In the Light of Marc Myers’ Interview with Rudy Van Gelder: MILES DAVIS & THE MODERN JAZZ GIANTS with THE MAN I LOVE (2) & BAGS’ GROOVE (1) — December 24, 1954

Rudy Van Gelder Interview @ JazzWax




PART 4 …which is partly about one of my all time favorites: Art Blakey’s A NIGHT AT BIRDLAND VOL. 1 & VOL. 2


You can find Ira Gitler’s original liners to the below LP @ Peter Losin’s highly informative site Miles Ahead.

Yours truly wrote about the legendary take #1 of “The Man I Love”:

“Rudy, put this on the record … *all* of it!” — Miles Davis said this to RVG between the interrupted intro #1 and intro #2 after which followed one of the undoubted (and widely discussed) high points in the recorded history of jazz: “The Man I Love” (take 1) with Miles, Monk, Bags, Percy & Klook.

This is one of the most brilliantly sounding studio sessions anyway, disregarding the obvious tension between its participants which didn’t affect the music though. On the contrary: It deepened the music; the quarrel (was it one?) seemed to have boosted the creativity.

One of those magic Miles/ RVG moments when everything seemed to fall into place. I enjoy every second of the album (pictured above), also the green one of course, containing the rest of the session: Both takes of Bags’ Groove with *the* Monk solo of the 1950’s.

The pressing I have came out on the Prestige sub label Metronome, Sweden/ Denmark; it’s marked with RVG (Blog owner’s note: Click to enlarge), and it has cost me “only” 50 DM when I purchased it in the very hot Summer in 1985.

It clearly belongs to my desert island picks.

Here comes, what is probably Thelonious Monk’s most creative piano solo. It’s the abstraction of a blues, and it’s one of the rare Monk solos on the blues in F, because all of Monk’s own blues compositions are in the key of B-flat.

Miles Davis (tp) Milt Jackson (vib) Thelonious Monk (p) Percy Heath (b) Kenny Clarke (d) – Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, December 24, 1954:

This happened seven months later, and it is known as Miles Davis’ legendary comeback; the tune is Charlie Parker’s “Now’s The Time”, also a blues in F, and it’s again Monk on piano.

Miles Davis (tp) Zoot Sims (ts) Gerry Mulligan (bars) Thelonious Monk (p) Percy Heath (b) Connie Kay (d) – “Newport Jazz Festival”, Newport, RI, July 17, 1955:

Both CD’s can be purchased HERE & HERE

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