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Footprints : how many versions are there?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by kiwlm, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. I started by listening to this midi file:

    Found it to be nice.

    Then went on to search for recorded versions, found out versions done by Wayne Shorter and Miles Davis, but both does not have the intro riffs on the midi file around 00:17.

    Just to check if there are other recorded version of the tune that the midi file is based on? Or its just the author's own arrangement?
  2. mishi_ono


    May 7, 2004
    Oakland, CA
    oh wow.
    sounds like something out of the 80s miles repitoire.

    check out 'miles smiles' (miles, shorter, herbie, carter, and tony williams), it is one of my most absolute favorite records ever put to wax. there is not a dull measure and the version of footprints is glorious; tony and ron are simply amazing together. freedom jazz dance just owns. wow wow wow.

    miles work w. his 2nd quintet is some of the best music following the bop era. if you like miles smiles be sure to check out their other records 'esp' 'neferitti' 'sorcerer' 'live @ the plugged nickel' and 'fils de kilimanjaro'.

    simply. enjoy.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The "Miles Smiles" version is great - but the original was by Wayne Shorter's own band on the 1966 album "Adam's Apple" - with Herbie Hancock,Reggie Workman on bass and Joe Chambers , drums.

    So - Wayne's album was recorded in February that year and Miles went into the studio for "Smiles" in October 66.

    But it's a very simple tune - that gives the improvisors a lot of freedom to play around with and there must be hundreds of versions of it around by now - all with slightly different arrangements - I've heard Afro Cuban, Ska versions etc etc.

    It's one of the most popular tunes for Jazz jams... ever!! :)
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    PS - I just listened to the midi file......:meh:

    Not too keen.....

    It's been "smooth" 'ed out into 4/4 from the original 6/4 feel and destroys a lot of the tune's character - for me it's a long way from the original intention....maybe too far?
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    This was the 1st Jazz tune I recall hearing & listening to the whole way through as I began my quest as a musician('72)...the version was from Pat Martino's The Visit(now called Footprints).
    I totally dug the vibe & mmod of Richard Davis' groove. Martino's version was performed with 2 guitars-bass-drums.
    Looking back, I guess the tune itself is pretty relatable for someone reared on '60s/'70s Rock/R&B.

    Andy Summers does any 'electrified' cover of this on his Last Dance Of Mr. X...IIRC, it's in a 4/4 feel(funky bass by Tony Levin).

    Liquid Soul also does a cover of "Footprints"
    In short, who hasn't?!
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    That should be the '60s!
    Everything you cited is from the '60s!
    Miles was doing stuff like Tutu & "Time After Time" in the '80s!
  7. mishi_ono


    May 7, 2004
    Oakland, CA
    i was refering to the midi file. ;)
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Hmmm, I can't say I've ever heard a live version of Footprints that sounded like that. It may the midi file's creator who added that synth sound or it may a copy of a smooth jazz version that's out there.
  9. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Here's an Allmusic list of all the artists who've done the tune.
  10. After playing it in "simple" form with my guitar trio, I went looking for other versions. This version on youtube absolutely BLEW me away. Kind of a 12/8 latin thing with Omar Hakim backing Stanley Clarke, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.


  11. tkozal


    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    The String Cheese Incident did a version of this 4, which was like fingernails on a blackboard to me.

    The one thing I have seen and experienced is people having a lot of different changes for the "V", (the chords other than cm and fm). d7 to db7 altered, f#m-b-em-am (maybe not right, but you get the idea), etc..all sorts of things.....

    and this version:

  12. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
  13. to answer your question, I think there are about
    versions of 'Footprints' out there.