Until now, the official recordings of Miles Davis' performances at the Fillmore East between June 17 and 20, 1970 have been limited to the double album Miles at the Fillmore. That set's producer Teo Macero, edited the recordings to create medleys of each night's music to four roughly 20-minute selections. This four-disc set contains all four concerts. There are 100 minutes of previously unreleased music from Wednesday through Saturday; an additional 35 minutes of unreleased music comes from a previous gig at the Fillmore West.
Miles Davis’ 20-year association as an artist at impresario George Wein’s renowned Newport Jazz Festival is a thriving tradition celebrated with the release of MILES DAVIS AT NEWPORT 1955-1975: THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 4, released 60 years to the date since Davis’ breakthrough performance at Newport in 1955. The four-CD box set is comprised of live performances by Miles’ stellar band lineups in 1955, 1958, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973, and 1975, in Newport, Rhode Island, New York City, Berlin, and Switzerland. (All tracks previously unreleased, except where otherwise indicated).
The explosive transformation of Miles Davis’ “second great Quintet” with Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass), and Tony Williams (drums) is laid bare on this release. Culled from original state-owned television and radio sources in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, and Sweden, the program spans five northern European festival performances over the course of nine days in October-November 1967. The audio shows consist entirely of previously unreleased or previously only bootlegged material. This is a 3-CD + DVD package, with an 8-panel digipak with 28-page booklet.
With their second album, Miles Smiles, the second Miles Davis Quintet really began to hit their stride, delving deeper into the more adventurous, exploratory side of their signature sound. This is clear as soon as "Orbits" comes crashing out the gate, but it's not just the fast, manic material that has an edge – slower, quieter numbers are mercurial, not just in how they shift melodies and chords, but how the voicing and phrasing never settles into a comfortable groove. This is music that demands attention, never taking predictable paths or easy choices.
Miles Davis was in the process of forming his first classic quintet when he recorded this date, a Prestige set reissued by the audiophile label DCC Compact Classics. The trumpeter is featured on a quartet outing with pianist Red Garland, bassist Oscar Pettiford, and drummer Philly Joe Jones, playing four standards plus a blues ("Green Haze") and "I Didn't," his answer to Thelonious Monk's "Well, You Needn't." Garland and Jones would soon be in Miles' group, although the fiery Pettiford proved too difficult for the trumpeter to handle and was quickly succeeded by Paul Chambers. The interpretations are generally lyrical and melodic; even "A Night in Tunisia" sounds a bit mellow. Likable if not essential music.
Preserving newly written Bob Dylan songs for copyright is the reason why the Band's Garth Hudson rolled tape at Big Pink but The Basement Tapes were something much more than songwriting demos. Greil Marcus dubbed it a celebration of the "Old, Weird America" in his 1997 book Invisible Republic, connecting these songs to Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, adding an extra layer of myth to tapes that were shrouded in mystery from the moment bootlegs started to circulate. The Basement Tapes Complete strengthens portions of that legend while simultaneously puncturing it. Certainly, the six-disc box – its first five discs assembled according to Hudson's numbering system, with the sixth disc collecting sessions discovered later – feels substantially different from the LP released in 1975, where the overall picture was distorted by Robbie Robertson adding sometimes significant overdubs and including Band recordings that weren't cut during those seven months in 1967.
A double-disc distillation of the six-disc box The Basement Tapes Complete, The Basement Tapes: Raw can't quite be seen as an expansion of the 1975 double-LP The Basement Tapes but rather a necessary revision. Shepherded by the Band's Robbie Robertson, that 1975 double-vinyl inserted Band recordings where they didn't belong, suggesting the group were equal partners when it was really Dylan's show.
The first volume Legacy’s Miles Davis bootleg series offered audio and video evidence of his second great quintet playing the Newport Jazz Festival in Europe in 1967. Acclaim from critics and fans was universal. This second entry, Live in Europe 1969: Bootleg Series, Vol. 2, showcases almost an entirely different band – only saxophonist Wayne Shorter remains. Bassist Dave Holland, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and pianist Chick Corea made up Davis' road band, and other individuals participated in sessions for Filles de Kilimanjaro and In a Silent Way. These fire-breathing performances offer a band at fever pitch hearing and playing what they knew even then was a new chapter in jazz history.