Miles Davis Quintet – Walkin (1965)

Walkin Appears on “The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965” (Columbia Legacy 1995). It is originally written by R. Carpenter.

Played live at the Plugged Nickel, First Set December 23, 1965 by:

Miles Davis – Trumpet / Wayne Shorter – Tenor Saxophone / Herbie Hancock – Piano / Ron Carter – Bass / Tony Williams – Drums.

Research for a Wayne Shorter biography revealed that drummer Tony Williams, during the plane ride to Chicago, challenged the rest of the band to play anti-jazz, in essence sabotaging the gig by playing whatever one wished rather than the standard versions. The band kept to the challenge, and the tunes were then radically altered for the Plugged Nickel performances. [source]

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Miles Davis – Seven Steps to Heaven (1963)

Title Track on the album Seven Steps to Heaven by Miles Davis.

It’s easy to pigeonhole this ’63 Miles Davis recording as a “transition” period between his classic quintets, but one thing is quite clear: Miles was always in transition. Each Davis band was going through a musical or personnel metamorphosis, so we might as well simply take the music on its own terms and forget about the historical context. On that standard alone, Seven Steps to Heaven is an absolute gem.

Introducing two future classics, Miles and company tear through “Joshua” and “Seven Steps to Heaven” and set the world on notice: life in the music world would never be the same again. [source]

Personnel:
Miles Davis – trumpet
George Coleman – tenor saxophone
Herbie Hancock – piano
Ron Carter – bass
Tony Williams – drums

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Miles Davis Quintet – Freedom Jazz Dance (1966)

Freedom Jazz Dance, written by Eddie Harris, is the second track on the B-side of the album Miles Smiles  by Miles Davis Quintet.

Miles Smiles is an album by jazz musician Miles Davis, released in January 1967 on Columbia Records. It was recorded by Davis and his second quintet at Columbia 30th Street Studio in New York City on October 24 and October 25, 1966. It is the second of five albums recorded by Davis’s second great quintet, which featured saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams. [source]

Miles Davis – Trumpet
Wayne Shorter – Tenor Saxophone
Herbie Hancock – Piano
Ron Carter – Double Bass
Tony Williams – Drums

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Graham Moncur III – Some Other Stuff (1964) (full album)

According to Moncur, “Gnostic”, a free jazz piece “which eliminates a pulsating meter”, should represent the achievement of salvation through the expression of knowledge and wisdom. “Thandiwa” means “beloved one” in the Zulu language, and it is the least experimental track of the album.With “The Twins”, built off only one chord, he wanted to portrait his twin brothers; he considered the rhythm the focal point of the composition.”Nomadic” is centered on a drum solo by Tony Williams. [source]

Graham Moncur III was one of the top trombonists of the jazz avant-garde in the 1960s although he had only a few chances to lead his own record sessions. This 1964 set (which has been reissued on CD) was one of his finest, a quintet outing with bassist Cecil McBee, two of the members of the Miles Davis Quintet (pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Tony Williams), and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter  just a brief time before he joined Miles. The group performs four of Moncur´s challenging originals, including “Nomadic” (which is largely a drum solo) and “The Twins,” which is built off of one chord. None of the compositions caught on but the strong and very individual improvising of the young musicians is enough of a reason to acquire the advanced music. [source]

Tracks: Gnostic  (11:46) / Thandiwa (8:21) / The Twins (12:55) / Nomadic ( 7:43)

Line up:
Cecil McBee – Bass
Anthony Williams – Drums
Herbie Hancock – Piano
Wayne Shorter – Tenor Saxophone
Grachan Moncur III – Trombone

 

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Miles Davis – On the Corner (1972) (Full Album)

On the Corner is a studio album by jazz musician Miles Davis, recorded in June and July 1972 and released later that year on Columbia Records. It was scorned by critics at the time of its release and was one of Davis’s worst-selling recordings. Its critical standing has improved dramatically with the passage of time, as it is now seen as a strong forerunner of the musical techniques of post punk, hip hop, drum and bass, and electronic music. [source]

I didn’t discover that until ten years ago but I love the grooves on it and it’s interesting in that there’s no melodies. It’s sounds like electronic music, except it has the fortunate aspect of being played by humans. It’s influenced obviously by James Brown, one of my favourite artists. James Brown is like the Bach of modern music, a fantastic composer, so complicated and yet so much below the hips as well. I love On the Corner because it’s kind of abstract but also so compulsive. I guess it’s uncharacteristic for Miles, and it caused a lot of controversy at the time. I’m not so fond of, say, Bitches Brew, with the electric guitar, but I also love Sketches of Spain, with the great arranger, Gil Evans, who also did Out Of The Cool. I like really arranged and cinematic jazz. That’s enough on that one! [source]

All songs written by Miles Davis: A1, On the Corner; New York Girl; Thinkin’ One Thing and Doin’ Another; Vote for Miles – 20:02 / A2, Black Satin – 5:20 / B1, One and One” – 6:09 / B2, Helen Butte; Mr. Freedom X – 23:18

Musicians
Miles Davis – Electric Trumpet with wah-wah
Dave Liebman – Soprano Saxophone (A2)
Carlos Garnett – Soprano and Tenor Saxophone (B1, B2)
Chick Corea – Electric Piano (A1)
Herbie Hancock – Electric Piano, Synthesizer
Harold I. Williams – Organ, Synthesizer
Lonnie Liston Smith – Organ (B2)
David Creamer – Electric guitar (A2, B1, B2)
John McLaughlin – Electric Guitar (A1)
Michael Henderson – Electric Bass with Wah Wah
Collin Walcott – Electric Sitar (A1, B1, B2)
Khalil Balakrishna – Electric Sitar (A2)
Bennie Maupin – Bass Clarinet (B1)
Badal Roy – Tabla
Jack DeJohnette – Drums
Billy Cobham – Drums
Al Foster – Drums
Jabali Billy Hart – Drums, Bongos
James “Mtume” Foreman – Percussion
Don Alias – Percussion
Paul Buckmaster – Cello, Arrangements

 

 

Donald Byrd & Pepper Adams – It’s A Beautiful Evening (1961)

It’s A Beautiful Evening is the last track on side A on the album Out Of This World by Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams Quintet. The album was recorded and released in 1961 and according to the liner notes, this album was Herbie Hancock’s first recorded performance . It’s A Beautiful Evening is composed by Dorothy Wayne and Raymond Rasch.

This set of sides recorded with the then-fledgling Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams quintet was taped for the long-defunct Warwick label. While Byrd and Adams – along with Jimmy Cobb and Charles, who is only on one track here – were veterans in Detroit before coming to the Big Apple, Herbie Hancock was a kid. His playing is the weak link here, but it nonetheless shows great promise and he acts more as an anchor for the wondrous interplay between the front line-check of Byrd´s “Bird House” or the title track or even Johnny Mercer´s “I’m an Old Cowhand” for the wooly, yet lyrical, interplay between this pair of soloists. With his rough and tumble tone punching through Byrd´s elegant and fiery lines and creating a melodically charged harmonic invention in which the interval was everything, Adams came up with a session that was as passionate and innovative as it was hip and tender. This is a hell of an introduction to both players and captures their magic as a band better than any other document that is available on CD. [source]

Donald Byrd – Trumpet
Pepper Adams – Baritone Saxophone
Herbie Hancock – Piano
Laymon Jackson – Bass
Jimmy Cobb – Drums
Teddy Charles – Vibraphone