La Rubia gives me that kind of look, as another live Miles CD hits the doormat. She's right of course. This one bears the names already familiar from a dozen or so other CDs. But there's only the mildest kind of reproach implied in the look, because my significant other knows as well as I that, again, this one really will be different.
I do confess a limit to that statement. The Isle of Wight recording I already have, once on DVD, once tacked on to the end of a 1988 Munich concert, where it sits uncomfortably alongside Miles's later material, inferior in some respects to that of twenty years previously.
But the Newport material is previously unheard. It begins with a funky piece which goes by the name of Miles Runs The Voodoo Down, which apart from the instrumentation is almost all it shares with other Miles tracks by that name. Drifting into Sanctuary, we are on more familiar ground, with the general flow of the tune bearing an unusually close resemblance to its studio namesake. But then, crossing into It's About That Time, it's again just the title and instrumentation that provide most of the link to the studio version, before the familiar segue into The Theme, which closes the set.
The key difference between previously released versions of the IoW set and this one is that someone has bothered to segment it into tracks bearing the names of its supposed constituent pieces, whereas all others follow Miles's injunction to "Call It Anything". It's brilliant, of course, but if you haven't already try to see the DVD.
As ever, La Rubia is right. No two Miles performances of this era were alike, even on adjacent sets, so the only thing that isn't surprising here is that there are plenty of nice musical surprises.
As I've observed on previous occasions, however, Columbia seems awfully light on representative performances from the 73-74 period, so my request is that they dig further in the archives.