The Troy Street Observer

Oct 24–Nov 2, 1955: Miles Davis Quintet at the 5 O’Clock

It’s funny how the size of the crowd at a momentous event seems to swell over time. Sports crowds fill facilities well beyond their capacities; I’ve lost track of the number of Bostonians who insist they saw Orr score The Goal or Fisk hit The Home Run. Music fans aren’t immune, either. Seems like half the city was at Boston Garden for the April 1968 James Brown show that stopped a riot.

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The Miles Davis Quintet at the 5 O’Clock Club. No cover charge!

This brings me to Boston jazz fans of a certain age, all of whom insist they heard the Miles Davis Quintet between October 24 and November 2, 1955. The Quintet played at the 5 O’Clock, a long and narrow room on Huntington Avenue about a block away from Storyville, where the Westin Hotel is now, during its brief foray into name-band jazz. The management called the club Jazzarama then, “the greatest ‘Rama of them all.”

This blog has visited the 5 O’Clock before, to mark the Boston marriage of beat poetry and jazz. But that was 1958, a few years after Jazzarama.

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