Before looking into the musical quality on Bitches Brew Live, it's important to note for cost-conscious consumers that none of this material appeared on the Bitches Brew: 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition or the 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. The material contained here is compiled from two concert performances. The first three tracks were taken from the Newport Jazz Festival in July of 1969, preceding the release of the album by nine months. The last six were recorded at 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, four months after the album hit store shelves.
Miles Davis was best-known during the late '40s for offering an alternative approach to trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Fats Navarro, emphasizing his middle register, a softer tone and a more thoughtful approach. This concert performance, which was not released until nearly three decades later, shows that Davis was just as capable of playing hard-driving bebop as most of his contemporaries. In a quintet with tenor-saxophonist James Moody and pianist-composer Tadd Dameron, Davis confounded the French audience by playing very impressive high notes and displaying an extroverted personality. Never content to merely satisfy the expectations of his fans, he was already moving in surprising directions. This LP also gives one a very rare opportunity to hear Miles Davis verbally introducing songs in a voice not yet scarred.
The three-disc anthology The Real…Miles Davis: The Ultimate Miles Davis Collection brings together tracks the legendary trumpeter recorded for Columbia during the '50s and '60s. These are some of Davis' best-known and most influential recordings when he was at the height of his pre-fusion, modern jazz career. Included are such cuts as "So What," "I Thought About You," "Stella by Starlight," "Milestones," and more.
Since it's billed as "Directions in Music by Miles Davis," it should come as little surprise that Filles de Kilimanjaro is the beginning of a new phase for Miles, the place that he begins to dive headfirst into jazz-rock fusion. It also happens to be the swan song for his second classic quintet, arguably the finest collective of musicians he ever worked with, and what makes this album so fascinating is that it's possible to hear the breaking point – though his quintet all followed him into fusion (three of his supporting players were on In a Silent Way), it's possible to hear them all break with the conventional notions of what constituted even adventurous jazz, turning into something new. According to Miles, the change in "direction" was as much inspired by a desire to return to something earthy and bluesy as it was to find new musical territory, and Filles de Kilimanjaro bears him out.
“I was the engineer on the recording sessions and I also made the masters for the original LP issues of these albums. Since the advent of the CD, other people have been making the masters. Mastering is the final step in the process of creating the sound of the finished product. Now, thanks to the folks at the Concord Music Group who have given me the opportunity to remaster these albums, I can present my versions of the music on CD using modern technology. I remember the sessions well, I remember how the musicians wanted to sound, and I remember their reactions to the playbacks. Today, I feel strongly that I am their messenger.” —Rudy Van Gelder
Miles Davis was a towering a figure in the world of Jazz music throughout his long recording and performing career, playing the trumpet like no one else could. His significance can never be understated and his artistry is as crucial to the development of Jazz as was the great Louis Armstrong. Davis laid the foundation for musical innovation to expand beyond it's perceived boundaries through his sheer genius and attention to every detail of a performance. These two discs document his final concert performance before his tragic passing. 'The Man With The Horn' was clearly not ready to go as he valiantly fought against the HIV disease that robbed him of life. To the end, his artistry ever evolving and not to be missed.
This 15-track compilation gathers the best of Chicago soul singer Tyrone Davis' Columbia recordings from 1976 to 1981. Cut after Davis made his career defining soul hits for Dakar in the '60s, he scored a few more chart toppers including the upbeat, disco era tracks "Give it Up, Turn it Loose, "This I Swear," and "Get On Up (Disco)." But it's the lush, Quiet Storm material represented exceptionally well on "In the Mood," "Lets be Closer Together" and "Close to You," (not the Carpenters tune), that finds the vocalist in his true element. This is a good introductory retrospective from this romantic soul master and the perfect companion to 20 Greatest Hits which focuses on his Dakar material.