- Audio CD (4 Aug. 1997)
- Limited Edition edition
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Limited Edition, Live
- Label: Columbia Legacy
- ASIN: B00000881U
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,771 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Live-Evil Limited Edition, Live
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This is where Miles Davis turned funk into jazz, rock into soul, and chaos into beauty. With a band featuring Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on acoustic bass, John McLaughlin on electric guitar, Airto Moreira on percussion, Chick Corea on piano and myriad other explorers, Davis kept up with the times--and surpassed them. He rocked harder than Sly, got funkier than J.B., and turned jazz inside out, slicing the music open till blood spilled on to the floor. Live Evil is more focused than Bitches Brew, which is all the more surprising since it is actually a piecemeal recording from various dates and venues--some in the studio, some on stage, but all very much l-i-v-e. --Robert Wilonsky
Top customer reviews
'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.
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'
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.
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.