Quiet Nights (Miles Davis and Gil Evans album)

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Quiet Nights
Studio album by Miles Davis/Gil Evans
Released March 1964
Recorded July 27, 1962 (#3, 6)
August 13, 1962 (#4-5)
November 6, 1962 (#1-2)
CBS 30th Street Studio, New York City
April 17, 1963 (#7)
October 9-10, 1963 (#8)
Columbia Studios, Los Angeles
Genre Jazz
Bossa nova
Length 26:57 original LP
39:42 1997 CD reissue
Label Columbia
CL 2106
Producer Teo Macero (#1-7)
Irving Townsend (#8)
Miles Davis/Gil Evans chronology
Seven Steps to Heaven
Quiet Nights
In Europe
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars [1]

Quiet Nights is the ninth studio album by jazz musician Miles Davis, and his fourth album collaboration with Gil Evans, released in 1964 on Columbia Records, catalogue CL 2106 and CS 8906 in stereo. Recorded mostly at Columbia's 30th Street Studios in Manhattan, it is the final album by Davis and Evans.


Keeping to his standard procedure at Columbia to date of alternating small group records and big band studio projects with Gil Evans, Davis entered the studio with Evans to follow up the latest studio LP by the working quintet, Someday My Prince Will Come.[2] In 1961, Davis had also released his first live albums, two independent LPs entitled Friday Night at the Blackhawk and Saturday Night at the Blackhawk, in addition to the studio set. Another live set from 1961, Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall, also with both the quintet and a large ensemble conducted by Evans was issued in 1962.[3]

The genesis of this Davis/Evans album, however, encountered far greater difficulties than its three predecessors. Bossa nova had recently become a commercial success in 1962 with the single "Desafinado" from the album Jazz Samba by Stan Getz, and Columbia executives may have pressured Davis and Evans to attempt something similar with this album.[4] Sessions were also protracted over long stretches of time.


Two songs were recorded at the first session in July, "Corcovado" and "Aos Pes Da Cruz" (meaning 'Hunchback' and 'At the Foot of the Cross' in Portuguese), and released as Columbia singles 4-33059 and 4-4-42583; neither charted.[5] The pair returned to longer forms for the subsequent sessions, Evans perhaps not given enough time to finish the charts for the earlier session.[6] The attempt to mix potential hit singles and Evans' writing style for Davis, essentially concertos for jazz trumpeter, may have torpedoed the project.

After three sessions spread over four months, the yield was approximately 20 minutes of usable music, enough for an album side but not an entire album. Evans and Davis never made it back into the studio to complete more recordings, and the project was shelved.[7] Faced with the expenses from the large ensemble and the studio time, producer Teo Macero added a quartet track from an April 1963 session in Hollywood to complete the album and give the label something to show for its investment, Quiet Nights, released two years after the start of recording.[8] Davis was furious at the release of what he viewed as an unfinished project, and did not work with Macero again until the October 1966 sessions for Miles Smiles.[8] The added tune, "Summer Night," was an outtake by Davis' group as recorded for the album Seven Steps to Heaven.

On September 23, 1997, Legacy Records reissued the album for compact disc with the bonus track "Time of the Barracudas" recorded in Hollywood on October 9 and 10, 1963. Written as a commission from Peter Barnes to accompany a production of his play of the same name starring Laurence Harvey and Elaine Stritch, it is unknown whether the music was actually used for its intended purpose.[9]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Song No. 2 (a.k.a. Prenda Minha)"   Gil Evans, Miles Davis 1:40
2. "Once Upon A Summertime"   Johnny Mercer, Michel Legrand
Eddie Barclay, Eddy Marnay
3. "Aos Pes Da Cruz"   Marino Pinto, José Goncalves 4:18
4. "Song No. 1"   Gil Evans, Miles Davis 4:37

Side two[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Wait Till You See Her"   Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart 4:06
6. "Corcovado"   Antonio Carlos Jobim 2:45
7. "Summer Night"   Harry Warren, Al Dubin 6:04

1997 reissue bonus track[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
8. "Time of the Barracudas"   Gil Evans, Miles Davis 12:45


Bonus track personnel[edit]

  • Miles Davis — trumpet
  • Gil Evans — arranger, conductor
  • Dick Leith — bass trombone
  • Bill Hinshaw, Art Maeba, Richard Perissi — french horns
  • Gene Cipriano, Paul Horn — woodwinds
  • Fred Dutton — bassoon
  • Marjorie Call — harp
  • Herbie Hancock — piano
  • Ron Carter — bass
  • Tony Williams — drums

Production personnel[edit]


  1. ^ Quiet Nights (Miles Davis and Gil Evans album) at AllMusic
  2. ^ Richard Cook. It's About That Time: Miles Davis On and Off Record. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0-19-532266-8, p. 123
  3. ^ Cook, pp. 139-140
  4. ^ Bob Belden. Quiet Nights. Columbia/Legacy CK 65293, 1997, liner notes p. 15.
  5. ^ Belden, liner notes p. 16.
  6. ^ Belden, liner notes, p. 16.
  7. ^ Belden, liner notes, p. 18.
  8. ^ a b Cook, p. 141.
  9. ^ Belden, liner notes p. 19.