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Miles Davis

Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud / Lift To The Scaffold

Sam Records

Released: 3rd March 2021

10"£25.99 Buy Now In Stock. Dispatched today.

Recorded in Paris, December 4, 1957.
Original LP 10-inch issue: Fontana 660.213 MR.

At a time when most of the Miles Davis music from this period is only available on vinyl as rubbishy sounding bootlegs here's something made with real love. Sam Records is a micro label based in Paris and this is one of their first releases, Miles' score for Louis Malle's nouvelle vague masterpiece, Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud.

In 1957, Miles Davis is in Paris for an engagement at the ‘Club Saint-Germain’ and a wonderful concert at the Olympia Theatre. Once in Paris, Miles came into contact with many members of the modern existentialist cultural environment in the neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Près. These include the director Louis Malle who had just finished his first movie : ‘Ascenseur Pour L’échafaud’. Jean-Paul Rappeneau, a Jazz fan and Louis Malle’s assistant at the time, suggested asking Miles Davis to create the film’s soundtrack. A private sceening has been organised.

On December 4 1957, Miles Davis brought three French Jazzmen – Barney Wilen on tenor saxophone, René Urtreger on piano, Pierre Michelot on bass and his American compatriot Kenny Clarke on drums – to the recording studio ‘Le Poste Parisien’ without having them prepare anything. Miles Davis only gave the musicians a few rudimentary harmonic sequences he had assembled in his hotel room. This recordings was made at night in a most informal atmosphere.

The soundtrack was not released on it’s own in the USA but ten songs from this soundtrack was released as one side of the album Jazz Track which received a 1960 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Performance, Solo or Small Group. ‘Ascenseur Pour L’échafaud’ has become a great achievement of artistic excellence.

Miles Davis (Trumpet)
René Urtreger (Piano)
Barney Wilen (Tenor Saxophone)
Pierre Michelot (Bass)
Kenny Clarke (Drums)

Side A
Générique 2’47”
L’assassinat des Carala 2’09”
Sur l’autoroute 2’18”
Julien dans l’ascenseur 2’09
Florence sur les Champs-Elysées 2’51”

Side B
Diner au motel 3’56”
Evasion de Julien 0’51”
Visite du vigile 2’04”
Au bar du petit bac 2’53”
Chez le photographe du motel 3’57”

Re-mastered from the original master tapes with the echo effects.
Cut by Ray Staff at Air Mastering Studio in London.
Limited edition 1000 copies.
Vinyl pressed by Pallas in Germany.
10-inch – Facsimile reissue using the original cover art with OBI.
Double insert using an original photo by Gérad Landau/INA from 1957.
Each record has been visually checked to prevent defects.