The 1954 session is essentially Davis accompanied by the Modern Jazz Quartet, with Monk in place of John Lewis. Notable as the only time Thelonious Monk made a studio recording with Davis – the two men did not get on well, as Davis felt Monk ought to be "laying out" (refraining from playing) during the trumpeter's solos. Ira Gitler, who was present at the session and wrote the sleevenotes for the album, dispels the myth that the two men confronted each other physically, but there was argument throughout the session. The first take of "The Man I Love" has a false start caused by Monk asking when he should start playing, and an exasperated Davis telling engineer Rudy Van Gelder, "Hey Rudy, put this on the record, man – all of it!". In his autobiography, Davis recalls "When I heard stories later saying that me and him was almost about to fight after I had him lay out while I was playing on 'Bags' Groove,' I was shocked, because Monk and I were, first, very close, and second, he was too big and strong for me to even be thinking about fighting [...] All I did was tell him to lay out when I was playing. My asking him to lay out had something to do with music, not friendship. He used to tell cats to lay out himself."