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It’s About That Time: Complete Concerts On “Miles at the Fillmore” Box Set Chronicle Davis’ Rock Revolution

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Miles at the Fillmore

Between June 17 and 20, 1970, the fresh musical possibilities of a new decade were on vivid display in New York City’s East Village when the bill at the Fillmore East was shared by two titanic talents on the Columbia Records roster – Miles Davis and Laura Nyro.  Though the pairing might seem an incongruous one, both Davis and Nyro shared an affinity for pushing the envelope and synthesizing various genres into a singular style of music that was easily identifiable as their own.  Davis’ stand as Nyro’s opening act was first released in October 1970 as Miles Davis at Fillmore, a 2-LP set which contained edited highlights from the four nights of performances.  Now, as the third installment of Davis’ acclaimed Bootleg Series, Columbia and Legacy Recordings are issuing his complete Fillmore East shows.  The 4-CD box set due on March 25 premieres more than 100 minutes of previously unreleased music, and as a special bonus, adds three bonus tracks (and another 35 minutes of never-before-released music) from Davis’ April 1970 stint at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West in San Francisco on a bill with Stone the Crows and the Grateful Dead.

When Davis took the stage at the Fillmore East, he was riding high on the success of the April 1970 release of Bitches Brew.  The groundbreaking electric LP would become the trumpeter’s first gold record, and win him a Grammy Award as well.  Davis was leading a group including Chick Corea on electric piano, Dave Holland on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums as well as tenor and soprano saxophonist Steve Grossman and percussionist/flautist/vocalist Airto Moreira.   Corea, Holland and DeJohnette all played on Bitches Brew; Grossman and Moreira had been joining Davis in the studio since November 1969 and joined his touring line-up in February and April 1970, respectively.  At the Fillmore East, this all-star aggregation was joined by Keith Jarrett on organ and tambourine, part of the blazing three-month period when both Jarrett and Corea played keyboards for Davis. Jarrett continued in the band until late 1971, and also performed with Davis at his two later Fillmore dates in San Francisco in October 1970 and May 1971.

After the jump, we have the full details on this new set, including the complete track listing and pre-order links!

Miles at the Fillmore: Miles Davis 1970 – The Bootleg Series Volume 3 is arranged by evening, with one disc for each of the four nights of the Fillmore East stand.  The original Columbia 2-LP release in 1970 was edited by Davis’ longtime producer Teo Macero to sample music from each night on each of its four sides. In an unusual move, no song titles were listed, with the LP sides simply named by the day of the week on which the music was recorded.  For this expanded reissue, producers Richard Seidel and Michael Cuscuna, and co-producer Steve Berkowitz have returned to the original remote live recording tapes, produced by Macero and engineered by Stan Tonkel. On each of the four nights, Miles and his group found new routes into “Directions,” “The Mask,” “It’s About That Time” and “Bitches Brew,” plus the brief “The Theme.”

On the second night, Miles played a rare encore of “Spanish Key” from Bitches Brew, and on both the third and fourth nights, the band followed up “It’s About That Time” with the same two songs: the standard “I Fall In Love Too Easily” and Wayne Shorter’s Bitches Brew track “Sanctuary.” On the fourth night, Miles added “Willie Nelson,” which he had recently recorded at the start of the Jack Johnson sessions.  For the bonus tracks, the producers selected three songs from the April 1970 Fillmore West shows that were not performed at the Fillmore East in June: Shorter’s “Paraphernalia” and “Footprints,” and Davis’ “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down.”

A 2,200-word first-hand account of the performances by legendary guitarist and Davis devotee Carlos Santana as told to author Ashley Kahn is at the heart of the 36-page booklet that accompanies Miles at the Fillmore.  Seidel and Cuscuna also provide an essay detailing this new set’s relationship to the original Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East LP, and Cuscuna also offers a 2,500-word piece reflecting on Davis’ relationship during this period with the rock generation.

Dave Darlington has mixed Miles at the Fillmore, and the set has been mastered by Mark Wilder with Maria Triana at Battery Studios.  This deluxe package arrives from Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings on March 25, and can be pre-ordered at the links below!

Miles Davis, Miles at the Fillmore – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3 (Columbia/Legacy 88765 43381 2, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

CD 1: Fillmore East, Wednesday, June 17, 1970

  1. Introduction by Bill Graham
  2. Directions
  3. The Mask
  4. It’s About That Time
  5. Bitches Brew
  6. The Theme
  7. Paraphernalia (From the Fillmore West, April 11, 1970)
  8. Footprints (From the Fillmore West, April 11, 1970)

CD 2: Fillmore East, Thursday, June 18, 1970

  1. Directions
  2. The Mask
  3. It’s About That Time
  4. Bitches Brew
  5. The Theme
  6. Spanish Key (Encore)
  7. The Theme

CD 3: Fillmore East, Friday, June 19, 1970

  1. Directions
  2. The Mask
  3. It’s About That Time
  4. I Fall In Love Too Easily
  5. Sanctuary
  6. Bitches Brew
  7. The Theme
  8. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down (from the Fillmore West, April 11, 1970)

CD 4: Fillmore East, Saturday, June 20, 1970

  1. Directions
  2. The Mask
  3. It’s About That Time
  4. I Fall In Love Too Easily
  5. Sanctuary
  6. Bitches Brew
  7. Willie Nelson
  8. The Theme

All selections previously unreleased.  Fillmore East tracks were originally issued in edited form on Miles Davis at Fillmore (Columbia 30038, 1970).

Written by Joe Marchese

January 29, 2014 at 09:48

One Response

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  1. Exciting stuff! Too bad there’s no visual accompaniment as with the prior two entries in the series.

    Jeremy Shatan

    February 4, 2014 at 13:37

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