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Miles Ahead session details

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August 19, 1969 (20 items; TT = 79:04)
Columbia Studio B, New York NY
Commercial for Columbia
Show chatter

Miles Davis (tpt); Wayne Shorter (ss); Bennie Maupin (bcl); John McLaughlin (g); Chick Corea (el-p); Josef Zawinul (el-p); Dave Holland (b); Harvey Brooks (el-b); Jack De Johnette (d); Lenny White (d); Charles Don Alias (d, perc); Jumma Santos [Jim Riley] (perc)

1 Bitches Brew (rehearsal) (M. Davis) 2:45
2 Bitches Brew (rehearsal) (M. Davis) 1:59
3 Bitches Brew (take 1) (M. Davis) 4:09
4 Bitches Brew (part 2 take 1) (M. Davis) 0:34
5 Bitches Brew (part 2 take 2) (M. Davis) 0:22
6 Bitches Brew (part 3 take 1) (M. Davis) 2:18
7 Bitches Brew (part 3 take 2) (M. Davis) 1:05
8 Bitches Brew (part 4 take 1) (M. Davis) 0:21
9 Bitches Brew (part 4 take 2) (M. Davis) 6:52
10 Bitches Brew (part 5 take 1) (M. Davis) 0:26
11 Sanctuary (take 2 - slated, no music) (W. Shorter-M. Davis) 0:13
12 Pharaoh's Dance (rehearsal) (J. Zawinul) 3:20
13 Pharaoh's Dance (take 1) (J. Zawinul) 4:04
14 Pharaoh's Dance (take 2) (J. Zawinul) 4:25
15 Pharaoh's Dance (rehearsal) (J. Zawinul) 1:42
16 Orange Lady (rehearsal) (J. Zawinul) 1:54
17 Pharaoh's Dance (rehearsal) (J. Zawinul) 0:20
18 John McLaughlin (M. Davis) 4:22
19 Bitches Brew (issued version) (M. Davis) 26:58

Edited (11:32) on Columbia CAS 42193
20 Sanctuary (take 2) (W. Shorter-M. Davis) 10:55

Maupin, Brooks, White out


9 Bitches Brew (part 4 take 2)
CD: Columbia Legacy 88697 70274, Columbia Legacy 88697 54519

18 John McLaughlin
12" LP: Columbia GP 26 (= CS 9996, PG 30977, GQ 30977), Music on Vinyl MOV LP020, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory MFSL 2-439, CBS/Sony SONP 50255/6, CBS/Sony SOPL 24/5, CBS/Sony SOPJ 58/9, CBS/Sony 28AP 2151/2, CBS/Sony 36AP 1771/2, Mosaic MQ6-183, Columbia 88697 70274-2, Vinyl Me, Please A017
CD: Columbia C2K 40577, Columbia Legacy C2K 65774, Columbia Legacy C4K 65570, Columbia Legacy C4K 90924, Columbia Legacy 88697 70274, Columbia Legacy 88697 54519, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory UDSACD 2149, CBS/Sony 50DP 703/4, CBS/Sony CSCS 5151/52, Sony SRCS 9118/9, Sony 8837/40, Sony SICP 669/72, Sony SRCS 9714/5, Sony SIGP 20/1, Sony SICP 834/5, Sony SICP 1220/1, SICJ 10008/9, Sony SICP 20002/3, Sony SICJ 30077/8, Sony SICP 30267/68, Columbia Legacy 86975 24922 [= Columbia (F) 86975 52492] (CD 33)

19 Bitches Brew (issued version)
12" LP: Columbia GP 26 (= CS 9996, PG 30977, GQ 30977), Music on Vinyl MOV LP020, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory MFSL 2-439, Columbia CAS 42193 (12" single), CBS/Sony SONP 50255/6, CBS/Sony SOPL 24/5, CBS/Sony SOPJ 58/9, CBS/Sony 28AP 2151/2, CBS/Sony 36AP 1771/2, CBS/Sony 00AP 2076/81, Mosaic MQ6-183, Columbia 88697 70274-2, Vinyl Me, Please A017
CD: Columbia C2K 40577, Columbia Legacy C2K 65774, Columbia Legacy C4K 65570, Columbia Legacy C4K 90924, Columbia Legacy 88697 70274, Columbia Legacy 88697 54519, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory UDSACD 2149, CBS/Sony 50DP 703/4, CBS/Sony CSCS 5151/52, CBS/Sony 80DP 872/5, Sony SRCS 5691/4, Sony SRCS 9118/9, Sony 8837/40, Sony SICP 669/72, Sony SRCS 9714/5, Sony SIGP 20/1, Sony SICP 834/5, Sony SICP 1220/1, SICJ 10008/9, Sony SICP 20002/3, Sony SICJ 30077/8, Sony SICP 30267/68, Columbia Legacy 86975 24922 [= Columbia (F) 86975 52492] (CD 33)

20 Sanctuary (take 2)
12" LP: Columbia GP 26 (= CS 9996, PG 30977, GQ 30977), Music on Vinyl MOV LP020, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory MFSL 2-439, CBS/Sony SONP 50255/6, CBS/Sony SOPL 24/5, CBS/Sony SOPJ 58/9, CBS/Sony 28AP 2151/2, CBS/Sony 36AP 1771/2, Mosaic MQ6-183, Columbia 88697 70274-2, Vinyl Me, Please A017
CD: Columbia C2K 40577, Columbia Legacy C2K 65774, Columbia Legacy C4K 65570, Columbia Legacy C4K 90924, Columbia Legacy 88697 70274, Columbia Legacy 88697 54519, Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratory UDSACD 2149, CBS/Sony 50DP 703/4, CBS/Sony CSCS 5151/52, Sony SRCS 9118/9, Sony 8837/40, Sony SICP 669/72, Sony SRCS 9714/5, Sony SIGP 20/1, Sony SICP 834/5, Sony SICP 1220/1, SICJ 10008/9, Sony SICP 20002/3, Sony SICJ 30077/8, Sony SICP 30267/68, Columbia Legacy 86975 24922 [= Columbia (F) 86975 52492] (CD 33)


"Bitches Brew" was originally conceived as having five sections, to be compiled after each section was recorded. The session reels include music from four slated "parts" (the fifth is slated but there is no music). The issued version of "Bitches Brew" is put together from parts 1 and 2, roughly as below.

"Bitches Brew"
0:00-0:41 introduction - part 2 (rubato)
0:41-2:51 part 2 theme (Davis, Shorter with echo)
2:51-3:32 part 1 bass vamp (loop)
3:32-3:54 part 1 with rhythm section
3:34-6:34 Davis solo
6:34-7:24 McLaughlin solo
7:24-7:51 ensemble settles down (Davis instructs, "Keep it like that, yeah... Right.")
7:51-8:55 McLaughlin solo
8:55-10:31 Davis solo
10:31-11:28 repeated passage (looped)
11:28-11:40 ensemble
11:40-12:36 Shorter solo
12:36-12:42 Holland solo
12:42-13:28 edit to drums, Corea solo
13:28-14:36 edit, Corea solo continues
14:36-15:56 edit - part 2 (rubato)
15:56-17:20 part 2 theme - Davis with echo
17:20-19:24 edit - part 1, Holland solo
19:24-20:14 Davis solo
20:14-20:59 ensemble
20:59-22:02 Davis solo
22:02-24:05 edit to ensemble, Zawinul solo
24:05-26:57 edit to part 2 (repeat of beginning 2:51)

The Canadian rock band Blood, Sweat and Tears had a best-selling single, "Spinning Wheel," on the charts in the summer of 1969, and Davis' first solo (5:50-6:20) deconstructs the melody.

The issued version of "John McLaughlin" is a composite using pieces of parts 3 and 4 of "Bitches Brew." The alternate take of "John McLaughlin" included in the 40th Anniversary Collectors Edition (Columbia Legacy 88697 70274) is really "Bitches Brew," part 4, take 2.

The issued version of "Sanctuary" combines two takes: the first includes just Davis' working quintet and percussionist Don Alias (0:00-5:12), the second adds Maupin, Zawinul, McLaughlin, and White (5:12-10:54).

The music that does not appear on Bitches Brew is included on the bootleg CDs Deep Brew, Volume 1 and Deep Brew, Volume 2 (Mega Disc) and Unreleased Bitches Brew Session (So What SW-146/47).

The tapes of these sessions contain a large number of gaps, the result of Teo Macero's editing and post-production. Apparently on this occasion Macero worked directly from the master tapes, not from safety copies; as a result there are no extant "complete" recordings of these sessions. For the details, consult Enrico Merlin and Veniero Rizzardi's Bitches Brew: Genesi del capolavaro di Miles Davis (Milano: Il Saggiatori, 2009), which carefully analyzes the issued recording and all available unused studio material.

The Davis Quintet maintained a busy touring schedule during this time: Rutgers University Stadium, New Brunswick (Rutgers Jazz Festival) (July 27); Sheraton Park Hotel, French Lick (French Lick Jazz Festival) (July 31); Spectrum, Philadelphia (August 15); Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis (St. Louis Jazz Festival) (August 16); Grant Park Auditorium Theatre, Chicago (August 22); Crosley Field, Cincinnati (Ohio Jazz Festival) (August 23); Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis (Memphis Jazz Festival) (August 24); Shelly's Manne-Hole, Los Angeles (September 9-21).

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