At The Oriental Theatre 1966 (2CD)
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PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED ! 2-CD SET This release contains a complete previously unissued concert by the 1966 Miles Davis Quintet. Recorded at the impressing Oriental Theatre in Portland shortly before it was demolished, it presents the only existing testimony of bassist Richard Davis playing with Miles. Among its many highlights are many great trumpet solos by Miles, including his only existing version of "Who Can I Turn To ?" a free jazzoriented So What, and a beautiful reading of My Funny Valentine.
Top Customer Reviews
But with 4/5 of the 2nd great MD Quintet well on their mettle, and stand-in bassist Richard Davis anything but a space filler, I think it rewards the serious listener a few times over... but obviously it's nowhere near the beautifully engineered 'Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series' from the following year's touring or the 'Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965' recordings. It might be that by CD2 one's ears are better attuned but its quality does seem slightly improved; enough to appreciate Williams and Richard Davis at least. For connoisseurs the real pleasure I suspect comes from the level of improvisation employed by Davis and Shorter - every solo is an absolute joy despite the fog.
If you're new to this particular phase of Miles then assuredly go to the 'Bootleg Series', 'Miles in Berlin 1964' or 'Winter in Europe 1967' first. If you get hooked like the rest of us then you could certainly add this ebullient performance to your collection as an enjoyable reference point.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The two CD set has ten tracks totaling ninety minutes playing time. The band is Mile’s “second great quintet” (sans Ron Carter), Wayne Shorter (sax), Herbie Hancock (piano), Tony Williams (drums) and Richard Davis (bass). The bassist, Richard Davis, replaced Ron Carter for this particular tour. He’s a legendary artist who has lead his own groups and collaborated with countless jazz icons. This is the only known commercial recording of Miles and Richard Davis playing together.
Although the Master Tape source is not identified, it most assuredly was professionally recorded. The sound is consistently very good throughout the entire recording.
1966 was proving a very creative period for Miles. Six months prior to the Oriental Theatre date, his quintet completed a monumental performance at the “Plugged Nickel”. It would be captured on record and evolve into one of the premier live performances of Miles “second great quintet”.
The set list for the Oriental performance includes five tunes previously played at the” Plugged Nickel “, including” The Theme”, ”Agitation”, ”My Funny Valentine”, “All Blues” and ”So What”
Miles, regaining his health, was fully exploring this material using a modal approach. The results are a reconstruction on major elements of the tunes. The instrumentals range from nine to eleven minutes in length, providing the musicians opportunity to stretch and weave seamlessly with the other band members.
It’s refreshing and enlightening to hear Richard Davis place his musical print within each performance. His bass lines are somewhat distinct from Ron Carter’s approach but they prove equally compelling.
The Jimmy Heath composition,” Gingerbread Boy” makes its first recorded appearance on this set. Miles would record in the studio five months later and include it on his next album” Miles Smiles” The eleven minute rendition of “My Funny Valentine” is a masterpiece of live performance. It exceeds, in my opinion, the multiple versions that appear on the 1995 release of the” Live at the Plugged Nickel” box set.
The band also performs a nine minute interpretation of” Who Can I Turn To?”. This is the only known Miles Davis recording of this tune. It’s truly remarkable listening experience.
The final two numbers are” Autumn Leaves’ and’ Stella by Starlight”; these are tunes Miles would continue to play throughout his early and mid career. All this material, old and new is, interpreted with renewed energy and passion by each of the band members.
The extended solos are fresh, remarkable and a joy to hear. Their ability to creatively weave their performance so flawlessly within the band is a testament to their unbridled talent.
A twelve page booklet is included consisting of six pages devoted to the history of the Oriental Theatre and the remaining pages devoted to the history of the Quintet’s performance.
This CD is highly recommended to any serious jazz fan.
If you are a fan of Miles from this period, this is a worthy addition to your collection. It fills the space between the Plugged Nickel sessions (Dec. 1965) and the Newport Jazz Festival in Europe recordings from Nov. 1967.
this recording, only the trumpet, tenor sax and bass drum are audible. Caveat Emptor.