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Miles Davis recordings in Hollywood, 1946 with the Benny Carter orchestra
Let's take a look at some recordings that document Miles' presence in the Benny Carter Orchestra in Hollywood, in the early 1946.
The source of this recordings come from the AFRS (American Forces Radio Services) Jubilee programs which are well documented here.
I'm very grateful to Mr. Peter Losin for his kind help with the sources of these recordings.
The first of these recording is dated as Hollywood, April 29, 1946.
From this session we have several tunes, and in some of these we may recognize Miles:
Here we have a 32 bars trumpet solo, over the AABA structure; trumpet improvises on the A sections, mainly in Bb major
We find a musical phrase on which the soloist insists many times, expecially in last A section:
Now if we listen to Howard McGhee solo on Cheers (take 2), recorded on February 26, 1946 with Charlie Parker for Dial, we find that he plays last A section before out theme this way:
A more accurate listening reveals us the occurrence, in Cheers (take 2) of phrases like
And even on Cheers, take 1, McGhee ends his solo with a similar phrase:
It's very hard to assert that it's not the same trumpet player we've heard on Mr. Co-Ed.
Frim Fram Sauce
Let's listen first to this wonderful vocal chorus over the AABA 32 bars structure:
Then there is a trumpet solo over the first 16 bars of the structure (impro on bars 5-8 and 13-16) followed by vocal on the rest of the structure:
This is definitely not Miles Davis; we'll get back to this later.
Polishin' Brass (J.J. Johnson)
Here we are again in Bb major, and we hear a 16 bar trumpet solo
This is definitely Miles Davis playing; let's compare this phrase from Polishing Brass solo
Or this other phrase from Polishing Brass solo
And if we listen carefully, we find still another fragment matching with Ko-ko session. Let's compare this fragment from Polishing Brass solo
And still we find similar even in Anthropology
Cuttin' Time (B. Carter)
Another Benny Carter arrangement, in Eb major; here's the theme
This is clearly Miles: compare this fragment of Cuttin' Time solo
And here in Cuttin' Time he plays even very similar
Prelude To A Kiss
Here Benny Carter is the only soloist with alto and trumpet plays just an 8-bars theme bridge
Trumpet player is definitely not Miles Davis; in my opinion it's again Howard McGhee; I've got just a weak rhytmic proof but I guess it'll be enough.
Let's listen to trumpet open statement in Prelude To A Kiss
I Cover The Waterfront
Let's listen to this long trumpet solo:
If we compare this fragment from trumpet solo
More, listening carefully to this fragment from I Cover The Waterfront
Back Bay Boogie
Mainly a Bb blues; here is trumpet solo (four chorus):
Trumpet solo ends with this phrase:
We can recognize Howard McGhee even comparing it with the way he opens his solo on Carvin' The Bird (take 2), recorded on February 26, 1946 with Charlie Parker for Dial:
There are also some more tunes from different recordings, same period, always in Hollywood, at NBC Studios.
Just You, Just Me (R. Klages-J. Greer)
Here this song is played in C major and then it modulates to Eb major when Miles plays his 16 bars solo on A-A of the song structure
During Just You, Just Me solo we hear again a fragment
More, Miles starts his solo playing this fragment
At the end we hear a modulation from Eb major to Ab major
Jump Call (B. Carter)
This tune is basically in Bb major. Here Miles plays a 32 bars solo; his solo starts with a quotation of Moose The Mooche, recorded on March 28, 1946
We can compare the first phrase of his solo with the first phrase of Moose The Mooche theme
This may suggest that this date is after March 28, 1946.
There is another thing that is worth noting in Jump Call solo: during this solo we hear a fragment
List of referenced discography:
- Charlie Parker: The Complete Savoy & Dial Sessions
- Benny Carter Big Band: On The Air (Jazzup 327)
- Spotlite SPJ147 (Anthology) - Jazz Off The Air Vol 3
- Jazz Door JD 1206
- Benny Carter Big Band: The Radio Years 1939-1946 (Jazz Unlimited 201-2078)
- Charlie Parker: At The Finale Club & More
- Jazz Hour JH-1005
Complete transcriptions of referenced Miles Davis and Benny Carter trumpet solos are available on themusicofmiles