The filming is long since over. Five men with instruments in their hands look past noisy projectors towards the screen. The loudspeakers in the studio remain silent – and yet music is still to be heard. And … cut! No, this is neither a surrealistic enigma nor a scene from a post-modern play, but the conditions under which the sound-recordings took place for Louis Malle’s film classic “Ascenseur pour l’échafaud“.
Amazingly enough, Miles Davis and his Combo improvised the music for the soundtrack while actually watching the film sequences. The various takes from these highly unusual recording sessions were then cut and polished with echo effects to produce the short film soundtrack as we know it. Now the complete, original recordings, parts of which have never been released before, are available for the very first time on LP – pure and unfiltered!
It is tempting to spend an evening comparing the “raw material“ with the “final product“. Is not the original version “earthier“? Is not the nocturnal atmosphere of the Champs Élysée in the studio sad and gloomy enough? It’s all a question of taste. But one thing is certain: it’s quite ingenious!