Joined: 06 Oct 2004 Posts: 139 Location: Charlotte, VT
Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:02 am Post subject: Miles Quintet live in Europe box sets
There is this relatively new series of multi-show releases, "The Bootleg Series vol. 1" and vol. 2, featuring late '60s versions of Miles Davis' touring bands and I'm going to cut to the chase and say they are must-hear for improvisational musicians.
Vol 2, just released, features recordings of "the lost band", the Miles/Wayne Shorter/Chick Corea/Dave Holland/Jack DeJohnette quintet that never hit the studio by themselves but whom Miles refers to in his autobio as "the bad motherfucker.". Two sets from July 69, after the In A Silent Way sessions, plus a cd and DVD from November. They'd done the Bitches Brew sessions in between and you can basically hear the birth of fusion across these 4 sets. It is a fascinating document of the evolution of the sound towards the large group electric freak outs that Miles would play for the first half of the 70s.
Vol 1 on the other hand is from 1967 and shows the so-called second great quintet, with Miles, Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and a 21 year old Tony Williams near the end of their 4 year run performing together and at the absolute height of their powers. It is the most transparent, mind-blowing, telepathic small group improv you are ever going to hear. I promise. In a 9 minute run through Footprints you might hear a partial snippet of the actual theme at the beginning, at the end, and a passing reference to it from one of the soloists but that's it. The rest is rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic interplay of highest order. It never settles down; it's actually a little exhausting to listen to, I have been spreading each set out over a day or two instead of listening straight through all at once. But wow.
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