A much different album than you might expect from the cover – hardly the funky 70s set implied by the Big Fun-styled cover – and instead a lost slice of work from his groundbreaking late 60s years! The set was recorded in 1967, but unissued until Miles late 70s time away from the studio – hence the cover, which attempts to contemporanize the record – and the music is very much in the dark moods and sharp tones of Filles De Kilimanjaro, and features a somewhat similar group! The core quintet of Wayne Shorter on tenor, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Tony Williams on drums handles the first half of the set – but the group's then expanded to include Chick Corea on electric piano along with Herbie on keys – and Ron Carter steps out so that Dave Holland can bring some more modern tones to the bass. Tracks are all somewhat long, and titles include "Capricorn", "Water Babies", "Sweet Pea", and "Two Faced".
A set of outtakes released during Davis's retirement, three songs recorded during sessions for Nefertiti, and two cut during exploratory sessions for In A Silent Way, with Chick Corea and Dave Holland added on electric piano and bass respectively. It's a weird set because the Nefertiti side has the anything-can-happen combustibility of the Shorter-Hancock-Carter-Williams quintet ("Capricorn"), and the second side has the mostly absent Miles and endlessly raining electric pianos of the Zawinul-Corea-McLaughlin group ("Two Faced"). The first side isn't up to Quintet standard - the title track is a simple sequence outlined by block chords from Hancock, with unremarkable solos from Davis and Shorter - but the gently unhinged "Sweet Pea" (a tribute to Billy Strayhorn) is a classic, and I like even the later tracks better than most of Davis's fusion, because Williams keeps things from drifting entirely out to sea, and there are recognizable tunes and a minimum of tape manipulation. All the tunes are Shorter's except for "Mr. Tillman Anthony (William Process)"; the 2002 reissue also includes Davis's "Splash" (I believe the same take that's on on the Silent Way Sessions boxed set).David Bertrand Wilson
Deluxe 71 disc box set that contains 52 single CD and double CD albums (which includes the previously unreleased full-length audio version of his 1970 Isle Of Wight performance). The essay is complemented by brief annotations written by Franck Bergerot, covering every single one of the 52 albums. The cornerstones of the box set are the studio and live albums that were released during his tenure at the label, more than 40 titles that he recorded in the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s.
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.
Along with its sister recording, Pangaea, Agharta was recorded live in February of 1975 at the Osaka Festival Hall in Japan. Amazingly enough, given that these are arguably Davis' two greatest electric live records, they were recorded the same day. Agharta was performed in the afternoon and Pangaea in the evening. Of the two, Agharta is superior. The band with Davis – saxophonist Sonny Fortune, guitarists Pete Cosey (lead) and Reggie Lucas (rhythm), bassist Michael Henderson, drummer Al Foster, and percussionist James Mtume – was a group who had their roots in the radically streetwise music recorded on 1972's On the Corner, and they are brought to fruition here.
Sony Master Sound Reissue Series (1-bit DSD CDs in Mini-LP sleeves with black OBI strip). Japanese electric Miles, featuring 2 long tracks – "Zimbabwe" and "Gondwana" – spread out over the course of a sweet double live set! The album gives Miles and the group plenty of room to groove and stretch out – hitting notes that are both funky and noisy, often at the same time! Michael Henderson lays down some great bass work on the set, and major solos are by Sonny Fortune, Pete Cosey, and Reggie Lucas! Great stuff – and more proof that Miles in the 70s was a very very deep place!
Deluxe 71 disc box set that contains 52 single CD and double CD albums (which includes the previously unreleased full-length audio version of his 1970 Isle Of Wight performance).
Reissue. Comes with new liner notes. Available only for a limited period of time until March 20, 2015. This cd is the second of 2 put out to chronicle Miles' stay at the Blackhawk in San Francisco in 1961. After a period of transition which included the sometimes uneven results of the "Someday My Prince Will Come" lp, Miles' working band of Hank Mobley on tenor sax, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers, bass, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, were coming together as a tight unit. Both dates of the Blackhawk shows are prime examples of the greatness of this working group.
This was the first real attempt by Columbia to make any comprehensive sense of Miles Davis' colossal output for the label. This set, then, was bound to be controversial no matter how it turned out, but even so, Columbia could have done better with a strictly chronological approach. Instead producer/compiler Jeff Rosen had the cockeyed notion of organizing each of the original five LPs around a single theme.
THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS compiles all of Miles Davis' collaborations with composer/arranger Gil Evans. Included are the original and alternate versions of the four albums that Davis and Evans made together–MILES AHEAD, PORGY AND BESS, SKETCHES OF SPAIN and QUIET NIGHTS–as well as various outtakes and unreleased tracks. More than half of the material is previously unreleased. THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS won 1997 Grammy Awards for Best Historical Album, Best Album Notes (by George Avakian, Bob Belden, Bill Kirchner and Phil Schaap), and Best Recording Package - Boxed.