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Miles In Berlin (Live)

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Album Review

Recorded live in Germany at the Berlin Philharmonic, Miles in Berlin represents the first recording of trumpeter Miles Davis with tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter. For various reasons, saxophonists George Coleman and Sam Rivers had both come and gone as members of Davis' band. With the addition of Shorter in 1964, Davis had found the lineup of musicians that he would stick with until 1968 and produce some of the most influential albums of his career — collected on The Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-68: The Complete Columbia Studio. Eventually known as the "second great quintet," most of the players here, including pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams, had been with Davis for just under a year. In that time, they had taken his traditional repertoire of standards and originals and reworked them with a more adventurous, edgy approach that flirted with the avant-garde. While there isn't a huge difference in the sound of this band or choice of songs from the group that recorded Seven Steps to Heaven or Miles Davis in Europe, there is a palpable sense of creative abandon in Davis' performance as well as synergy to the group sound that seems to foreshadow the innovative music to come. [Long out of print in the United States, Columbia's 2005 reissue of Miles in Berlin adds one bonus track not on the European version.]

Customer Reviews

The first, the best, Miles prefroms with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams

This CD encompasses some of the best, live and fast paced style that the "Second Great Quintet" of Miles' career. I highly recomend a listen if you haven't come to know the fast Miles that has lost its touch lately. As the liner notes state, "Miles in Berlin points towards the masterpieces to come" and it couldn't be more true. The group playes the Berlin Philharmonie like it was a grand jazz hall, with the excitement of three ultra-fast tempoed tunes, Milestones, Walkin' and Stella By Starlight. With this first live prefromance with the new group, it can be easily said that the world of jazz changed on Sept. 25, 1964 and Miles' genius would become even more admired through the next few decades.

Great Deal For Fans of Second Great Quintet

If you don't understand the title of the review, then by all means check out the revolutionary music on E.S.P., Miles Smiles, and The Plugged Nickel recordings. If you know those already, then check out this bargain live album, which also has some historical significance. This release is the earliest recorded album with Wayne Shorter, as he had just joined the band. It is more traditional and accessible than the plugged nickel recordings, so please check it out.


Born: May 26, 1926 in Alton, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Throughout a professional career lasting 50 years, Miles Davis played the trumpet in a lyrical, introspective, and melodic style, often employing a stemless Harmon mute to make his sound more personal and intimate. But if his approach to his instrument was constant, his approach to jazz was dazzlingly protean. To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz from the mid-'40s to the early '90s, since he was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development in the...
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