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Miles Runs The Voodoo Down: “The Bootleg Series Volume 2” Sheds Light on Third Great Quintet

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Miles Davis - Bootleg 2Where was Miles Davis at in 1968?

In a June 1968 interview with Leonard Feather of Downbeat, the journalist observed of Davis’ hotel suite, “I found strewn around the room records or tape cartridges by James Brown, Dionne Warwick, Tony Bennett, The Byrds, Aretha Franklin and the Fifth Dimension. Not a single jazz instrumental.”  Feather asked “Why?” but concluded that most likely, “when you have reached the aesthetic mountaintop, there is no place to look but down.”  Feather’s summation was harsh, perhaps, but Davis was operating on a different plane than his pop contemporaries.  Not necessarily a higher place, but a different place.  But even atop a lofty perch, Davis wasn’t content to merely look down.  So he picked himself up, dusted him off and started all over again.  Likely he took in all of the disparate influences around him in not only jazz but pop, rock and soul, and then forgot everything, ready to develop a new form of music as only he could.

Jump ahead one year.  Davis’ In a Silent Way was released on July 30, 1969, a mysterious tone poem of an album (well, two tone poems, one to each side of the LP) and a signature early work of Davis’ electric period.  Among the players on that album were Wayne Shorter (tenor and soprano sax), Chick Corea (electric piano), Dave Holland (bass) and Jack DeJohnette (drums).  Together with Davis, they formed the “third great Miles Davis Quintet,” but this relatively short-lived aggregation (1969-1970) was never documented on its own in the recording studio.  The players contributed to In a Silent Way and Filles De Kilimanjaro, and of course joined Davis among the musicians on his electric breakthrough Bitches Brew.  Now, the curtain rises on the first-ever official release by this line-up: The Miles Davis Quintet’s Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Volume Two.  Set for January 29 release, it follows 2011’s acclaimed first Bootleg volume which chronicled the Second Great Quintet in Europe, 1967.  Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings’ Live in Europe 1969, a 3-CD/1-DVD box set, presents the Third Quintet in four concerts: three on CD and one on DVD.  By the time of these shows in July and November, 1969, only Davis and Shorter remained from that seminal line-up.

What will you find on the new set?  Hit the jump!  Plus: the full track listing and pre-order link!

The first two CDs capture the group’s performances at the Antibes Jazz Festival in France on July 25 and 26, just days before the release of In a Silent Way on LP.  The third disc fast-forwards to November 5 for a mostly-acoustic Stockholm gig as part of George Wein’s “Newport Jazz Festival in Europe.”  Finally, the DVD ends up a couple of days later, on November 7, for a performance at the Berlin Philharmonie.  This complete, 46-minute color program should be of stunning historical significance.  Like the first Bootleg volume, the material on Volume Two has been sourced from the original European state-owned radio and television broadcast masters, and Mark Wilder has remastered all tracks for quality superior to that on actual bootleg discs.  Most excitingly, these concerts reveal a wide-ranging repertoire from bebop to modal jazz to the standards Davis would soon abandon and even the up-to-the-minute electric material which would be released on Bitches Brew.

As if that’s not enough, Live in Europe 1969 also includes a booklet with detailed liner notes, complete discographical information, rare photographs and memorabilia.  Produced by Richard Seidel and Michael Cuscuna, and co-produced by Steve Berkowitz, the set’s 3,000-word essay has been written by historian Josef Woodard.  These “lost” recordings offer the missing link between the Second Great Quintet’s dreamlike, unconventional explorations and the unbridled, hard-edged electric power of Davis in the 1970s.  Consider it an extra chapter in the Miles Davis story between In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew.

Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 arrives in stores from Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings on January 29, 2013, and can be ordered at the link below!

The Miles Davis Quintet, Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 (Columbia/Legacy 88725 41853 2, 2013)

CD 1: Festival Mondial du Jazz d’Antibes, La Pinede, Juan-les-Pins, France – July 25, 1969

  1. Introduction by Andre Francis
  2. Directions
  3. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down
  4. Milestones
  5. Footprints
  6. Round Midnight
  7. It’s About That Time
  8. Sanctuary
  9. The Theme

CD 2: Festival Mondial du Jazz d’Antibes, La Pinede, Juan-les-Pins, France – July 26, 1969

  1. Introduction by Andre Francis
  2. Directions
  3. Spanish Key
  4. I Fall in Love Too Easily
  5. Masqualero
  6. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down
  7. No Blues
  8. Nefertiti
  9. Sanctuary
  10. The Theme

CD 3: Folkets Hus, Stockholm – November 5, 1969 (Tracks 1-5 from first concert of the evening, Track 6 from second concert)

  1. Introduction by George Wein
  2. Bitches Brew
  3. Paraphernalia
  4. Nefertiti
  5. Masqualero (Incomplete)
  6. This

DVD: Berliner Jazztage in the Berlin Philharmonie – November 7, 1969

  1. Introduction by John O’Brien-Docker
  2. Directions
  3. Bitches Brew
  4. It’s About That Time
  5. I Fall in Love Too Easily
  6. Sanctuary
  7. The Theme

Written by Joe Marchese

December 4, 2012 at 13:30

Posted in Box Sets, Miles Davis, News

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for this info… This could be pretty great!


    December 5, 2012 at 09:03

  2. This is a must-buy for me, I have some of the Juan-les-Pins performance and it’s great. The third disc sounds intriguing as I am wondering how the band will approach an acoustic set after playing electric for most of the gigs previously that year.
    But I hope the price drops a bit.

    Jason Michael

    December 5, 2012 at 22:23

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