The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965

The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965
Live album by Miles Davis
Released July 8, 1995
Recorded December 22–23, 1965
Genre Jazz
Length 7:32:03
Highlights disc 73:23
Label Legacy
Producer Michael Cuscuna
Miles Davis chronology
1969 Miles – Festiva De Juan Pins (1993) The Complete Live at The Plugged Nickel (1995) Live Around the World (1996)
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The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965 is a compact disc box set of the Miles Davis Quintet, recorded on December 22 and 23, 1965, and released on Legacy Records in July 1995, catalogue CK 66955. It comprises recordings of seven performance sets over the two nights by the second great Davis quintet at the now-defunct Plugged Nickel nightclub in Chicago. A single-disc sampler, Highlights from the Plugged Nickel, catalogue CK 67377, was released by Legacy on November 14, 1995, and was reissued on February 1, 2008. Although the physical box-set is currently out of print, the physical sampler and a digital version of the entire box-set remain available.


Although the quintet had already issued the E.S.P. album, consisting of original compositions by members of the band, the repertoire at the club included none of those tunes, except Davis' "Agitation." Instead, the band relied upon standards or items that had been in Davis' live repertoire for several years. Research for a Wayne Shorter biography revealed that drummer Tony Williams, during the plane ride to Chicago, challenged the rest of the band to play anti-jazz, in essence sabotaging the gig by playing whatever one wished rather than the standard versions.[2] The band kept to the challenge, and the tunes were then radically altered for the Plugged Nickel performances.

Some tracks were available on Miles Davis compilations, but the full recordings were not released until the appearance of this box set. A 1982 double album was released as part of the Contemporary Masters Series on Columbia; this appeared also as Live at the Plugged Nickel (no. 25, discs 30 and 31) in the box set Miles Davis: The Complete Columbia Album Collection.[3][4] The ten tracks are the same that together made up the 1976 Japanese releases, At Plugged Nickel, Chicago, Vol. 1 and At Plugged Nickel, Chicago, Vol. 2, but some durations are longer.[5]


Each disc of the box set of eight discs presents one complete set, with the exception of the second set on the first night of December 22, which is split onto two discs, with the discs in a slimline case and internally numbered accordingly as 2a and 2b. The reasoning for this on the part of Sony is unclear, since the total timing of the music on discs 2a and 2b is under the 80-minute single disc limit. The box set has been awarded a rare crown by the Penguin Guide to Jazz, concluding that "these are genuinely historic recordings."

Track listing

December 22, 1965 — first set (67:51)

Disc one
1."If I Were a Bell"  Frank Loesser16:42
2."Stella by Starlight"  Ned Washington, Victor Young12:49
3."Walkin'"  Richard Carpenter15:51
4."I Fall in Love Too Easily"  Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn11:43
5."The Theme"  Miles Davis10:19

December 22, 1965 — second set (42:41)

Disc two-a
1."My Funny Valentine"  Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart16:33
2."Four"  Miles Davis15:05
3."When I Fall in Love"  Edward Heyman, Victor Young10:44

December 22, 1965 — second set (36:47)

Disc two-b
1."Agitation"  Miles Davis13:13
2."'Round Midnight"  Bernie Hanighen, Cootie Williams, Thelonious Monk8:42
3."Milestones"  Miles Davis14:04
4."The Theme"  Miles Davis0:38

December 22, 1965 — third set (69:19)

Disc three
1."All of You"  Cole Porter14:38
2."Oleo"  Sonny Rollins6:05
3."I Fall in Love Too Easily"  Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn11:53
4."No Blues"  Miles Davis17:35
5."I Thought About You"  Johnny Mercer, Jimmy Van Heusen11:03
6."The Theme"  Miles Davis8:05

December 23, 1965 — first set (52:51)

Disc four
1."If I Were a Bell"  Frank Loesser13:29
2."Stella by Starlight"  Ned Washington, Victor Young13:09
3."Walkin'"  Richard Carpenter11:01
4."I Fall in Love Too Easily"  Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn12:07
5."The Theme"  Miles Davis2:50

December 23, 1965 — second set (65:55)

Disc five
1."All of You"  Cole Porter10:39
2."Agitation"  Miles Davis10:48
3."My Funny Valentine"  Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart13:52
4."On Green Dolphin Street"  Ned Washington, Bronisław Kaper12:48
5."So What"  Miles Davis13:36
6."The Theme"  Miles Davis3:28

December 23, 1965 — third set (69:44)

Disc six
1."When I Fall in Love"  Edward Heyman, Victor Young13:39
2."Milestones"  Miles Davis11:49
3."Autumn Leaves"  Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prévert, Johnny Mercer11:56
4."I Fall in Love Too Easily"  Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn11:43
5."No Blues"  Miles Davis20:06
6."The Theme"  Miles Davis0:22

December 23, 1965 — fourth set (46:55)

Disc seven
1."Stella by Starlight"  Ned Washington, Victor Young14:16
2."All Blues"  Miles Davis12:18
3."Yesterdays"  Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach15:00
4."The Theme"  Miles Davis4:51

Highlights single disc track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Date & SetLength
1."Milestones"  Miles Davis12/23 Third11:49
2."Yesterdays"  Kern, Harbach12/23 Fourth15:00
3."So What"  Miles Davis12/23 Second13:36
4."Stella by Starlight"  Washington, Young12/23 First13:09
5."Walkin'"  Richard Carpenter12/23 First11:01
6."'Round Midnight"  Hanighen, Williams, Monk12/22 Second8:42



  1. Allmusic review
  2. NPR All Things Considered retrieved 17 April 2011
  3. At the Plugged Nickel (Columbia C2 38266) on Miles Ahead: A Miles Davis Website by Peter Losin.
  4. The Complete Columbia Album Collection on Miles Ahead: A Miles Davis Website. Retrieved December 2010
  5. For full details of this and all other releases see the comprehensive discography by Peter Losin on Miles Ahead: A Miles Davis Website.
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