo Petersen for their help with these Jubilee sessions, and to Tommaso Urbano for his expertise in identifying the trumpet soloists. 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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