Miles Davis published more than 40 albums during his lifetime. The classics "Kind Of Blue", "Sketches Of Spain" and "Bitches Brew" should have even less jazz-interested listeners in their collection. "Miles Deep" now approaches the big man's work on sidewalks: through fantastic live versions and less well-known studios.
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).
All of the surviving music from the Miles Davis Quintet’s Newport sets of 1966 and 1967 - all previously unissued. Both sets were taken from the original live radio broadcasts and present exactly the same personnel. As a bonus, this disc adds the only two surviving tracks from the same quintet’s performance in Helsinki on November 1, 1967. Miles Davis’ music was (as almost always throughout his career) going through a transitional period in 1966. His quintet, featuring Shorter, Hancock, Carter and Williams, was on the verge of removing standards from the repertoire, to make room for Miles’ compositions, and the group itself would soon change from an acoustic to an electric format.
This CD is masterful. A wonderful opportunity for those who already know Miles and Monk to hear more of the kind of sound you love. Two giants at their best in a live recording. If you are unfamiliar with the music of these two greats, this CD is a fantastic introduction to their sound. One word of caution, however, though this is a great CD recording of Miles and Monk together, it is by no means the last word, or note, on the kind of music the artists are, or were, capable of. This CD only demonstrates a tiny facet of the broad repertoires of Miles and Monk.
Thanks to the research that went into the box set The Complete Miles Davis/John Coltrane Sessions there's a the definitive Newport 1958 date that features the debut live performances to the Miles Davis Sextet's two newest members: drummer Jimmy Cobb and pianist Bill Evans. The gig was part of a festival tribute to Duke Ellington, but that didn't stop Davis from showing off – aggressively – what his new band was capable of (six months later he would show the world when the band went to record Kind of Blue). This is a revelatory performance for fans of Evans. When Cobb kicks off into Charlie Parker's "Au-Leu-Cha," the tempo is breakneck. Davis' solo is all fire, pure heat, and inspiration. The melody goes by in a blink, and Cobb and Chambers carry the dictum to go faster as Davis gives way first to Coltrane, already moving his angular lines to the harmonic breaking point and doing them not in scales but in modes, fast and footloose.