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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tracks 1-3 Are a Revelation
Tracks 4 through 9 of this CD are from the same performance as the DVD "Miles Electric - A Different Kind of Blue," a fine, frenetic performance recorded in front of an enormous crowd at the Isle of Wight Festival.

Tracks 1 through 3, though, were the reason I bought this CD. This is the 1969 band early on, and without Wayne Shorter, who was stuck in traffic...
Published on February 18, 2011 by rfusillo

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners
I did get to se Miles Davis in Manhattan in the late eighties. His music was mesmerizing although, I must admit I am not an advanced jazz listener but I am learning to appreciate different jazz forms. I think Miles Davis is more sophisticated then some other musicians and it takes time and effort to really understand his music. I hope this CD will be more then an...
Published 1 month ago by marilynmou


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tracks 1-3 Are a Revelation, February 18, 2011
This review is from: Bitches Brew LIVE (Audio CD)
Tracks 4 through 9 of this CD are from the same performance as the DVD "Miles Electric - A Different Kind of Blue," a fine, frenetic performance recorded in front of an enormous crowd at the Isle of Wight Festival.

Tracks 1 through 3, though, were the reason I bought this CD. This is the 1969 band early on, and without Wayne Shorter, who was stuck in traffic and missed the Newport gig. So, first of all, how many live recordings are there of Miles Davis with only a rhythm trio behind him? Second, this is a clean, professional recording, unlike some of the bootlegs that are in circulation. Third, this band was still somewhat in transition. The performance is less jazz-oriented than the Blue Coronet gig from just a few weeks before. It really does sound like the Bitches Brew band, only stripped down. Chick Corea's electric piano sounds (could it be a Wurlitzer?) like it did in the studio recordings. He is not using the ring modulator effect that he overused later in the year. Dave Holland is playing double bass -- in later recordings of this band, he uses only electric bass. Jack DeJohnette is breaking out of the Tony Williams mold. Overall, the music is more spacious, has more "air" in it than the recordings from the European tour.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MORE LIVE PROOF IN A NEW DIRECTION FROM DAVIS, February 8, 2011
This review is from: Bitches Brew LIVE (Audio CD)
This release contains about one hour of live music. The tracks were originally produced by long time Davis friend/foil/producer Teo Macero. Some of this music (the Isle of Wight tracks) has been around on video, and there's also some audience bootlegs of these titles floating around. But these tracks (especially the Newport tunes) have at last been officially released. The booklet contains notes and photos on Davis and the festival era.

For fans of Miles Davis during this period, this collection of tracks (1-3 from The Newport Jazz Festival in 1969-the remainder from the Isle of Wight Festival-1970) is an exciting, important release. Yes, there are some who will feel that Sony is putting out product merely to squeeze some more money from consumers, but there's a good amount of worthwhile music from this exciting period in Davis' career. A Davis fan reminded me (which I'd forgotten) that the Isle of Wight date can be found on the 3 CD set "Munich Concert". Most of the music is from 1988 in Germany, with a different band (Davis, Kenny Garrett-sax, Bobby Irving and Adam Holzman-keyboards, Ben Rietveld-bass, Marilyn Mazur-percussion, "Foley" McCreary-guitar, and Ricky Wellman-drums), with yet again a different sound and feel to the music. The "Wight" track is a bit over 35 minutes long, and is titled "Call It Anything", with good sound. The entire set has some good, late sounding Davis, the only minor quibble is that there's no booklet, which would have been nice.

The first three tracks, from Newport, were recorded just prior to the jazz changing set "Bitches Brew". Beginning with the Davis composition "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down", which left little room for speculation on Davis' new direction, the music is dense and alive. Using a deep, rhythmic bottom end, the music pulses with a combination of relatively light nuances and sharp edged shards of sound. "Sanctuary", which has been played in the past, is a different tune from the one people had heard previously. "It's About That Time/The Theme" holds the rhythm patterns similar to other versions (listen to the difference between the version on "It's About That Time Live From The Fillmore West, 1970", with Wayne Shorter), but, as always, there's a few twists and turns which give this track it's own edge.

The remaining music from the Isle of Wight is hypnotic, yet altogether harder sounding. At this point Davis was solidifying his sound and upping the firepower ante. The only non-rock performer at the festival, Davis had been listening to popular performers (and watching them make a lot of money) Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, and other attention grabbing, powerful sounding bands. Using the core rhythm section of Dave Holland-bass, Chick Corea-keyboards, and Jack DeJohnette-drums (shortly after this Holland and Corea would leave Davis to form CIRCLE, with Barry Altschul-pecussion, and noted reedman Anthony Braxton), Davis added Keith Jarrett-organ, Airto Moreira-percussion, and most significantly, Gary Bartz, a relativeley unknown player, on alto and soprano sax. With this band Davis brewed up a bit of funk (James Brown), soul (Sly's group), and pure firepower (Hendrix, et al), and added his own new sound on trumpet. For comparison, listen to the same tunes on the live Davis set "It's About That Time", with Wayne Shorter on sax and hear the difference.

It's telling to hear separate versions of "Sanctuary" and"It's About That Time", and hear the difference from 1969 to 1970. "Directions", "Sanctuary" and "It's About That Time" have a level of intensity arguably approaching the versions on the "Live From The Cellar Door" set, from the same year. "Spanish Key", heard on "Bitches Brew", seems a bit more focused and intense (which may be my ears), which separates it from the studio version. Using relatively simple bass patterns for the band to work off of, the rest of the group could expand and contract their sound as called for. And the use of two keyboard players gives the music even more depth-something else people were skeptical of in the beginning-which was nothing new for Davis.

The "Bitches Brew" era was yet another turning point for both Davis and jazz in general. Davis lost a number of fans when he went in this new direction. But he also gained a new, younger audience (which is what he wanted) who liked exciting, powerful groups like Hendrix, Zeppelin, and others, and funky, soulful groups like James Brown or Sly Stone. The music on this release is another important and exciting documentation of the last true, new direction Miles Davis would take. A combination of never wanting to "play the past" as Davis has said, and the desire to make more money (which he felt he deserved), forced Davis (and jazz) in another direction. And for many (myself included) this direction has proved exhilarating, innovative, and important. This set is a good example of that turning point. With both the Newport '69, and Wight '70 tracks together on one album, it's further proof of how Miles Davis changed jazz (and along with it our conception of jazz), and forged a new and exciting sound. This is dense, challenging music, but the rewards are ample.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles Lives! OMG Does HE LIVE! One Thousand Stars!, February 11, 2011
This review is from: Bitches Brew LIVE (Audio CD)
These blistering, scorching sets from The Isle of Wight and Newport Jazz festivals are worth more than you're paying for them... because this music is priceless.

Newport:
The first three tracks are from a 1969 appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival.
If you think you've heard It's About That Time and haven't heard this then you just have to buy this! I'm listening to Bitches Brew Live as I write this review and this is what I'm hearing:

DeJohnette is playing a wild syncopated shuffle and it's impossible to understand how get is getting all that sound out of a little 5 piece kit. Holland is playing in the upper register of his bass and it sounds like an African log drum played at the speed of a hot red Ferrari. Folks, this music is just nuts! It's very exciting stuff. I admit that I had some trepidation when I purchased this CD, after all, Wayne Shorter missed the gig as he was stuck in traffic in NYC. I had to wonder how the "Lost Quintet" was going to sound as a quartet. This version of It's About That Time is just mind blowing - and yes, I've heard the versions on all three of the Fillmore releases. This is pounding, driving music. Miles is spewing fire at this point. It's intense and more focused that those three Fillmore releases. The band here is pre-Airto and maybe that's part of the difference. I like Airto but he can be a little distracting at times. This is just straight ahead and in your face. Rather like what you see on the DVD from Copenhagen that came with the Legacy Edition of Bitches Brew in 2010. The whole thing wraps up with the usual closer - The Theme

Now we're off to The Isle of Wight 1970. The crowd actually seems to know who Miles is and all 500,000 go wild as the band starts and Miles walks on. I've heard this session before on the DVD A Different Kind of Blue. Maybe it's because there isn't any picture but somehow this just seems far more intense than it did when I was watching it on the DVD player. This band is in SMOKIN' form! Think Live at the Cellar Door Smokin'!

At this point Gary Bartz had taken over the saxophone duties from Steve Grossman but the rest of the band is the same group as the Miles At Fillmore band. Overall I think this band is more driving and more " up in your face" than what we hear on The Cellar Door Sessions. Perhaps it's because Holland is in this band and it's Henderson at the Cellar Door. This band is just scary scary good. Directions is raising the hair on my neck! the horns are in tight unison unlike other recordings of this piece I've heard (with and without Bartz) Gary Bartz is just so expressive, he's just perfect in this band. His playing on Spanish Key is just so off the hook. His vocalese technique of screaming and hollering through the horn is just breathtaking, thrilling! DeJohnette and Holland form the finest rhythm section of all time as far as "rock" music goes, it's hard to believe that DeJohnette is playing a little 5 piece set and bringing more sound and rhythmic variety than the so-called super drummers of the day with there 12 piece (and often more) kits. Miles is breathing fire everywhere over Chick's spaced out, ring-modulated Rhodes and Jarret playing his funky lines on what I think is an RMI piano, he isn't playing organ in this performance like he did on Miles At Fillmore.

I've only listened to this one time and I'm coming back to write more, I always like to give Miles and his musicians their props. I can tell you that this is one of Miles' hottest bands ever and one of the better live releases. It's just so intense it's ridiculous. If you love electric Miles YOU MUST HAVE THIS!!!! This thing gets 100 stars! I'm so glad I bought it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pictures at an Exhibition, February 21, 2011
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This review is from: Bitches Brew LIVE (Audio CD)
It would be easy to casually dismiss one CD with a running time slightly under one hour after the wealth of "box" sets from the vault, since it would seem that the number of tapes which can be cleaned up are thinning out. But this is a solid release which shows the creative electric prowess of Miles Davis and the musical energy that saw no limits on the fusion superspeedway.

The hook for even casual collectors is the initial trio of unreleased tracks from the July 1969 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, which features Chick Corea (keyboards), Dave Holland (bass) and Jack DeJohnette (drums) in a jazz/rock setting that is driven hard by the latter. Wayne Shorter was missing from the lineup due to getting stuck in traffic. The six numbers from the August 1970 Isle of Wight Festival finds Davis bolstering the sound through an expanded group - Gary Bartz (sax), Airto Moreira (percussion), Keith Jarrett (keyboards), Corea, Holland, DeJohnette - which take themes introduced in the landmark album to new heights. Corea is essentially the lead guitarist in this sonic attack of jazz/rock/funk.

The liner notes provide an interesting historical perspective and perhaps - just perhaps - this is going to start a new focus on issuing material without placing a premium on the credit card limits of fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Bitches' brews up just fine, May 4, 2011
By 
amaazonbruce (Melbourne Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bitches Brew LIVE (Audio CD)
This newish release is well worth the price. It captures Miles at a turning point in his career. Jazz was being overshadowed by the rock and R&B scene. Miles responded, adapting his sound for this new audience, experimenting with electrical amplification, and the music world gained from the process. The idea to preface this recording of Miles' septet's full set from the Isle Of Wight Rock Festival in 1970 with 3 tracks from the '69 Newport Jazz Festival is imaginative and inspired. It showcases how this new electric sound was being developed and, with the aid of Michael Azerrad's informative and well written sleeve notes, gives the listener an 'inside view' to this development. Brilliant musically, this recording is a must for all Davis fans and should be considered by any lover of music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Live Miles!!, February 17, 2013
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This review is from: Bitches Brew LIVE (Audio CD)
Jazz fans and Miles fans most likely already have this. If you're new to Miles, this may sound strange, so I wouldn't suggest this to a new or casual Jazz fan just yet. But, if you know anything about Miles and how he literally changed the Jazz landscape several times over during his long career--you really must add this to your collection. Miles tapped into the Rock n Roll phase of the late '60s and created fusion; which is basically Jazz rocked up a bit and played louder and with more free exchange ala Jimi Hendrix style solos. Miles and Jimi were both tuned into the same station, and it's terribly unfortunate that Jimi didn't live longer to have jammed with and created music with Miles. I recommend purchasing the Bitches Brew album first, and once you have absorbed that then branch out into this live set. It's Miles at his creative and performing BEST!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate Stuff, July 4, 2011
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This review is from: Bitches Brew LIVE (Audio CD)
Recorded around the time of Miles Davis' masterpiece "Bitches Brew", while at the peak of his powers and vision, this live material has to rank among the very best of his electric period.
Sharp yet open, hard-rocking yet intellectually exciting, sparks are really flying here. Bassist Dave Holland and sax player Gary Bartz stand out in giving a rocking, soulful, bluesy, yet never cliched, feel to this music.
A couple weeks after the Isle of Wight gig recorded here, Miles' friend and inspiration Jimi Hendrix, with whom he was scheduled to record what would undoubtably have been an epochal album, died.
Devastated by this loss at this key moment, Miles descended from this creative and personal peak into a spiral of drug-taking and dissolute living, making interesting albums ("Live-Evil", "On The Corner", "Get Up With It", etc.), but never able -or willing- to fulfill the promise that was so apparent in his 1969-70 music as he looked forward to the recording date with the other, younger African-American genius of his time.
This album is indispensable to all "Bitches Brew"-era fans, and among the last deeply inspired, drug-free and cliché-free music produced by the great Miles Davis.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but disappointing -see my review, March 19, 2011
This review is from: Bitches Brew LIVE (Audio CD)
If you have habitually enjoyed listening to the Bitches Brew studio recordings and have wondered what the album's tracks would have sounded like unedited, you'd probably be inclined to seek out this album. But I have some wise words for you, as I have heard other, more satisfying recordings from this era.

Black Beauty, first released in Japan in the mid-1970s is the best recording of this era. It consists of a single live performance from a March, 1970 performance at San Francisco's Fillmore West hall. It is one of the first post-Wayne Shorter recordings. Steve Grossman is a more than capable successor to Shorter on the soprano saxophone, and more pleasant to listen to than Gary Bartz who was with the band by December 1970. This performance sounds like a unitary piece, with the Bitches Brew themes sprinkling throughout. This unity gives the performances a better sound than the medley sound that other recordings of the era.

If you're seeking the best Wayne Shorter appearance Miles Davis recording from the 1969/1970 period, seek out "Festival de Juan Pins" ASIN: B00008FX4Y, a live recording from 1969. Unfortunately this is only available as a costly import,
so my other recommendations are:

It's About Time:Live at the Fillmore, one of the last Shorter live appearances. Corea and Holland provide the sole keyboard and bass roles. The pieces approximate the Bitches Brew live sound, but they are stronger here than the Bitches Brew live sound.

or Live at Fillmore (Fillmore West, first released in 1971). The line-up is Grossman, Corea, Jarrett, Holland, Henderson, DeJohnette, Airto. The sound is avant-garde, but the best performances from several nights are edited to provide highlights. An over-powering experience.

All of the above recordings are superior, 5*. The present recording is fine, but in contrast to the others it only merits four stars.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pert near essential, March 12, 2011
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This review is from: Bitches Brew LIVE (Audio CD)
my favorite Miles are Kind of Blue, Silent Way, Bitches Brew and Jack Johnson. This is a great old twist on the studio album and every bit as good in its own way. I would prefer it to the live Fillmore, but that is also worthwhile. You can never go wrong with Miles but these albums are where to start for someone of a rock bent.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners, June 29, 2014
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This review is from: Bitches Brew LIVE (Audio CD)
I did get to se Miles Davis in Manhattan in the late eighties. His music was mesmerizing although, I must admit I am not an advanced jazz listener but I am learning to appreciate different jazz forms. I think Miles Davis is more sophisticated then some other musicians and it takes time and effort to really understand his music. I hope this CD will be more then an introduction but a journey into one of the greatest jazz musicians of all times.
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