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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Miles Davis & The Hi-Hat All Stars:
Live at the Hi-Hat, Boston

Jazz Door records JD1216



1. Dig (Miles Davis)[7:40]
2. Darn that Dream (J.Van Heusen-E.Delange)[4:15]
3. Jumping with Symphony Sid (Lester Young)[1:45]
4. Ray's Idea (W.G.Fuller-R.Brown)[6:45]
5. Nice work if you can get (G.Gershwin-I.Gershwin)[5:14]
6. Wee Dot (J.J.Johnson)[5:36]
7. Tune Up (Miles Davis)[7:05]
8. Alone Together (Arthur Schwartz-Howard Dietz)[5:08]
9. Well you needn't (Thelonius Monk)[9:17]
10. Jumping with Symphony Sid (Lester Young)[2:04]
11. A Night in Tunisia (Dizzy Gillespie-Frank Paparelli)[7:21]*

Miles Davis:Trumpet, with the Hi-Hat All Stars: Jay Migliori:Tenor Sax, Al Walcott:Piano, Jimmy Woode:Bass, Jimmy Zitano:Drums ,*Bob Freeman sits in on Piano
Recorded Live at the Hi-Hat, Boston, USA in 1955 (no precise date given)


I had not come across this disc before although it seems this is a reissue of a disc that may have been first released in 1991. Apparently the Hi-Hat Club and Restaurant in Boston, operating in the 1950s, had a policy of engaging a name group from New York to headline the show, with local musicians who formed the Hi-Hat All Stars playing the intermissions, ensuring uninterrupted music all evening. Sometimes, however, they engaged single named musicians to play alongside the house band and this disc represents a case in point. The scant liner notes indicate that Miles was booked for a week but kept over for a second as he drew the crowds and the club had a very good fortnight's business. Well that's no surprise as Miles is on top form and well on the way to becoming the jazz icon he remained until his death in 1991. Listening to Tune Up, for example, shows his phenomenal dexterity in playing notes at breakneck speed but with a precision that leaves one aghast. Darn that Dream and Alone Together, on the other hand show Miles at his lyrical best, turning his horn into a thing of beauty playing gorgeously silky lines. There are many classic tracks on the record and I always enjoy hearing what different artists do with Thelonius Monk's Well you needn't and this version certainly doesn't disappoint being given a full nine plus minutes treatment with plenty of invention along the way. The last track is A Night in Tunisia, another well-loved standard, and the rendition here would, I'm sure, have left its composer, the great Dizzy Gillespie, feeling well pleased. In every number Miles is always controlled but highly inventive, seeking out new depths within the music and he never hogs the centre stage but allows the other musicians to have their musical say, the tenor sax solo in the final tune is proof positive of this as is the piano solo. I help run a jazz club in Bradford in West Yorkshire, UK and have always championed our local musicians of which we are most fortunate to have an abundance in our part of the world. This disc is ample proof that the same was the case in the Boston area at the time for the musicians here were as good as any that could have come from New York; the Hi Hat Club were lucky indeed to have players of that calibre on hand every time they visited - I wish I'd been there!

This disc is a real surprise and delight and one every Miles Davis fan will want to add to their collection

Steve Arloff

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