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Miles Davis Live At the Fillmore East

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Album Review

With the critical reviews for Bitches Brew popping up in everything from local and national newspapers to jazz magazines, and Steve Grossman firmly established in the saxophone chair recently vacated by Wayne Shorter, Miles threw his band a curve ball. He added Keith Jarrett on organ to a group that already included bassist Dave Holland, electric pianist Chick Corea, percussionist Airto Moreira, and drummer Jack DeJohnette for a four-night stand at the Fillmore East. This double-LP/CD package puts together selections from each night, without regard for repetition. It's fine that there are numerous performances of certain tunes: the problem is that, although the music is compelling, it's schizophrenic because there are no full performances on the final release; they were all edited severely (as was standard practice by Teo Macero and Davis). Rather than the long jams that fans and foes had been accustomed to hearing, presented here are snippets taken from the heart of the performances, such as two and a half minutes from "Directions" and eight from the center of "It's About That Time" (which sounds a hell of a lot like Weather Report's "125th Street Congress" from Sweetnighter). To compound this, when the music from Friday night actually collects some of the music from Thursday night — different segments are edited within tunes, the grooves don't necessarily match and for this set (unlike many other live Miles dates) just as a composition starts to gel, it segues into another rather abruptly. Organically, in a live setting, it isn't the way Miles worked; pieces would evolve, slowly, with a kind of spooky continuity. Black Beauty set is preferable to this one, though there isn't any Jarrett, or the March 7, 1970 issue on CD called It's About That Time (which does include Jarrett) because both contain continuous performances. This collection only reveals that the band was capable of blowing everybody's mind; though that never actually happens.

Customer Reviews

to hell with the description.

miles davis is an all-time jazz legend and he and his band are phennomenal on this is the only way to listen to them.

Blind Alley

I simply don't have the ears to appreciate fusion-so to me this album is a blind alley that sounds like talented musicians playing different songs at the same time. Miles Smiles or 7 Steps to Heaven are wonderful, but this left me cold. Tony Williams always delivers,but I'd avoid this one.

Makes me wonder...

Is there anything more worthless than an I-Tunes review? I say no. This album is perhaps one of the greatest live jazz performances ever. Enough said.


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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