In December 1965, Miles wanted to cancel the booking for the live recording of his two-week performance at the Plugged Nickel in Chicago. After seven months of absence due to health problems, once again back on drugs, subject to overwhelming attacks of paranoia, and abandoned by Frances as well, he knew he had hit bottom. Since Columbia’s management had threatened to deduct the expenses of the failed recording session costs from Miles’ royalties in case of cancellation, he finally gave in. Although Miles was obviously not in the best of shape, the other members of the quintet defied the law of gravity with an already well-worked selection of standards and several original numbers, whose strands they took apart and reconfigured ad infinitum, often to extreme tempos, sometimes even losing themselves in the confusion of their harmonic and rhythmic distortions. Sony’s release of two LPs in Japan in 1976 caused a sensation, and when all the recordings made on December 22 and 23 came out in 1995*, they immediately became the bible of contemporary jazz that, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, remains a classic.

Original issue: Vol. 1 LP: CBS/Sony (J) 18AP 2067; Vol 2 LP: CBS Sony (J) 18AP 2068 in 1976 in Japan
Producer: Teo Macero
Engineers: Frank Bruno, Buddy Graham

Miles Davis (tpt); Wayne Shorter (ts); Herbie Hancock (p); Ron Carter (b); Tony Williams (d)
Recorded live at the Plugged Nickel, Chicago, IL, December 23, 1965, except Disc 2, track 2 recorded December 22, 1965.

Note 1: Disc 1, track 3, and Disc 2, tracks 4 and 5 were originally issued in edited form on CBS/Sony (J) 18AP 2067 and CBS/Sony (J) 18AP 2068.

Note 2: this double CD contains the first issued material from the Plugged Nickel two night engagement. It came out as two single LPs in Japan in 1976. The first U.S. release was a double LP called Live At The Plugged Nickel which was issued in 1982.


  1. Walkin
  2. Agitation
  3. On Green Dolphin Street
  4. So What
  5. The Theme



  1. ‘Round Midnight
  2. Stella By Starlight
  3. All Blues
  4. Yesterdays
  5. The Theme