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4.3 out of 5 stars
4

TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 February 2015
There are a confusing number of Miles Davis albums recorded at either the Fillmore West or East as he played four groups of concerts on both coasts in 1970, most of which have seen release, most recently on The Bootleg Series Vol.3. Rest assured, this is a unique concert not repeated on any other release. Originally issued in 1973 after "On The Corner", this was one of a very small number of complete Miles Davis concerts then available - how times have changed...

Recorded on April 10th, 1970, the album simply rocks. Davis was looking for a groove and here we see his band clearly developing that desired rock sound, with bubbling funk courtesy of Dave Holland's steady electric bass an Jack DeJohnette's superb drumming. Over the top Chick Corea and Steve Grossman deliver electric piano and sax respectively. Miles' band was developing at this stage, with the addition of Airto Moreira adding percussive colour to proceedings.

This was recorded just three months after the ground breaking "Bitches Brew" and the set features this album heavily, with the title track, "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down", "Sanctuary" and "Spanish Key" all present. The concert starts off with "Directions", which didn't get released until 1981 and so would have been entirely unfamiliar to the audience. For most of this track Miles sits out, letting Grossman take the lead before the strong entry of "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down". It's a cagey opening, the band don't seem quite settled, and Miles' absence seems to compound that feeling. However things settle down when Miles finally calls time and listeners are in for a treat from track 2 onwards.

"Directions" isn't the only track that would have been unfamiliar with an early performance of "Willie Nelson" which was released on the same 1981 compilation "Directions". But there are surprising looks back too, with It's About That Time" still in a rapidly evolving set and a curious reprise of "I Fall In Love Too Easily" from 1963's "Seven Steps To Heaven".

This is a fine, volatile performance, a complete 80 minute set that must have startled an audience with its uncompromising direction. For any fan of Miles' electric period buy with confidence.
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on 15 November 2015
Thanks
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on 17 April 2001
My only previous experience of Miles Davis before I purchased this live recording was the music from the "Kind of Blue". This was very much a shock to the system. I was captivated from the first playing. The wild, busy sounds hold the attention, but only after a few listenings does the true beauty and genius shine through. The melody and structure were frequently obscured by the frantic funk rhythms, but when I found them, this disc suddenly made perfect sense. "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down" and "Masqualero" are highlights, but this is a great recording to enjoy as a whole.
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on 23 May 2014
All of the 1970 Fillmore albums by Miles Davis have something to offer. About that time March 1970 is Wayne Shorter's last gig with the band, July 1970s original double album mix will please fans of Bitches Brew, and the Bootleg box the completists, but for me the best of the lot is April 1970 at Fillmore West.

Recorded 3 days after the Jack Johnson album, this is Miles in rock mode featuring some of his very best trumpet playing (as does Jack Johnson). But the real star of the show is Chick Corea, who assumed a far more prominent position once Shorter had departed. Accompanied by the much underrated Steve Grossman and a fabulous De Johnette/Airto.Holland rythmn section

So 4 stars as a miles album ( just falling short of true classic status) but 5 stars for chick corea fans.
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