When Miles Davis released Live-Evil in 1970, fans were immediately either taken aback or keenly attracted to its raw abstraction. It was intense and meandering at the same time; it was angular, edgy, and full of sharp teeth and open spaces that were never resolved. Listening to the last two CDs of The Cellar Door Sessions 1970, Sony's massive six-disc box set that documents six of the ten dates Davis and his band recorded during their four-day engagement at the fabled club, is a revelation now. The reason: it explains much of Live-Evil's live material with John McLaughlin.
This excellent compilation includes some spectacular Miles Davis rarities, all recorded during 1951-52...
Contains previously unreleased material. Some of the recordings on the CELLAR DOOR SESSIONS were originally released in edited form on the 1971 double-LP LIVE EVIL.
There is an entire universe contained in this box. Sumptuously packaged and scrupulously annotated, CELLAR DOOR SESSIONS 1970 is a six-disc set that documents Miles Davis's extended residency at the Washington, D.C., club. Davis is backed by a group of genius musicians: keyboardist Keith Jarrett, drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Michael Henderson, saxophonist Gary Bartz, percussionist Airto Moreira and guitarist John McLaughlin (who appears only on the last two discs). Together they pioneered an ecstatic fusion of jazz, rock, funk, and abstract sound-painting that established the blueprint for the future of progressive music.
In 1925, when the Charleston was all the rage, Fletcher Henderson, generally credited as "the inventor, of big-band jazz", was still firmly installed at the New York's celebrated Roseland Ballroom, and calling upon the services of such jazz star as Louis Armstrong, Busier Bailey, Don Redman and Coleman Hawkins.
The music from two of Miles Davis' lesser-known Prestige sessions is reissued on this CD. There are four titles from a 1953 date that finds the great trumpeter playing arrangements by Al Cohn in a sextet with tenors Cohn and Zoot Sims; trombonist Sonny Truitt joins the group on "Floppy." Those obscure performances (which include "Tasty Pudding" and "For Adults Only") are joined by four songs plus an alternate take from a 1951 date featuring Miles with tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins (their first recordings together) and trombonist Benny Green. Davis is a bit supbar on such tunes as "Whispering" and "Blue Room," but his emotional playing is still worth hearing.