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Thread: AAJ Review: Miles At The Fillmore - Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3

  1. #1

    AAJ Review: Miles At The Fillmore - Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3




    My review of Miles Davis' Miles At The Fillmore - Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3, today at All About Jazz.

    By the time Bitches Brew (Columbia) was released in April, 1970—and despite receiving a 5-star review in Downbeat Magazine—trumpeter Miles Davis was already under fire from mainstream jazz critics as having "sold out," despite the densely constructed, improvisationally unfettered music being as unapproachable to an audience looking for accessible music as anything he'd done with his increasingly liberated second great quintet of the 1960s. Sure, there were rock rhythms and, perhaps more disturbingly to the delicate ears of its detractors, rock energy and volume, but if anyone was thinking "sellout," it certainly wasn't Columbia Records, who had no idea what to do with side-long improvisational excursions, pasted together in collage-like fashion by Davis' longtime producer, Teo Macero.

    But thankfully, the late '60s and early -to-mid-'70s was a time when the emergence of FM radio stations and open-minded music fans made the kind of music Davis and others in his circle made not just accepted, but massively successful. It's no hyperbole to suggest that, were recordings like [i[Bitches Brew[/i], Weather Report's self-titled 1971 debut and Mahavishnu Orchestra's equally groundbreaking first album, 1971's The Inner Mounting Flame, released today—and that's assuming major labels would even touch this music—they would never come within an ass' roar of the success they achieved back in the day. Looking back, accusations of selling out were already completely off-base, based on the archival find Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 (Legacy, 2013), which shone a spotlight in the trumpeter's "lost quintet" featuring, along with Davis, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, (largely) electric pianist Chick Corea, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette. It may have been loud and hard-edged, but it may well have represented the freest music of Davis' career to date.

    Continue reading here....

  2. #2
    Thank you! I'm very much looking forward to this one.

  3. #3
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    I eagerly await my copy.

    Nice review John,as always.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

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    Only Miles could have both Chick and Keith as his sidemen.

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    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Looking forward to it. It should be interesting to see what Macero snipped out for the original record. I ordered mine from Amazon.co.uk at a substantial discount, but it'll probably take a while longer to get here.

    I hadn't realized all these years that Grossman was a teenager when he was playing for Davis.

    What are the "vocalizations" that Moreira is credited with? I wonder if they're confusing the cuica for vocal sounds?

  6. #6
    W.P.O.D. Dan Marsh's Avatar
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    I also ordered mine from amazon.uk and eagerly awaiting it!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Looking forward to it. It should be interesting to see what Macero snipped out for the original record. I ordered mine from Amazon.co.uk at a substantial discount, but it'll probably take a while longer to get here.

    I hadn't realized all these years that Grossman was a teenager when he was playing for Davis.

    What are the "vocalizations" that Moreira is credited with? I wonder if they're confusing the cuica for vocal sounds?
    No, given co-producer Michael Cuscuna saw this band, he knows (and is right) that Airto does some vocal stuff on a couple tracks (which ones I can't recall), and are totally different than the cuica.

    Thanks, btw, and as usual, to everyone for both the kind words and taking the time to post their thoughts. Much appreciated!
    John

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    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    BitchesBrew.jpg

    I wish I still had a bottle of this for when it arrives.

  10. #10
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    The snippets on amazon do sound bootlegish...and inconsistent (meaning certain songs sound better than others). Which is slightly disappointing.

    But I'm still looking forward to hearing the whole thing.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  11. #11
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    The one preview track i heard was superb( it was from Fillmore West).Steve Grossman was on tenor and sounded better, to my ears, than anything i could remember from the previous Fillmore East cd release,or from Black Beauty.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobo Chang Ba View Post
    The snippets on amazon do sound bootlegish...and inconsistent (meaning certain songs sound better than others). Which is slightly disappointing.

    But I'm still looking forward to hearing the whole thing.
    No, the overall quality is excellent. These were not bootleg sources, they were remixed from multitracks recorded at the time and from which Teo Macero created the four single-side collages, "Wednesday Miles" through "Saturday Miles."

    It's nice to be able to sample at places like amazon, but without knowing what compression they're using - and if (and I've seen this happen) different samples come for differently compressed sources, they are to be used as guides only, about the music, and not indicators of the overall quality of sound.

    Best,
    John

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by walt View Post
    The one preview track i heard was superb( it was from Fillmore West).Steve Grossman was on tenor and sounded better, to my ears, than anything i could remember from the previous Fillmore East cd release,or from Black Beauty.
    That's because they weren't just remastered, they were remixed...so you're absolutely right.

    But as I say in my review, one thing I found intriguing is that Macero's collages were so compelling on their own that this new set with the full performances will not supplant them, they will augment
    them. I can see myself, at times, pulling out this new box and other times going for the original release. They're from the same sources, but Macero's work is so inventive that they absolutely stand on their own. And I love it that they do.

  14. #14
    I am WAY looking forward to getting this one.

    I'm hoping that Sony can release a collection for every '70s iteration of Miles' band. I'm particularly interested to see if anything good turns up from the On the Corner/Live at Philharmonic Hall period.

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    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    No, given co-producer Michael Cuscuna saw this band, he knows (and is right) that Airto does some vocal stuff on a couple tracks (which ones I can't recall), and are totally different than the cuica.
    I guess so--Listening to At Fillmore, I see what you mean.

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    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobo Chang Ba View Post
    The snippets on amazon do sound bootlegish...and inconsistent (meaning certain songs sound better than others). Which is slightly disappointing.

    But I'm still looking forward to hearing the whole thing.
    I got what I need from Miles around this era...
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    I got what I need from Miles around this era...
    If you haven't heard an entire show, rather than Teo Macero's pastiche, I humbly suggest that no, you haven't

    And this is a different band than the 1969 quintet featured on the previous Bootleg Series Vol. 3, and also from what was to come, when he started employing guitarists and moved to a much denser soundspace.

    Not saying you must buy this record, but based on previous discussions, I'd suggest you should

  18. #18
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    No, the overall quality is excellent. These were not bootleg sources, they were remixed from multitracks recorded at the time and from which Teo Macero created the four single-side collages, "Wednesday Miles" through "Saturday Miles."

    It's nice to be able to sample at places like amazon, but without knowing what compression they're using - and if (and I've seen this happen) different samples come for differently compressed sources, they are to be used as guides only, about the music, and not indicators of the overall quality of sound.

    Best,
    John
    Well that's good to hear.

    And admittedly, I thought that, but amazon is usually pretty good in that regard (at least in having decent sounding samples) but good point nevertheless.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  19. #19
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    No, the overall quality is excellent. These were not bootleg sources, they were remixed from multitracks recorded at the time and from which Teo Macero created the four single-side collages, "Wednesday Miles" through "Saturday Miles."

    It's nice to be able to sample at places like amazon, but without knowing what compression they're using - and if (and I've seen this happen) different samples come for differently compressed sources, they are to be used as guides only, about the music, and not indicators of the overall quality of sound.

    Best,
    John
    Well that's good to hear.

    And admittedly, I thought that, but amazon is usually pretty good in that regard (at least in having decent sounding samples) but good point nevertheless.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  20. #20
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    I got what I need from Miles around this era...
    I mostly want it because Miles At Fillmore is probably my favorite MD album (certainly live)...but was saddened to learn they were culled performances. I'm thrilled they are finally making the whole show available.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  21. #21
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    If you haven't heard an entire show, rather than Teo Macero's pastiche, I humbly suggest that no, you haven't

    And this is a different band than the 1969 quintet featured on the previous Bootleg Series Vol. 3, and also from what was to come, when he started employing guitarists and moved to a much denser soundspace.

    Not saying you must buy this record, but based on previous discussions, I'd suggest you should
    OK, I'll certainly look for it at my liberary system (no doubt they'll cary it within a few weeks or couple months)

    But I got Live-Evil and BB (and the complete BB sessions boxset) and heard a few of the following live albums (the two previous Fillmore releases East & West), so that's why I came to my conclusions
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  22. #22
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Took a stack of old CDs and DVDs into the local indie shop for a store credit today, and finally picked this up (as well as the most recent Chick Corea solo The Vigil and Weather Report's 8:30). What a beautiful set! Can't wait to dig in, I've heard good things about this one.
    Prog, Metal and Classic rock reviews/interviews - www.velvetthunder.co.uk

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    Oh man this is triiiiiiiiiiped out. Love it. Tull's set is also a gem if you haven't seen it. Those were the day. Or so they say. Fiddly-dee-di-day.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  24. #24
    Just a few days ago I just dusted off my copy of the 4-disc Live At The Fillmore after having not heard it in a while. Think it's time for another listen.

    Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea on piano/keys, in the same band at the same time!

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Just a few days ago I just dusted off my copy of the 4-disc Live At The Fillmore after having not heard it in a while. Think it's time for another listen.

    Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea on piano/keys, in the same band at the same time!
    And apparently, Keith hated every single second of it. There's an interview where he talks about how he started off playing electric organ, and then after Chick left the band, Miles made him start playing electric piano too. Keith says "I'm not sure I can tell you which one I hated more".

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