Saturday, December 06, 2014

Miles Davis - Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 (Columbia, 2009)

So, Miles Davis, relatively healthy and in the midst in leading on of his many revolutionary movements in jazz, turning to electric musical instruments and cut-up techniques in the studio. Bitches Brew was released to flummoxed masses in 1970, and the backlash from mouldy figs came hard without subtlety. Ignored by Davis who was (arguably) to strongest he has ever been, a necessity to cut through the tumult breaking loose around him. Along for the ride are Gary Bartz on soprano saxophone, Chick Corea on electric piano, Keith Jarrett on organ, Dave Holland on electric bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums and Airto Moreira on percussion. Miles performed on Saturday afternoon of the 29th (following Tiny Tim!) Of the up to 700,000 attendees, I wonder how many would understand what was going on. Miles muscular blasts, he then turning his back on the audience (something he had done for many years (no announcement of song titles while spilled out it a thirty-five minute performance (split up?) moving from suite to suite in a fashion that connects all of the music together. His set opener "Directions" showed people what they were with Jarrett and Corea vying to provide texture and structure to the freest music Davis had ever recorded. Miles Davis was a great boxing fan working out at gums and studying the "sweet science." This agility served in well in interacting with many years younger, darting and weaving on "Spanish Key" and "About That Time" where the soft mute Miles of the 1950's gave way the scalding runs that tear the very fabric of the music they are performing. The music ends as Davis usually did in the 1960's and 70' tipping his hat to the past by playing "The Theme." Hard to make of this record, which is also available on DVD or YouTube if you are short of funds. Regardless, don't miss it, it is another piece of the enigmatic puzzle that is Miles DavisIsle of Wight -

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