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Miles Electric - A Different Kind of Blue

51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

When he released "Bitches Brew" in 1970, Miles Davis opened up a new angle to jazz which stirred up emotions like no other record before. Some critics accused Davis of selling out, while the public bought it like crazy. It is one of the most examined albums of all time, even garnering a box set of the sessions. To date, "Bitches Brew" is one of the top selling jazz albums of all time. "Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue" examines the next step in the creative process...performing these songs live. The 1970 Isle of Wight featured an array of performers from The Who to Jethro Tull to Joni Mitchell. With improvisation playing a big role in the performance, the band (Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Gary Bartz and Dave Holland) had to be "on", yet ready to change on the fly. Directed by award-winning producer Murray Lerner, "Miles Electric" sits down with several of the performers who played with Miles, interspersed with his 1970 Isle of Wight performance, as well as artists such as Carlos Santana and Joni Mitchell, who describe the impact Miles Davis had towards music.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Bartz, Bob Belden, Paul Buckmaster, Ron Carter, Chick Corea
  • Directors: Murray Lerner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00069FKN2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,390 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Miles Electric - A Different Kind of Blue" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 116 people found the following review helpful By J. Lund on November 28, 2004
Format: DVD
With most of the audio portion of Miles Davis' remarkable career now extensively issued or reissued (including the Sony/Columbia boxed sets that included unreleased sessions and alternate takes), video is the next and possibly final frontier for filling in the gaps of Davis' prolific and consistently productive career. Several DVDs covering Miles' underrated final years (1985-1991) have already been issued (and rumors persist that the 20-CD Montreux box may someday have a DVD counterpart, which would be an amazing feat if it comes to pass). Now MILES ELECTRIC cracks open the vaults to the 1960s and 1970s, hopefully the first of many vintage Davis videos to come.

Miles' 1970 Isle Of Wight performance before 600,000 fans had attained legendary status over the decades, but until now only a few audio soundbites had been issued (and remarkably the entire set was never bootlegged). MILES ELECTRIC includes but is not limited to the entire 38-minute IOW performance. In 1970 Davis was perhaps in his all-time peak physical condition, and musically confident of his ability to bridge his jazz-based roots with the more adventurous pop culture sounds of that era. His trumpet work here seems limitless technically and full of fresh improvisatory ideas. And contrary his (exaggerated?) reputation, Davis is seen acknowledging the crowd with a wave of his horn when leaving the stage as the performance ends.

The rest of the group is similiarly adventurous, including Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett on keyboards, Gary Bartz on sax, Dave Holland on bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and Airto Moreira on various percussion. What more can you ask for than a collection of outstanding musicians -- all first-tier names in the music's history -- thinking outside the box in a variety of ways?
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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Scott McFarland on November 17, 2004
Format: DVD
The 38-minute performance at the Isle of Wight (in front of 600,000 rock fans) is awesome. The fidelity is good and the camera work is too. The average viewer/listener might be awed when watching Jack DeJohnette play his fractured funk or Keith Jarrett grimace while runs of quality music flow forth from his fingertips. Me I already knew this band was this good (these are the guys, minus one keyboard player and plus a different bass player, who went on to cut the massive "Live-Evil" within months). And I really, really enjoy watching this music that I love to listen to so much.

The interviews which fill out the DVD to movie length are good, interesting, and at times revealing. Bonus footage is included of interview segments that didn't make the film's cut, strung together in a highly watchable manner.

This music makes no bow to commercialism. People who aren't interested in musical experimentation and boundary-smashing might find it hard to take. But make no mistake this is as good as music or art can get. This is Miles at his best and music at its best.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By D. Garcia on January 22, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sheech. I don't know how many videos I've seen talking about Miles. Talk, talk, talk! With little tiny clips that just kill then they are withdrawn. Frankly I don't care so much who Miles was personally. We all have our good and bad points. But... I LOVE his music... or what ever it was... that SOUND. That challenge! Miles heads know what I mean by this...

So I'm watching this thinking "Oh my god, not ANOTHER Miles movie with talk, talk, talk..." But then finally...

Thirty Eight minutes of Miles. Almost like it should be with no stops, no comments. Just Miles and his band. Isn't that what it's really about?


Like much of Miles' music from this period it's extremely uneven, up and down but the ups are so brilliant they are astonishing, like some kind of magic. Basically this is Miles' band from the Black Beauty/Live At Fillmore period - the NOT Bitches Brew period. It's very experimental, doesn't always work but always pushes and questions. This is Miles getting ready for Bitches Brew and the later stuff that still hasn't been equaled or even touched really. Heck this stuff hasn't been touched. Music hasn't really evolved much from Miles Magus period.

This gets 4 stars from me only because I know there is better Miles stuff out there.

My only complains are small. Too many close ups. I want to see the whole BAND 90% of the time not a close up. This is a jazz band interacting. That's the interesting part not the solos. And a bit too many cuts. For all those music video editors who think they are on the cutting edge... MTV editing is a banal cliché. Everyone does the fast cutting thing. It adds nothing. Especially to music like this that forces contemplation.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By H. Lim on November 4, 2005
Format: DVD
The previous reviewer is quite correct. Most reviews seem to assume that this concert was one long formless jam. This is incorrect.

The pieces being played are:

Directions: 7:12
Bitches Brew: 10:05
It's About That Time: 6:29
Sanctuary: 1:01
Spanish Key: 8:15
The Theme: 1:55

Yes, he does actually play Go-Go at the end, just as if it were still 1959! It sounds rather out of place here.

This is an incredible performance. The moment when the "Bitches Brew" bassline starts up and Miles begins to shriek over the top is pure magic. This is fusion jazz at its absolute best. Gary Bartz' solo on "Spanish Key" is also incredible!

By the way, the "Tribute to Miles" sung by Airto Moreira at the end seems to be a rendition of "Bitches Brew"; and the pieces Carlos Santana demonstrates on the guitar are "In a Silent Way", "Spanish Key" and (his tribute to Miles) "Concierto di Aranjuez." ]
The piece played by Pete Cosey is "Turnaroundphrase" (aka "Moja")

If you have ANY interest in Jazz, or in music from around 1970, then get this NOW!!
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