Having enjoyed Volume 2 of this Bootleg series so much, I very quickly decided Volume 1 would also be a necessity. And so it proves.
Recorded at the end of 1967, a few months after Nefertiti, these concerts would be amongst the last before Miles's locus shifted towards a more fusion-oriented music with the recording of Miles In The Sky. We're therefore witnessing the end of an era.
Where the Volume 2 sets mostly open with Directions, here the opening is always with Agitation, followed by Footprints and, with just one exception out of five, `Round Midnight. This latter is about all the set lists have in common with my Highlights From The Plugged Nickel collection, from 1965, but they have a lot in common with each other. The variety, as usual, comes with the improvisation, which is, let's face it, why we buy so many Miles records with the same titles printed on them.
Predictably enough, none of the music here disappoints, and superlatives soon become repetitive.
The DVD, though not a great motivator to buy for me, is of excellent quality, though in black and white where Volume 2's is in colour.
As with Volume 2, the "Bootleg" label is stretching a point, as the provenance of all recordings is pretty respectable. None of the "bootleggers" here had to smuggle their machines in and out of a concert hall.
On a superficial level, I'm not so mad on the mock recording log format of the cover design, and frankly some of the writing is too small for my poor old eyes unless the light is just so. (I also initially thought, because of the US date formatting, that the recordings were from June and July '67, until I noticed the first set was dated 10/28/67.) It's also irritating that every time the gatefold is opened the booklet falls out because the designer, presumably, forgot or wasn't aware it needed to be accommodated (a problem solved by Volume 2).
But in short, as with Volume 2, this is one you Miles savants will treasure, and as an added bonus it's one I can play when La Rubia, my fusion-phobic significant other, is in the room.