In Concert at the Olympia, Paris 1957 (CD Digipack)
  • Barney Wilen
    Barney Wilen
  • René Urtreger
    René Urtreger
  • Pierre Michelot
    Pierre Michelot
  • Kenny Clarke
    Kenny Clarke
  • Miles Davis
    Miles Davis

Miles Davis

In Concert at the Olympia, Paris 1957 (CD Digipack)

Fresh Sound Records

Miles Davis (tp), Barney Wilen (ts), René Urtreger (p), Pierre Michelot (b), Kenny Clarke (d)

Reference: FSRCD1135

Bar code: 8427328611350

The recording of this historic concert is presented in its entirety for the first time in this edition. The remastered original tapes have been used to produce this CD, ensuring excellent sound quality.

With little publicity and only one star arrived from America, Miles Davis, Bruno Coquatrix, owner and manager of the Olympia, accomplished an impressive feat by presenting a sold-out concert on Saturday, November 30, 1957, at 6 p.m. André Hodeir in Jazz Hot had written, "This concert by Miles Davis was one of the most beautiful jazz concerts we have ever heard in Paris. Brilliantly supported by Kenny Clarke, René Urtreger, Pierre Michelot, and Barney Wilen, the great trumpeter gave the best of himself in many passages."

The producer and owner of this recording was the late jazz promoter Marcel Romano, who brought Miles Davis to Paris. After more than 60 years in storage, Romano’s nephew and heir discovered the tapes and sold them to Fresh Sound Records for a commercial release.

The music on this album is a magnificent testament to Miles Davis’ engaging and captivating style, showcasing his unrivaled ability to push his peers beyond their limits and share his boundless creativity and inspiration with them, leaving an indelible mark on our hearts and minds.

—Jordi Pujol

01. Solar (Miles Davis) 7:24
02. Four (Miles Davis) 6:27
03. What's New? (Haggart-Burke) 3:26
04. No Moe (Sonny Rollins) 8:11
05. Lady Bird (Tadd Dameron) 7:25
06. Tune Up (Miles Davis) 4:44
07. I’ll Remember April (De Paul-Raye-Johnson) 6:29
08. Bag's Groove (Milt Jackson) 7:29
09. 'Round Midnight (Thelonious Monk) 5:11
10. Now's The Time (Charlie Parker) 6:28
11. Walkin' (Richard Carpenter) 7:18
12. The Theme (Miles Davis) 2:21

Album details

Miles Davis, trumpet (out on #5, 7, 10); Barney Wilen, tenor sax; René Urtreger, piano; Pierre Michelot, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums.
Recorded live at the Olympia, Paris, November 30, 1957

Restored & mastered by Marc Doutrepont
Photos by Jean-Pierre Leloir (digipack front, back and page 2)
Other photos: X
Liner notes by Jordi Pujol

Original recordings produced by Marcel Romano
Source of the original tapes: Laurent Guenoun
Produced for release by Jordi Pujol
© 2023 by Fresh Sound Records

Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas, S.L.

Note: Before Miles Davis arrived in Paris, the aspiring filmmaker Louis Malle was aware that Miles’s quintet would be performing at the Saint-Germain club for a week following the Olympia concert. Recognizing this as an opportunity, Malle approached Marcel Romano with a equest: he expressed his desire for the Miles Davis quintet to provide the music for his debut film, “Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows).”

When Miles arrived in Paris, Romano and Malle rushed to pitch the idea to him and organized a private screening of the film. After watching it, Miles eagerly embraced the challenge and set to work on it with enthusiasm, despite the limited time he had to prepare the music.

On November 4, the Miles Davis quintet reunited at Le Poste Parisien Studio for a late evening recording session under the supervision of Marcel Romano. The session commenced at 9 p.m. and lasted for four intense hours. As the film played before their eyes, the musicians delved into spontaneous improvisation, creating a remarkable musical masterpiece. The seamless fusion of image, action, and sound in the film left an enduring imprint on the realms of both cinema and jazz.

Despite this unpredicted achievement, the tour proved to be a financial failure as the expected number of signed concerts did not materialize as Romano had anticipated. As a result, Miles Davis found himself spending a majority of his time jamming at club Saint-Germain and enjoying the lively atmosphere of Paris.

The quintet’s limited number of scheduled appearances outside of France proved to be successful, with two notable concerts receiving high praise and acclaim. The first concert took place on December 8 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, while the second occurred on December 20 at the Théâtre Patria in Brussels. Prior to the Brussels concert, Miles traveled alone to Stuttgart on December 18 where he showcased his skills as the main soloist with the Erwin Lehn Orchestra at the Liederhalle Beethovensaal. After the conclusion of the Brussels performance, Miles returned to his base of operations in New York.

Press reviews

"On November 30, 1957, four days before trumpeter Miles Davis began recording the soundtrack to the French movie Ascenseur Pour L'echafaud, he performed at L'Olympia theater in Paris. He was backed by the Rene Utreger Quartet, featuring Barney Wilen (ts), Rene Urtreger (p), Pierre Michelot (b) and Kenny Clarke (d) —the same musicians who would accompany him on the soundtrack.

Now, for the first time, we have the entire performance in sterling 24-bit remastered audio, thanks to Jordi Pujol and his Fresh Sound label. While parts of the concert were previously released on gritty bootlegs and a private recording by Urtreger, this release marks the first high-quality commercial issuing of the music.

The quintet is remarkable for its exceptional individual players. Wilen was a superb modern tenor saxophonist, Michelot was a solid bassist and Clarke was a superstar expatriate and a founding father of bebop. Most interesting, the quartet behind Davis didn't try to emulate the sound of his working group with John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones, though Wilen and Coltrane did share a similar dry tone.

In addition, Davis sounds at ease and playing as beautifully as he would on the movie soundtrack days later. In part, I would attribute this to Paris and his long-running love affair with the city and French audiences' love affair with him.

But Davis' passion for Paris ran a little deeper. Nearly all of his trips there included an affair. In 1949, he was with actress-singer Juliette Gréco. In 1956, he formed a romantic attachment with Urtreger's sister, Jeanne De Mirbeck. And a year later, around the time of this recording, he had begun an affair with Ascenseur Pour L'echafaud's leading actress, Jeanne Moreau.

During this trip, he also continued his affair with Urtréger's sister. “He was obsessed by sex, not by women,” she has said. “But when he was with me, he was with me.” During the tour, Davis wore her scarves on stage as keepsakes. Paris will do that to you.

The songs performed on the album are Solar, Four, What's New?, No Moe, Lady Bird, Tune Up, I'll Remember April, Bags' Groove, Round Midnight, Now's the Time, Walkin' and The Theme.

Another spectacular historical release of previously unisssued material that's first rate on every level. Kudos to Jordi and Fresh Sound."

—Marc Myers (September 19, 2023)


12,95 €  (tax incl.)

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