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The Complete Live At the Plugged Nickel (1965)

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Album Review

All the music that trumpeter Miles Davis and his second classic quintet (with tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams) played at the Plugged Nickel in Chicago on two nights in 1965 has been released on this eight-CD box. The packaging is a bit confusing because Davis' group actually performed seven full sets but, since the second set on December 22nd ran over, it has been issued on two CDs but placed inside the same package. In any case, the music during these two nights, primarily explorative versions of standards (as opposed to Miles' all-original studio albums of the period), is continually fascinating. A few titles are repeated, but the interpretations differ greatly from each other. The trumpeter's chops are actually not quite in peak form (although his creativity is), but Wayne Shorter (who often takes solo honors) is consistently brilliant and the rhythm section (propelled by Tony Williams) was one of the best of the period. Although some of this music had been issued earlier on three LPs, most of it had been previously available only in Japan. This was a very significant group (even if it was somewhat overshadowed by the John Coltrane Quartet at the time), and its advanced versions of such Davis standards as "Walkin'," "My Funny Valentine," "I Fall in Love Too Easily," "If I Were a Bell," "Stella By Starlight," and "So What" are among the many highlights. One of the top releases of 1995.

Customer Reviews

Buy this!

Amazing music and atmosphere. Captures Miles and his amazing second Quintet at their transformational best. If you like Miles, you’ll love this.

Out Of Print No Longer!

I bought this album a couple of years ago, used, for around $100 because it was out of print. Yes, it was worth it. For forty bucks, it is a steal. It contains 7.5 hours of Miles with his second great quintet. If you like Miles from the 60s, buy it.


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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