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Live-Evil
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Part live, part studio, the Live Evil album contains some of the best experimentation Miles' electronic circus put together.

'Sivad' is awesome: with a phat back-beat and bass-line (Michael Henderson, previously with Stevie Wonder). Airto Moreira's cuica adds colour. The piece morphs, via psychedelic guitar and keys into a stop/start groove, on which the band simmers for 10 minutes.

'Little Church', 'Selim' and 'Nem Um Talvez' are all similar, and feature Hermeto Pascaol, who adds to the Brazilian tinge. These pieces are mellow, with whistling and vocals following the long delicate trumpet lines. These are some of the best cuts on the album; sparse and magical.

'What I Say' is as hard and funky as Miles got. He was listening to Rock, Soul and Funk, and those influences are never clearer than here. John McLaughlin's guitar is fabulous, Miles gets something different from him again (compare this with his contribution to 'In A Silent Way', or his own Mahavishnu stuff). Miles briefly states the theme at the end, but it's a completely different beast; jazz, but with funk and rock in it's veins.

'Gemini/Double Image' is a spacey jam, with freedom of form and content; scratchy guitar, bubbling percussion, and far-out synths. Miles was evidently taking notes at the Santana gigs he'd been attending. 'Inamorata', is similar, it's a long (almost half an hour), sprawling live piece, with some rather dated narration near the end.

A patchy album, and not always an easy listen ('Funky Tonk', a great name, shame it veers towards free jazz cacophony), but it's still essential Miles, and in places, unique and inspiring.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2001
From the second that Sivad, the first track on Live Evil, kicks off, it is clear that this is an album of epic proportions. This is a resoundingly critic-defeating testament to Miles' trumpet playing and band leading ability which will always strike the heart of any musical soul.
A particularly interesting feature is the contrast between the short 2 to 5 minute tracks recorded in the columbia studios which are often claustrophobic but always beautiful and the 15 to 25 minute tracks taken from live sessions at the cellar door, washington dc which are live and raw, combining all the different music forms from the blues to hard rock in a brilliant fashion. The producing influence of Teo Macero, who worked with Miles at Columbia for many years is crucial to the success of utilising such a blend.
But the really crucial point of the album is to forget all the producing details and how the music is being made as often as possible, and just soak up the work of the best musician the last century had. A true genius who speaks to all of us as long as we care to listen. And longer.
As Gary Bartz says on the programme notes, 'Thank you, Miles'
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2004
This album is beautiful, amazing, exciting and emotive. Nevertheless, there is still one minor fault I can raise which, if righted, would complete this album for me - the really obvious editing on Sivad where, after about eight or nine minutes, a climactic solo by Miles is abruptly ended by an applause.
Apart from this small complaint, I can make no criticism about Miles's playing - it truly is sublime and distinguishes him from any other trumpeter of the 20th century.
Buy it if you want to discover the height of Miles Davis's talents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2010
I can not add much to what previous reviewers have said about this album except that in spite of the apparent undisciplined approach it is, in fact well thought out and finds Miles in particular, in blistering form throughout. It is vastly superior to the live recordings of the time, ie "Live At Fillemore", "Dark Magus", "Pangaea" etc which are just aimless, formless (and ultimately boring) ramblings.
I obtained a brand new, 2010 version, replacement copy on Amazon for around a fiver and was delighted to find that Columbia have gone back to the good old jewel case with the packaging. The titles can now be found clearly on the back of the case, whereas with the cardboard folding version you had to pull out the insert (a fiddly job). Jewel cases are more durable too, so an improvement there.
All Miles devotees should have this recording, together with "Get Up With It" as they are the best of the 1970's output.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2010
this was miles last great touring band and one which he never took into the studio. keith jarrett (keys) and jack dejohnette (drums) really elevate this record to another level. this album is worth buying for the chance to hear jarrett on electric keys - the intro to 'what i say' is sublimely uplifting and powerful. solid support comes from gary bartz (sax), michael henderson (bass) and guest john mclaughlin (guitar). this one has it all - funk, rock, free playing, trance and straight ahead jazz. see the 6cd set 'the cellar door sessions' for the full story.
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on 27 December 2014
It started out as an attempt to follow up Bitches Brew, but the restless spirit of Miles and his ever mutating line up had already moved on and it became something different. A combination of studio and live recordings (made at the memorial Cellar Door Sessions) from between February and December 1970, the 7 tracks feature different support artists listed in the booklet. That Miles was searching for something and moving on fast is evident from this alone. The Cellar Door segments aren't what they seem either, with much editing, including studio inserts from another line up. How could it possibly work? Enter the genius of Teo Macero, a producer versed in musique concrete with an ear for a groove. Compare these edits to the complete versions on the final two discs of The Cellar Door Sessions and judge for yourself how Macero made something entirely different from the constituent pieces. The whole is definitely more than the sum of the parts. An essential link between Bitches Brew and A Tribute To Jack Johnson.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2007
Sorry fellow reviewers but this really did very little for me. I was sort of hoping for a continuation of the Bitches Brew feel and direction but found this to be so formless most of the time as to be,quite frankly, DULL... which is not what you'd expect given the line-up. Wayne Shorter is sadly missing; and do we really need a 7-10 minute drum solo as an intro? After a whole lot of 'research' I took another gamble with 'Live at the Fillmore East: it's about that time' - now THERE'S what I was looking for.... absolutely fantastic powerhouse stuff; one of my all time favourites! So check it out if you've just come from Bitches Brew... you won't be disappointed.
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4 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2005
How can i describe this album?
It will not be easy.
But, it starts off with some musical notes. Then there are more notes, backes by chords & a rhythm. I can not say which notes they are as I do not have perfect pitch. It goes along at a tempo I could not estimate without using a metronome. The timbre of some of the notes are quite interesting...
Oh! you are probably best off just buying it & listening to it instead of me explaining it to you.
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