Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis 1963-1964 is an anomaly among the retrospective sets that have been issued from the late artist's catalog. It does not focus on particular collaborations (Miles with Coltrane, Gil Evans, the second quintet), complete sessions of historic albums (Bitches Brew, In a Silent Way, and Jack Johnson), or live runs (Plugged Nickel and Montreux). Instead, it is a portrait of the artist in flux, in the space between legendary bands, when he was looking for a new mode of expression, trying to find the band that would help him get there. These seven CDs begin after the demise of bands that included John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, and Wynton Kelly, after his landmark Gil Evans period, and even after his attempts at creating a new band with everyone from Frank Strozier and Harold Mabern to Sonny Rollins and J.J. Johnson.
What I Say is a two volume CD album of live recordings of Miles Davis. The album was released on JMY Records label in Italy. Vol. 1 Recorded in Vienna, 5 November 1971 at the Wiener Konzerthaus. Vol. 2 Recorded live at the Wiener Konzerthaus on November 5, 1971 (tracks 1-3), and at the Fillmore West, San Francisco, October 17, 1970 (tracks 4-6).
With the release of the spectral title tune, and the efforts of the Columbia marketing and publicity departments behind him, a thirty-year old Miles Davis entered into a period of extraordinary artistic maturity and growth. And Miles instinctively knew how to cultivate his star quality. Looming behind those shades, was the diffident, sensitive anti-hero–proud and defiant–who only spoke to his audience through his horn, and turned his back on them when the other soloists were blowing.
The combination of attitude and intellect was irresistible. Beginning with ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT and proceeding through a remarkable succession of famous recordings over the next 30 years, Miles Davis became one of the greatest soloists, arrangers and talent scouts in the history of American music. People who didn't own a single jazz record came to know his name–Miles was a jazz icon.
This CD is a compilation of some of Miles Davis's earliest recordings as a sideman from the late 1940s. His formative years are represented here in a large group setting. The groups featured here are scaled down or actual big bands. This CD is probably most dominated by the arrangements of Tadd Dameron, arguably the definitive arranger-composer of the bop era.
From the opening four notes of Michael Henderson's hypnotically minimal bass that open the unedited master of "On the Corner," answered a few seconds later by the swirl of color, texture, and above all rhythm, it becomes a immediately apparent that Miles Davis had left the jazz world he helped to invent – forever. The 19-minute-and-25-second track has never been issued in full until now. It is one of the 31 tracks in The Complete On the Corner Sessions, a six-disc box recorded between 1972 and 1975 that centers on the albums On the Corner, Get Up with It, and the hodgepodge leftovers collection Big Fun. It is also the final of eight boxes in the series of Columbia's studio sessions with Davis from the 1950s through 1975, when he retired from music before his return in the 1980s. Previously issued have been Davis' historic sessions with John Coltrane in the first quintet, the Gil Evans collaborations, the Seven Steps to Heaven recordings, the complete second quintet recordings, and the complete In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, and Jack Johnson sessions. There have been a number of live sets as well; the most closely related one to this is the live Cellar Door Sessions 1970, issued in 2005.
This CD reissue features trumpeter Miles Davis with three different pickup recording groups that are full of fellow all-stars. "Tune-Up," "Miles Ahead," "When Lights Are Low" (which uses slightly different chord changes than its composer Benny Carter originally intended), and "Smooch" find Davis joined by pianist John Lewis (Charles Mingus plays piano on "Smooch"), bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Max Roach. With pianist Horace Silver, bassist Heath, and drummer Art Blakey offering solid accompaniment, Davis introduces "Four" and performs "Old Devil Moon" and "Blue Haze." Finally, with altoist Dave Schildkraut, Silver, Heath, and drummer Kenny Clarke, Miles jams through "I'll Remember April." Although not as essential as the trumpeter's classic Quintet records of 1955-1956, several of the performances (most notably "Tune-Up" and "Four") are quite memorable, and the straight-ahead playing is of consistently high quality.
3 CD Set Featuring Classic Live Recordings From Miles Davis. Featuring material from live broadcasts from Rotterdam 1967, Boston 1972, Tokyo 1975, and Fukuoka 1981. With enthusiasm for the music of Miles Davis stretching way further than that for any other Jazz musician who ever produced a note, and the new bio-pic movie about Miles' life creating even more interest, the time could not be better for the release of this 3 CD Collection of rare live material from the maestro. Featuring recordings from; Rotterdam 1967, Boston 1972, Tokyo 1975, Fukuoka (Japan) in 1981, and even a bonus cut from Tokyo in 1985, this mixed bag of eras and styles illustrates well the pre and post mid 1970s hiatus Miles Davis, a period highlighted in the aforementioned new film.