Monday 8 October 2007

Miles Davis - Another Bitches Brew


"This is a bootleg with legs, being the rare and mostly well-recorded snapshot of Miles’ late 1970-1971 band, near the end of its life. It was the last band sans guitars Miles ever put together. This music is built from the ground up, and Michael Henderson held the keystone. (Try playing the bass line to “Yesternow” or “Honky Tonk” without losing your place or speeding up, and you may begin to appreciate Henderson on a new level.) By this concert, he’d dropped the Holland emulations and gotten back to his rock-solid rhythms, but he was not yet a player to look to for keeping things interesting and evolving, except perhaps by accident. Keith Jarrett, holding down two keyboards, ably takes on the mid-ground role of colorist. With so much space in the music and no guitars to fill it, it’s a big job. His organ playing here is subtle; so much so the CD producers list only electric piano. (Jarrett’s tenure lasted just a week or two past this concert.) Gary Bartz doesn’t get a chance to add much to his resume here, which is a shame (Miles’ post-1970 concept tended to treat saxophonists as an optional feature—in for a solo, then out again, never initiating a change in direction, always following Miles). The two-percussionist plus drummer setup—Leon Chancler, Mtume, and Don Alias—works well enough, but without guitar the rhythm sounds thin and at times a bit tenuous. The recording balance doesn’t help, being somewhat light on the bottom end (the engineers no doubt thought they were mic’ing and mixing a “jazz” gig—but the mix is clear as a bell).

The set is marked by tense, drawn-out transitions between themes. “Directions” floats in on a rocket before dropping into half-time at 3:27; the transition into “Honky Tonk” begins at 10:25 and stretches over two minutes, with Jarrett and Henderson musically arguing over where the music will go. Once it gets rolling, Jarrett builds some new modalities and nervous rhythm under the sax and trumpet solos, adding unexpected but just-right pokes and prods, then shouting out his own gospelly funk. For a wailing Bartz, he’s down home; under Miles, he goes off into exotic territory. One doesn’t usually think of Jarrett as having an accompanist’s nature, but here’s the evidence. In between the solos, Jarrett gets his groove on. At 23:44 Miles ushers in that stuttering, march-like bit which, after nearly four minutes of neither-here-nor-there-ness, begins to take form as a hard-driving “What I Say”. Too fast to funk hard, as the Live-Evil version does, the whole thing gets so frenetic it’s kind of silly. Jarrett’s post-bop arabesques fit the music a little better than the sax wails. The tempo turns fluid, halving and doubling ambiguously, before a conga duo takes center stage, backed by Chancler’s discreet hi-hat locomotion. This two-percussionist band with Mtume and Don Alias, with five or six congas onstage, is among the least-documented of Miles’ multitudinous incarnations. It’s gratifying to hear them take the spotlight in tandem so winningly. “Sanctuary” receives an atmospheric theme statement, before Miles screams a few times, turning up the juice.
At 55:17 Miles plays the “Honky Tonk” cue again, but Henderson goes into “Yesternow”. There’s a hole at around 60 minutes where Miles pops in a startlingly atypical muted sound, a lone bugler lost in acres of no-man’s-land. Moments later, Bartz stages a break-out by adding some through-the-horn vocalisms, but reins himself in after just a few spooky whoops. (Miles never seemed to care for anything too self-consciously “weird”.) At that moment, there’s an abrupt fadeout, just as things are getting really interesting. Leaving one lost in speculation as to whether a second set from this remarkable night exists on tape". Tom Djll, One Final Note
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CD 1
Recorded Live in Belgrad, 03 November 1971

Miles Davis (tp); Gary Bartz (as, ss); Keith Jarrett (el-p); Michael Henderson (b); Ndugu Leon Chancler (d); James Mtume Foreman, Charles Don Alias (cga, perc)

1. Directions
2. Honky Tonk
3. What I Say
4. Sanctuary
5. It's About That Time
6. Yesternow
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CD 2
Recorded Live in Belgrad, 07 November 1973

Miles Davis (tp, org); Dave Liebmann (ss, ts, fl); Reginald Lucas, Pete Cosey (el-g); Michael Henderson (b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Foreman (cga, perc)

1. Turnaroundphrase
2. Tune in 5
3. Turnaroundphrase
4. Calypso Frelimo
5. Tune in 5
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link @320

13 comments:

bravo juju said...

como se diz em vila franca de xira,este foi arrancado a ferros,agradecimentos ao luso-brasileiro aka mete nojo

hideo said...

too bad this one was deleted!
maybe a repost?

bravo juju said...

repost everybody enjoy

ho said...

Thenks a lot for all the wonderful Miles' selection here. Big Fun is Big Fun really. Can u post On The Corner?

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