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DVD Miles Davis Highlights 1973-1991

DVD Miles Davis Highlights 1973-1991

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24,00 CHF


DVDLive At Montreux Miles Davis Highlights 1973-1991

Code MD (7:53)
Miles Davis, trumpet; Bob Berg, sax, keyboards; Robert Irving III, keyboards; John Scofield,
guitar; Darryl Jones, bass; Vincent Wilburn Jr., drums; Steve Thornton, percussions.
Recorded on July 14, 1985 (afternoon)
4 Pacific Express (14:03)
Miles Davis, trumpet; Bob Berg, sax, keyboards; Robert Irving III, keyboards; John Scofield,
guitar; Darryl Jones, bass; Vincent Wilburn Jr., drums; Steve Thornton, percussions.
Recorded on July 14, 1985 (afternoon)
5 Jean-Pierre (8:57)
Miles Davis, trumpet, keyboards; Bob Berg, sax; Adam Holzman, keyboards; Robert Irving
III, keyboards; Robben Ford, guitar; Felton Crews, bass; Vincent Wilburn Jr., drums; Steve
Thornton, percussions. Special guest: David Sanborn, sax.
Recorded on July 17, 1986
6 Heavy Metal Prelude (5:07)
Miles Davis, trumpet; Kenny Garrett, sax; Robert Irving III, keyboards; Adam Holzman,
keyboards; Foley, lead bass; Benny Rietveld, bass; Ricky Wellman, drums; Marilyn Mazur,
Recorded on July 7, 1988
7 Jo Jo (5:15)
Miles Davis, trumpet, Rick Margitza, tenor sax; Kei Akagi, keyboards; Adam Holzman,
keyboards; Foley, lead bass; Benny Rietveld, bass; Ricky Wellman, drums; Munyungo Jackson,
Recorded on July 21, 1989
8 Hannibal (10:34)
Miles Davis, trumpet; Kenny Garrett, sax; Kei Akagi, keyboards; Foley, lead bass; Richard
Patterson, bass; Ricky Wellman, drums; Erin Davis, percussions.
Recorded on July 20, 1990
9 The Pan Piper (1:40)
10 Solea (11:10)
Miles Davis, trumpet. Quincy Jones, conductor. Soloists: Kenny Garrett, alto sax; Wallace
Roney, trumpet, flugelhorn. With the Gil Evans Orchestra & the George Gruntz Concert Jazz
Band. Additional participating musicians: Benny Bailey, trumpet, flugelhorn; Carles Benavent,
electric bass; Grady Tate, drums.
Recorded on July 8, 1991
Miles and Montreux proved a magic combination. And an enduring one. Particularly
for such an iconic yet demanding musician who allowed few people, or
places to ever get close. Claude Nobs, Montreux Jazz Festival’s founder, got close
though, close enough to convince Miles Davis to play the festival an astonishing
seven times in the last eight years of his life and allow Nobs to break his own
strict rule not to have any artist play the festival two years in a row. Heck, some
years he even got the trumpeter to agree to play two complete concerts on the
same day, and stop by afterwards to listen to the playbacks!
Perhaps though Claude Nobs’ most remarkable achievement was winning Miles
Davis’ trust sufficiently enough to get him to agree to let the recording tapes and
video cameras roll for every single concert performance he played at Montreux
from 1973 to 1991. This important historic archive was first released in audio only
format in 2002 for the limited edition 20 CD box set Complete Miles Davis at
Montreux 1973 -1991. Presented in their entirety with no edits or remixing these
complete concerts perfectly capture the spirit and energy of the performances and
include several line-ups that never recorded in the studio with Miles. “From day
one Miles was fine with the taping” Nobs told Billboard magazine’s Dan Ouellette,
“especially because he used the tapes after each concert to discuss the music
with the band.”
Now for the first time video footage highlights of these performances covering
the eight years Miles played Montreux are presented in this DVD in astonishing
visual and audio quality. And even more so than the audio CDs this footage documents
Miles and his music in extraordinary intimate detail, right in the heat of the
moment it was being created. Live and in living colour!
By the time Miles played his first Montreux festival in 1973 he’d already had a
major impact on the changing direction of jazz, with Birth Of The Cool from
1949, Kind Of Blue in 1959 and In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew in 1969/70,
and become the single most influential and widely recognised figure in jazz. With
the advent of his groundbreaking electric bands he also became one of the few
jazz artists to be booked for the huge hippy rock festivals such as the 1970 Isle of
Wight event, where his incendiary performance in front of an estimated 600,000
people is captured on Eagle Vision’s DVD Miles Electric: A Different Kind Of
Blue. Also on the bill at the Isle of Wight was Jimi Hendrix and despite the fact
that a planned recording collaboration after the festival never happened Hendrix’s
cosmic blues influence could be clearly detected in the spacey improvisational
funk of this new band Miles brought to Montreux, including saxophonist and
flautist Dave Liebman, guitarists Pete Cosey and Reggie Lucas, bassist Michael
Henderson, drummer Al Foster and percussionist James Mtume Foreman.
Named after Mtume’s daughter, ‘Ife’ was first recorded in 1972 for the album
Big Fun, but this staggering 27 minute slab of open-ended improvisation over
Henderson’s simple but hypnotic four note bass riff, Foster’s funky pulse and
Mtume’s African rhythms is a revelation and the first time that any footage of
this extraordinary band has ever been seen. Switching between a newly acquired
Yamaha YC45 organ and trumpet, often with wah wah pedal, Davis directs the
ebb and flow of the music from behind huge impenetrable shades with nods,
nudges and hand gestures as it moves from ambient atmospherics to an intense
wall of sound, rising and decaying through numerous cycles. It’s an ever changing
tapestry of sound that divided the critics at the time, and can still do so to this day.
In recent years however it’s finally been accepted as one of Miles’ most important
and influential periods, particularly amongst today’s vibrant new jazz players.
After a lengthy period of retirement from 1975 due to increasing health and personal
problems Miles returned to live work in July 1981 and was back at Montreux
in 1984 with a new line-up that included saxophonist Bob Berg, guitarist John
Scofield, keyboardist Robert Irving III, bassist Darryl Jones and percussionist
Steve Thornton, with only drummer Al Foster remaining from a decade before.
‘Speak: That’s What Happened’ comes from the evening show with the trumpeter
back in his best form in years. “When I joined the band his chops were way up”
said Bob Berg at the time. “He was killing. His range was better than ever and it
was exciting to be there.”
Thus began a remarkable run of Montreux performances over the next seven
years where the video crew were able to capture each Miles concert right up to his
final show, allowing an unprecedented and extraordinarily intimate insight into his
evolving line-ups and musical direction. Always seeking to incorporate forwardlooking
music trends, the new opportunities and advances in digital synthesis
and sampling are clearly evident in the banks of synthesisers and drum pads at
the mid-1980s shows and, despite the tendency to crowd and over decorate the
musical spaces and silences that Miles always used so effectively, there is plenty
to savour in these performances, while his inimitable presence is as strong and
magnetic as ever. The flashing quicksilver trumpet lines in ‘Code MD’ and ‘Pacific
Express’ from 1985, where Miles’ nephew Vince Wilburn Jr replaced Al Foster on
drums, penetrate deep and the way he toys with the fragile, almost nursery rhyme
melody of ‘Jean Pierre’ from the 1986 concert creates a simmering tension for
guest alto saxophonist David Sanborn to let loose in untypical assertive style and
new guitarist Robben Ford to tear off a stinging funk-edged blues solo.
Constantly looking ahead Miles restructured his band in 1988 bringing in saxophonist
Kenny Garrett, keyboardist Adam Holzman, bassist Benny Rietveld,
drummer Ricky Wellman, percussionist Marilyn Mazur - whose polyrythmic extravaganza
is the centre-piece of ‘Heavy Metal Prelude’ - and lead bassist Joe ‘Foley’
McCreary, who rapidly developed a close musical empathy with the leader. Miles
was seeking a harder sound and Foley provided the punch, as witnessed on the
swinging go-go groove of ‘Jo Jo’ from 1989, named after Miles’ girlfriend Jo Gelbard.
For the 1990 performances at Montreux Kei Akagi came in on keyboards,
Richard Patterson on bass and Miles’ son Erin Davis on percussion. Despite increasing
ill health Miles is on strong form and in Garrett he had found a spiritually
charged player with a muscular tone and fleet imagination that suited his desire to
constantly change the music and keep the ideas fresh.
The special relationship Miles had with Montreux and Claude Nobs was to
provide one final twist three months before he died in late September 1991. The
trumpeter was finally persuaded to revisit tunes and arrangements from several
decades earlier, thus breaking his own golden rule to never look back. Quincy Jones,
the acclaimed arranger, producer and friend of Miles, had for some time been
trying without success to convince Miles to return to some of the beautiful haunting
arrangements Gil Evans scored for him on the albums, Birth Of The Cool,
Miles Ahead, Porgy And Bess and Sketches Of Spain. Nobs accompanied Jones
to New York to try and persuade Miles to play a special concert at Montreux’s 25th
anniversary dedicated to these large ensemble pieces he first recorded with Evans
in the late 1940s and 1950s. For a musician who constantly moved forwards and
vowed many times, ‘If I look back , I’ll die’, this was the toughest of calls, particularly
as his health was deteriorating fast and Evans death in 1988 had had a deep
affect. Maybe Miles knew he didn’t have long to go, maybe the money was right or
maybe, according to fellow trumpeter Wallace Roney, Miles told him he played the
concert because he had looked in the mirror and saw Gil Evans, and Gil told him
he had to do it.
Looking frail and a little overwhelmed in front of the combined mass of the Gil
Evans Orchestra and the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band with Quincy Jones
conducting, Miles sat peering over half rim reading glasses with Kenny Garrett
and Wallace Roney by his side and played these complex arrangements as well as
he could given his condition. It’s a hugely moving experience with Miles visibly
gaining confidence during ‘Solea’, from Sketches Of Spain, as the camera tracks
every nuance of his playing and facial expressions. Miles’ sound and touch still
sends shivers and the half-smile he briefly flashes as the piece builds towards a
dynamic climax and the affectionate touch he gives Roney after a short duet are
just two of the many poignant moments in this historic performance.
Jon Newey, editor, Jazzwise