Rare 1959 TV Appearance by Jazz Legend in Honor of Kind of Blue 50th Anniversary
In a rare national television appearance filmed April 2, 1959, the legendary trumpet player 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” off Kind of Blue (1959) — the biggest selling jazz record of all time — 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. Tunes from Miles Ahead (1957) follow: Dave Brubeck’s “The Duke” and Ahmad Jamal’s “New Rhumba.” Taped for The Robert Herridge Theater at Studio 61 in New York City, and first broadcast July 21, 1960, this special should be considered essential viewing for jazz enthusiasts, or anyone who enjoys great timeless music. MILES DAVIS: THE SOUND OF MILES DAVIS airs nationwide on public television beginning March 2009 (check local listings).
The Gil Evans Orchestra features trumpeters Ernie Royal, Clyde Reasinger, Louis Mucci, Johnny Coles, and Emmett Berry; trombonists Frank Rehak, Jimmy Cleveland, Bill Elton, and Rod Levitt; woodwinds Romeo Penque and Eddie Caine; bass clarinetist Danny Bank; French horn players Robert Northern and Julius Watkins; and tubaist Bill Barber.
Presented nationally by WLIW21 in association with WNET.ORG. 30 minutes.