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Miles Ahead session details

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November 25, 1968 (3 items; TT = 16:39)
Columbia Studio B, New York NY
Commercial for Columbia

Miles Davis (tpt); Wayne Shorter (ts); Chick Corea (el-p); Herbie Hancock (el-p); Josef Zawinul (org); Dave Holland (b); Tony Williams (d)

1 Splashdown (M. Davis) 7:59
2 Interlude 1 (M. Davis) 3:46
3 Interlude 2 (M. Davis) 4:54


1 Splashdown
12" LP: Mosaic MQ5-209, Columbia Legacy 19075978321
CD: Columbia Legacy C3K 65362, Columbia Legacy C3K 90921, Sony SICP 35/7, Sony SICP 924/6


Another keyboard is added to the mix. This is Josef Zawinul's first session with Davis, beginning a partnership that lasted into 1970. Here the organ occasionally doubles the bass and generally adds a late-1960s pop feel.

There are four themes in "Splashdown," none memorable in itself; but the transitions between them, and deft solos especially by Hancock and Williams, make this an interesting example of the transitional music Davis was working on. The tune has a jaunty, occasionally Motown-like feel to it. Here is the basic structure:

0:00-0:46 First theme
0:46-1:25 Second theme, then Davis solo
1:25-1:37 Third theme, drum break
1:37-2:36 Fourth theme (3/4)
2:36-3:23 Back to themes #1 and #2
3:23-4:06 Shorter solo
4:06-4:16 Theme #3
4:16-5:18 Theme #4
5:18-7:06 Theme #2, Williams solo
7:06-7:59 Back to theme #1, Hancock/Corea together

"Splashdown" is also a skillfully-assembled composite, using material from take 2, take 1, insert take 2, and insert take 3.

The two unissued interludes do not include Davis or Shorter. Like the rejected interludes from the November 12 session, they remain something of a mystery. Only the first was given a master number.

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