November 1956 French concert tour program
Original vintage concert program produced for the “Birdland 56” package tour of France during November 1956, presented by Morris Lévy and Barclay Disques. Performing artists featured an all-star ensemble of the Modern Jazz Quartet, Miles Davis, Lester Young, and Bud Powell. With his monumental Prestige recordings completed in October 1956 and his fame increasing, Miles Davis had left his quintet in the US, to headline this tour, as a star soloist appearing with Lester Young, accompanied by pianist René Urtreger, bassist Pierre Michelot, and drummer Christian Garros. Though the MJQ were listed as the nominal headliners in much of the concert promotional material, it was Miles and Bud Powell who captivated the European audiences. The opening concerts in Paris established the pattern for the tour with Miles opening the show, followed by Lester Young, both backed by the Renee Urtreger Trio. The Modern Jazz Quarter closed the show and Powell, whose consistent alcoholic behavior greatly affected how he played on the tour, opened the second half of the concert playing solo; this was reportedly because the French rhythm section were reluctant to accompany Powell, his reputation for erratic behavior having preceded him.
In original red, blue and black pictorial matte-coated wrappers, staple bound, 21.2 x 27.0 cm, 16 pp. Program notes in French by André Francis. Light wear to spine and extremities, else in near excellent complete condition, tightly bound and clean. Additional images of the program available on request.