03/09/09

Rare 1959 Miles Davis Performance to Be Televised

Miles Davis: The Sound of Miles Davis, a rare 1959 TV appearance by the trumpet legend, will air this Wednesday, March 11, at 10:30 pm on WLIW21 New York Public Television and nationwide on Public Television (check local listings), in honor of the 50th anniversary of Davis’ landmark album Kind of Blue.

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Miles Davis in 1959

The performance was filmed April 2, 1959. Davis performs with the Gil Evans Orchestra and one of his “great quintets,” featuring tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb. Opening the set with “So What” from Kind of Blue, Davis takes extra solos prior to and directly after Coltrane to make up for the absence of alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, who purportedly was unable to attend the taping due to illness. A trio of tunes from Miles Ahead (1957) follows, including Dave Brubeck's “The Duke,” performed as part of a medley with Gil Evans’ “Blues for Pablo” and Ahmad Jamal’s “New Rhumba.” The program was taped for the Robert Herridge Theater at Studio 61 in New York City, and first broadcast July 21, 1960.

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