Dig – 1957

Miles Davis


The earliest film of Miles Davis that has been discovered so far

In 1957 Miles Davis, having recently (and temporarily) broken up his first classic quintet with John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones, traveled to France to work on a movie soundtrack.

While overseas, he appeared a few times with a quintet that also included tenor-saxophonist Barney Wilen, pianist Rene Urtreger, bassist Pierre Michelot, and drummer Kenny Clarke.

This film clip recently surfaced, featuring that group playing “Dig” (or at least referring to the melody in spots), a Jackie McLean tune that utilized the chord changes of “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

Two years before the famous half-hour television show that matched Miles Davis with the Gil Evans Orchestra and (on “So What”) John Coltrane, he is featured at the age of 31 in fine form with Clarke and the three excellent French jazz musicians.

-Scott Yanow

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