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:
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:
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)
This is definitely Miles Davis playing; let's compare this phrase from Polishing Brass solo with what he plays on Thriving On A Riff (take 3) from November 26, 1945 Savoy studio recording (the Ko-ko session).
And if we listen carefully, we find still another fragment matching with Ko-ko session. Let's compare this fragment from Polishing Brass solo with what Miles plays on Thriving On A Riff (take 1) and on the intro of Ko-ko (take 2) from the same November 26, 1945 Savoy recording session; the same we hear on Moose The Mooche, take 3, recorded on March 28, 1946 for Dial with Charlie Parker.
Cuttin' Time (B. Carter)
Prelude To A Kiss
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 and consider how similar it is the musical gesture with the open statement of Howard McGhee on Lover Man recorded on July 29, 1946 with Charlie Parker for Dial.
I Cover The Waterfront
If we compare this fragment from trumpet solo with a fragment of Benny Carter solo on I Can't Get Started from Trianon Ballroom, same period we can suppose that it is the same Benny Carter playing trumpet, as he announce .
Back Bay Boogie
Mainly a Bb blues; here is trumpet solo (four chorus):
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)
Jump Call (B. Carter)
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 matching with Miles phrases from the discussed Ko-ko session (November 26, 1945 Savoy studio recording); compare with this phrase from Thriving on a riff (take 1) and this from Ko-ko intro (take 2) and still this from Moose The Mooche, take 3, recorded on March 28, 1946 for Dial with Charlie Parker. .
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