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Live At The 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival Live

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

An outstanding new CD series of NEVER-BEFORE RELEASED performances by jazz icons recorded live at the worldrenowned Monterey Jazz Festival; all recorded at the height of each Artists' artistic powers. These are the INAUGURAL RELEASES of Concord Music Group and Monterey Jazz Festival's Monterey Jazz Festival Records imprint. This is the first time a festival has launched its own label. MJF's archives contain more than 1600 tapes with more than 2000 hours of concerts in the vault A JAZZ BONANZA!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 21, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Monterey Jazz Festival
  • ASIN: B000RIWAU8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,804 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This recording is so fresh and alive sonically and so rich and rewarding musically that forty-five years literally melt away upon hearing it. One doesn't know whether to express gratitude to the producers for releasing a recorded event of such historic significance and rare beauty, or outright annoyance at those responsible for sitting on it for all these years. In any case, it's music that could have been recorded yesterday, assuming a cast like this one could ever be reassembled.

In some respects, this is but yet another example of what is known as Davis' "transition period" (1960-1964) between his "first great quintet," with tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, and "second great quintet," with Wayne Shorter. On this instance, the playing is good enough to make a listener wish the transition had lasted indefinitely. First, there was the fascinating contrast between Davis' free approach and reedman Sonny Stitt's systematic bebop vocabulary, then there was Davis' sophisticated urbanity contrasting with the musky, bluesy, unashamedly soul-baring tenor of Hank Mobley, and here it's the restless and searching Davis vs. the pure, open sound and "singing" approach of tenor saxophonist George Coleman. The fact that the band had been together only several months adds to the freshness and excitement of the performance--perhaps more so than anything that would follow during Miles' "acoustic" period.

On the opening "Autumn Leaves" Davis, on harmon-muted trumpet, conducts a Hamlet-like, alternately meditative and morosely malcontent dialogue with his 23 year-old pianist Herbie Hancock who, quickly reacting to some hints from bassist Ron Carter, provides harmonic substitutions that momentarily reshape the tune's character.
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9 Comments 52 of 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By H. Lim on September 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
How many live recordings are there of Miles' group with George Coleman? Even confined to the Columbia releases there are "Miles in Europe", "My Funny Valentine" and "Four and More". And the set list here has no surprises.

Yet it is well worth picking up this release even if you have all of these discs. The playing on this Moneterey concert is amazing, from all parties. Miles' soloes are long and energetic. I think this may be the best version of "Autumn Leaves" I've heard from this band, and George Coleman's solo on "So What" is full of vibrancy. In 1963 this was a new band, and you can feel the enthusiasm even when the band is playing such well-worn tunes.

And in case you were wondering, this is NOT a bootleg release, it was released with the blessing of the Miles Davis Estate. The sound quality is fantastic!
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Format: Audio CD
I wish to give a very special thanks to the Concord Music Group for releasing these once lost treasures from the Monterey Jazz Festivals. This is an outstanding new series of CD's featuring live, never-before released performances by many of the jazz greats who played at the famous Monterey Festival. I now own a half dozen of these recordings, and the sound quality couldn't be better.

This was some kind of quintet Miles had assembled back in 1963 with George Coleman (tenor sax), Ron Carter (bass), Herbie Hancock (piano), and a seventeen-year-old phenom named Tony Williams (drums). Miles was sitting on top of the jazz world at the time, and this recording is a prime example of why. His majestic, muted style is simply electrifying and it's also easy to see why he was consistently winning the Down Beat poll as the best jazz trumpet player of the year. The always traditional, conservative Coleman is solid throughout, nothing too spectacular, but then again, sans mistakes (which actually didn't appeal to Williams who hated the fact that Coleman's playing always sounded so perfect and mistake free. He actually preferred musicians who made mistakes, like playing out of key).

Another reason this recording is so memorable and special are the extraordinary performances of Hancock and Williams. These guys were really out to prove themselves and Williams in particular, became the talk of the jazz world after this appearance. Just listen to him at the end of "Autumn Leaves" and tell me anyone could have done it better or sound as unique. And I just love Herbie, he and Miles always seemed to be on the same page and he just kills it on his swingin, smooth, sophisticated solo on "Stella by Starlight". However, these are just two small examples of this near perfect, live recording.

All in all, this is a really nice suprise and one not to be missed. I had no idea it was going to be as great as it was, and can't recommend this one enough!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I just ordered this release along with the Thelonious Monk Monterey 64 title and both are excellent! Sound quality and perfomances on both discs are great. Regarding the Miles set, I loved this group during this period of time, especially with (the under-rated) George Coleman on sax. What a treat! In fact, I'd love to hear more recordings of this quality with George Coleman in tow. The band cooks on "So What" & "Walkin'"-playing these tunes at a ferocious pace and very similar to the way they were performed at Lincoln Center in 1964 (i.e. as found on Four and More). On the ballads, the band also pushes the envelope and wrings as much emotion out of the standards "Autumn Leaves" & "Stella by Starlight" making them sound fresh and vital.
All around, a great new series of recordings and a must have for the old Miles Davis collection!
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