452 Electric, eclectic Miles Davis

How do you like your Jazz? Chaotic, energetic, exhausting, inspiring, intense, innovative, improvised, psychedelic and totally out there? (A bit like Sex?) Here’s an electric, eclectic  Miles Davis  in a 1970 concert with Chick Corea and the amazing Jack DeJohnette on drums. It's optional to look at the Psychedelic Sex illustration while listening, but don't miss watching Dave Holland's bass solo at about 18:00 ... this is music from a different age, totally free and uninhibited, unlike anything today (apologies for the start of the recording, it cuts in somewhat abruptly; bear with it ... give it a minute to get into the groove; these 45min are a trip to times past).

From  Dangerous Minds





God, is this great. Here we have the incredible Miles Davis performance from the Tanglewood music festival, held in Lenox, Massachusetts, during August 1970. Earlier in the year, Miles released his landmark double album,  Bitches Brew,  and though the fusion of jazz and rock heard in the grooves was controversial amongst jazz purists, it was a big hit in the rock world. Thus, Davis found himself playing for a new and expanded audience, with the Tanglewood gig being one of the biggest shows he had played yet. The professionally shot video was recently uploaded to YouTube by the good folks at  Music Vault,  who own the rights.

Here’s an excerpt from the notes on the event:


"Other than his appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival later this same month, the Tanglewood performance was possibly the largest audience that Miles Davis had encountered up to this point. His extraordinary band, containing many soon to be legendary musicians, was all deeply immersed in the early experiments into electric instrumentation. This incendiary performance captures Miles embracing a rock dynamic in his music that was more electric, more funky, more rhythmic, and simply more “out there” than anything that had proceeded it.


"Much of the material performed this night derives from Miles’ studio sessions during the groundbreaking In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew album sessions. Because the performance remains one long continuous suite, it allows one to follow the flow and logic of the music over an extended period of time. This continual flow, devoid of announcements identifying the songs, often left critics and some listeners confused, but focused listening reveals that distinct changes are taking place. Miles is thoroughly in control of the musical direction at all times, whether he is in the forefront or not. Miles guides the music back to particular vamps or themes, continually bringing focus to the group improvisations. The swift and agile response of the musicians to Miles’ cues and coded phrases is truly remarkable and is a primary reason for the relentless intensity of this music.


"Miles and his group were opening for Santana that night, as Carlos Santana had hand-selected Davis for the slot. Years later, Carlos had this to say about the performance: “The played music meant for the cosmos. It was out, it was in, it was unreal, and it was oh so glorious.”


The band:


Miles Davis - trumpet

Gary Bartz - soprano and alto sax

Chick Corea - electric piano

Keith Jarrett - organ, electric piano

Dave Holland - electric and acoustic bass

Jack DeJohnette - drums

Airto Moriera – percussion