Rolling Stone has the exclusive first listen of the session reel to “Water Babies,” to be released on Miles Davis Quintet – Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5. Recorded in 1967, the final master take of “Water Babies” was first released on the 1976 album of the same name.
“Did you order the champagne?” the scratchy-voiced trumpeter asks the engineer at the beginning of the clip, recorded on June 7th, 1967. After he’s assured that the beverage is on its way, Davis counts in saxophonist Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams, and the group begins playing the moody, waltzing piece. After one brief false start, the band launches into a longer partial take featuring a full Davis trumpet solo. Even in this fragment, the quintet’s moody, textural signature sound is on riveting display.