- Audio CD (4 Feb. 2013)
- Number of Discs: 4
- Format: Box set, CD+DVD, Live
- Label: Columbia / Legacy
- ASIN: B008YCMM2A
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,484 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Miles Davis Quintet: Live In Europe 1969 The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 Box set, CD+DVD, Live
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This is the second volume of the box set for the Third Great Quintet, aka 'The Lost band' of 1969-70 with Miles davies, Wayne Shorter, Chock Corea, dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette at their peak.
Ot's a deluxe three CD plus DVD box set which presents live recordings from the Antibes Jazz festival, Stockholm, and Berlin.
It follows the critically-acclaimed, award-winning box set of 2011, Live In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1, starring the ‘second great quintet’ of Miles Davis feat. Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams.
The first volume of this bootleg series of Miles Davis sessions featured the 1967 quintet with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. And it was, of course, good to have further examples of this band in action.
But that set’s importance pales into insignificance beside volume 2 – a 3-CD (plus DVD) package of the 1969 quintet. Here, the rhythm section has completely changed to include Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette.
This line-up is barely represented in Davis’ studio recordings, being heavily augmented for the Bitches Brew sessions and with Airto Moreira added on percussion for the 1970 Fillmore concert.
Later, a DVD of a 1969 Copenhagen concert surfaced on the 40th anniversary Bitches Brew package. But otherwise this is the great, largely undocumented stage in Miles’ development.
So this treasure trove of well-recorded European broadcasts from ORTF and Swedish Radio represents the first official CD set tracking Miles in transition from acoustic quintet to all-out fusion.
There are still sensitive standards, such as a leisurely ‘Round Midnight that explodes into a high-energy workout. Before that, a revisiting of Milestones threatens to unravel but somehow retains the shape of the 1958 original.
There’s an introspective reading of I Fall in Love Too Easily. Then there are explorations of the 1966-67 repertoire, Footprints and Nefertiti, as well as expositions of work-in-progress music from Bitches Brew.
The most startling revelation is Miles himself. He plays with power, range and passion, goading the rhythm section into epic battles. He enjoys savage exchanges with DeJohnette’s drums, underpins harmonic excursions by Corea’s electric piano, and encourages the roaming basslines and free exploration of Holland.
Shorter is full of fiery invention: a searing soprano solo on the second of two versions of Miles Runs the Voodoo Down is one of his finest on record. Corea’s solo that follows lurches off into free jazz territory – random tones, electronic noise, and diverse effects from drums and bass.
The latter passage is an eerie foreshadowing of Corea’s subsequent work in Circle. It’s also a fascinating glimpse of how close Miles strayed into completely free jazz territory before setting his course firmly towards fusion.
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Top Customer Reviews
The recordings here once again come from radio/TV broadcasts, but they demonstrate the advance in recording techniques between 67 and 69. On the CDs the quality is near enough perfect, and the picture on the DVD is near pristine with sound to match! (I played mine through a blu-ray so there would have been some up-scaling, but the picture is very, very good).
So why are these recordings so important? The answer lies not in the fact that you have top musicians here (Davis, Shorter, Corea, Holland & DeJohnette), but in the fact that this particular quintet never recorded any studio sessions. Miles himself considered this a marvellous band and regretted that there were no available recordings. There is a quote from him on the enclosed written material which I am unable to reproduce here due to his colourful language! I am sure that he would be delighted that such brilliant recordings have been made available now.
So what of the music - well it is forceful, demanding, imaginative and stimulating in my opinion. Old favourites have new life injected into them (Milestones, Round Midnight) and the new material (Miles Runs The Voodoo Down, Bitches Brew) contain their urgent searching nature, but the versions here probably sound different to those better know ones. Unlike Vol 1, the drums & bass are well recorded here with Shorter playing as if his life depended upon it.Read more ›
The music is outstanding with all band members on top form. Miles has a full trumpet sound and only rarely uses his mute. Chick Corea plays electric piano mostly, but does play some exceptional acoustic piano solos on the third CD. Although this quintet was short-lived and represented the later stages of Miles performing live in a quintet, all musicians have clearly settled in well and complete a dynamic unit. The playing is quite wild at times, but is not as outlandish as the later Cellar Door sessions.
Sound quality is good in comparison with other live sets, but Dave Holland seems to get a bit lost in the rhythm section mix and can only be heard clearly in his solos, which are strong. Wayne Shorter is often in Coltrane mood and mode, on both tenor and soprano.
Several of the pieces that are new to the repertoire were played on the albums by a larger and more varied group of musicians, so these live versions are markedly different from the studio versions, but are strongly performed regardless.Read more ›
As with the arrival of Bitches Brew Live, the last Miles CD to arrive en la casa therealus from Sony, La Rubia, my long-suffering significant other, gives a knowing look. After all, look at the track titles here. Isn't that one on at least half a dozen other CDs? And that one? And so on?
Yep. But you Miles savants know like I do that a title signifies nothing. There's a brief statement of a recognised tune, a flourish on the trumpet, and the band go careering off in a new direction. Ninety per cent of what you hear on CD 1 of this set you won't hear on CD 2, and so on, although the Bitches Brew material is a little closer to the studio versions than it becomes a year later.
And then occasionally they really surprise you and stick with a tune for a few minutes, as with Nefertiti, though played here about a quarter faster than on the eponymous album. But it's a little like suddenly seeing a familiar face in a dream. Something instantly recognisable. But then it's gone again.
Also like in a dream what appears is sometimes a face you never thought you'd see again. So in amongst the new fusion-oriented tunes and electric extemporisation are such gems as Footprints, `Round Midnight, I Fall In Love Too Easily and No Blues. And at the end of CD 1 there is a symbolic fusion of the old closer and the new closer, The Theme and Sanctuary. There is, in short, something for everybody. Except, of course, the purists.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Featuring a collection of four Euro concerts from '69, across 3CDs and a DVD while on the cusp of Bitches Brew and with by one of Davis' Lost Quartets, the direction taken mixes... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ricardo1961
You have loads of Miles box sets already and you're wondering if you need this. The answer is yes. Miles is on absolutely blistering form and the energy in the group is... Read morePublished on 9 Feb. 2014 by Mr. R. Ramanan
Great compilation of a somewhat lost quintet. Fantastic players, good recordings. A great link between Bitches Brew and later recordings by Miles. Check out the video as well.Published on 30 July 2013 by Orn Thorisson
I bought this tremendous Miles artifact on the strength of the glowing 5 star review in Jazzwise magazine! Read morePublished on 5 July 2013 by M. Speeding
The internal voice said – no don’t buy it, you’ve got more than enough Miles. But reviews in Jazzwise and the Guardian convinced me otherwise. Read morePublished on 17 Jun. 2013 by Mr. IAN MCCORRY