The recording of this concert, not released until 1973 and only in Japan, took place on April 10, 1970 at the Carousel Ballroom, where Bill Graham, the legendary west coast impresario of psychedelic rock, had moved his Fillmore Auditorium in 1968. Steve Grossman, who replaced Wayne Shorter, used only the soprano saxophone, an instrument more capable than the tenor of penetrating the wall of sound produced by the decidedly free and powerful rhythm section, which was pervaded by the electronic effects created by Chick Corea’s electric piano. On its first release, the four sides were simply titled “Black Beauty Part 1,” “Part 2,” etc.
With the critical reviews for Bitches Brew popping up in everything from local and national newspapers to jazz magazines, and Steve Grossman firmly established in the saxophone chair recently vacated by Wayne Shorter, Miles threw his band a curve ball. He added Keith Jarrett on organ to a group that already included bassist Dave Holland, electric pianist Chick Corea, percussionist Airto Moreira, and drummer Jack DeJohnette for a four-night stand at the Fillmore East. This double-LP/CD package puts together selections from each night, without regard for repetition. It's fine that there are numerous performances of certain tunes: the problem is that, although the music is compelling, it's schizophrenic because there are no full performances on the final release; they were all edited severely (as was standard practice by Teo Macero and Davis).
BLACK BEAUTY is the initial live document of Miles Davis' electric music built out of blues, free jazz, and post-modern musical thought. The mood is one of controlled chaos, with each soloist in top form, and group interplay at a near-ESP level. The tracks morph naturally into one another; with well-placed phrases from Miles cueing the players' transitions.
AT FILLMORE is the second release to document Miles' live presentation of BITCHES BREW's breakthroughs. Broken up into four parts, it shows the unprecedented growth of the same band that recorded BLACK BEAUTY just three months earlier. The addition of Keith Jarrett's organ expands the music even further over the borders that defined "jazz," creating a singular hybrid of rock, blues and jazz.
AT FILLMORE is the second release to document Miles' live presentation of BITCHES BREW's breakthroughs. Broken up into four parts, it shows the unprecedented growth of the same band that recorded BLACK BEAUTY just three months earlier. The addition … Full Descriptionof Keith Jarrett's organ expands the music even further over the borders that defined "jazz," creating a singular hybrid of rock, blues and jazz.
Once again, chaos dwells within the belly of this musical beast. From the electro-static of "The Mask" through the end of "It's About That Time," Davis, Jarrett, Chick Corea and Steve Grossman remain inextricably intertwined. And at the center there's always Miles and his trumpet–spurring his charges towards unexplored territory, ever ready to fall off the edge of the cliff just to land back on his feet.
BLACK BEAUTY is the initial live document of Miles Davis' electric music built out of blues, free jazz, and post-modern musical thought. The mood is one of controlled chaos, with each soloist in top form, and group interplay at a near-ESP level. … Full DescriptionThe tracks morph naturally into one another; with well-placed phrases from Miles cueing the players' transitions.
The mercurial groove of "Directions," with Steve Grossman's wailing soprano, disintegrates into Stockhausenesque electronic static waves before unloading into the thick blues throttle of "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down." A trumpet solo on "I Fall in Love Too Easily" briefly slows the pace, but the rest is all forward motion. Dave Holland's rumbling bass and Jack DeJohnette's rolling backbeat power the group, while Airto Moreira furnishes exotic percussive colors. By the time Miles begins blasting trumpet runs at Chick Corea's electric piano on "Spanish Key," the worlds of jazz and improvisational rock have been united, undoubtedly leaving the audience feeling that they'd been struck by musical lightning.
None of Miles Davis' recordings has been more shrouded in mystery than Jack Johnson, yet none has better fulfilled Miles Davis' promise that he could form the "greatest rock band you ever heard." Containing only two tracks, the album was assembled out of no less than four recording sessions between February 18, 1970, and June 4, 1970, and was patched together by producer Teo Macero. Most of the outtake material ended up on Directions, Big Fun, and elsewhere. The first misconception is the lineup: the credits on the recording are incomplete. For the opener, "Right Off," the band is Miles, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Michael Henderson, and Steve Grossman (no piano player!), which reflects the liner notes.
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).
Throughout a professional career lasting 50 years, Miles Davis played the trumpet in a lyrical, introspective, and melodic style, often employing a stemless Harmon mute to make his sound more personal and intimate. But if his approach to his instrument was constant, his approach to jazz was dazzlingly protean. To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz from the mid-'40s to the early '90s, since he was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development in the music during that period, and he often led the way in those changes, both with his own performances and recordings and by choosing sidemen and collaborators who forged new directions. It can even be argued that jazz stopped evolving when Davis wasn't there to push it forward…