21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2012
This CD is a 2012 Montreux Jazz Label release. It contains four musical tracks (total playing time: 58 minutes) originating from an April 8, 1960 Zurich concert. There is a separate track dedicated to a band introduction by Norman Grantz.
Aside from Miles, band members include John Coltrane(tenor sax),Paul Chambers (bass),Wynton Kelly (piano) and Jimmy Cobb (drums). It was the last European tour for this legendary band. Coltrane had already given Miles notice that he was departing to pursue a solo career and in fact, he left shortly after the group returned to the states. Eighteen months later,Wynton Kelly exited the band and took the entire rhythm section (Chambers and Cobb) with him to form the Wynton Kelly Trio.
Miles'band was not only known for its legendary musicianship but also for being the original artists who created with Miles, the top jazz album of all time, "Kind Of Blue". It should be noted, that two other artists, Bill Evans and Cannonball Adderly, made monumental contributions to that recording date but were no longer associated with Miles' touring band following the album release.
This work is important because it represents Miles' total immersion into Jazz Modality in a live concert environment for essentially the first time. Miles had experimented with Modality in the past and recorded some numbers included on previous releases, e.g., "Milestones' and "Miles 58 ". However, it wasn't until the April 17, 1959 release of "Kind Of Blue", that fans realized Mr. Davis had abandoned Hard Bop in favor of Jazz Modality.
Briefly, Jazz Modality is a rhythmic relationship between long and short values on a pattern made from them. It's fewer chords but provides infinite possibilities for the musician to play creatively. Miles aptly demonstrated the value of this technique in the recording of the groundbreaking, "Kind of Blue". Although fans could appreciate this on record,it wasn't until 12 months later that European audiences experienced Miles Davis playing modal live in concert. This record captures that time in history and shares it with modern listeners.
Jazz aficionados will marvel, when comparing the studio recording of "So What" clocked at 9:22 minutes with the concert performance which extends to 15:34 minutes. Same for "All Blues" which stretches out to 17.51 minutes compared to the studio track of 11.13 minutes.
The added time allows for some remarkable solos by Davis,Coltrane,Kelly and the always solid rhythm section of Chambers and Cobb.It's fascinating to listen to Wynton Kelly's treatment of these two compositions. Fans will recall that Bill Evans contributed the keyboard parts for these two numbers in the studio.
The other two selections,"If I Were a Bell" from the "Relaxin" LP and"Fran Dance" from Miles 58" album are equally delightful.The band adds extra color and dimension to both these selections as compared to the studio renditions.
The audio quality throughout the disc is crystal clear and the enclosed liner notes provide the listener with valuable insight.
Sadly, all these jazz giants, with the exception of one, have passed from this earth.
Jimmy Cobb continues to front the"So What" band which actively performs and occasionally tours.
Without a doubt, This CD should be added to the collection of any serious fan of these artists.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2013
Of course I think that Miles Davis is one of the greatest Be-Bop Jazz Trumpet players of all time.
On this particular album recorded in Zurich in 1960, he has one of his best groups ever performing with him. Namely: John Coltrane - Tenor Saxophone; Wynton Kelly - Piano; Paul (Mr. PC) - Bass; and Jimmy Cobb - Drums. The tunes on this album were some of the best recorded by Miles, namely: If I Were A Bell; Fran-Dance; So What; and All Blues/Bye Bye Blackbird. Of course they were all at their best on this recording.