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Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 2 Box set, CD+DVD

4.5 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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  • Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 2
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Editorial Reviews

LIVE IN EUROPE 1969 lives up to the Miles Davis Bootleg Series mission of presenting live performances that are previously unreleased, have previously only been bootlegged, or are very rare. This new set is the first collection of Miles's Third Great Quintet, the "Lost" Band of 1968-1970 with Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette at their peak (they were never recorded in the studio). The album captures the short-lived quintet in three separate concert settings, starting with two full-length (one hour-plus) sets at the Antibes Jazz Festival in France, in Stockholm as part of "The Newport Jazz Festival In Europe," and completed with a stunning 46-minute performance at the Berlin Philharmonie, filmed in color.

DISC 4 (DVD Content)

Recorded 11/7/69 at Berliner Jazztage in the Berlin Philharmonie
1. Introduction by John O Brien-Docker
2. Directions
3. Bitches Brew
4. It s About That Time
5. I Fall In Love Too Easily
6. Sanctuary
7. The Theme

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Introduction by Andre Francis
  2. Directions
  3. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down
  4. Milestones
  5. Footprints
  6. 'Round Midnight
  7. It's About That Time
  8. Sanctuary
  9. The Theme

Disc: 2

  1. Introduction by André Francis
  2. Directions
  3. Spanish Key
  4. I Fall In Love Too Easily
  5. Masqualero
  6. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down
  7. No Blues
  8. Nefertiti
  9. Sanctuary
  10. The Theme

Disc: 3

  1. Introduction by George Wein
  2. Bitches Brew
  3. Paraphernalia
  4. Nefertiti
  5. Masqualero (incomplete)
  6. This

Disc: 4

  1. Introduction by John O'Brien-Docker
  2. Directions
  3. Bitches Brew
  4. It's About That Time
  5. I Fall In Love Too Easily
  6. Sanctuary
  7. The Theme


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 29, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: January 29, 2013
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, CD+DVD
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 223 minutes
  • ASIN: B008YCMM2A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,222 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jack Tripper VINE VOICE on January 31, 2013
Format: Audio CD
'Live in Europe 1969' contains four (nearly) complete shows from the so-called Lost Quintet, aka the Third Great Quintet, which features Wayne Shorter on sax, Chick Corea on piano, Dave Holland on bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums. This group never actually made an album together as a quintet, though they did all appear on 1970's 'Bitches Brew,' which Miles would begin recording less than a month after the first two discs' July performances. These shows provide great insight into the progression of Miles Davis, taking place during the latter part of a transitional phase between his more acoustic-based performances of previous years and the insanely tripped-out, all-out freak-fest that is 'Bitches Brew.'

The sound quality on the three discs is pristine, even better than the Fillmore's East and West releases from 1970 featuring many of these same musicians, and I'm just thankful I caved and bought it even though I already own bootlegs of these shows. Every instrument sounds extremely crisp, allowing the listener to hear just how precise and on point these guys were, with intertwining melodies that never falter, even during the sudden and various tempo shifts throughout.

"Bitches Brew" here (performed just a couple months after it was recorded for the album) is definitely intriguing, though seemingly still a work in progress compared with later live performances, while songs like "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" and Thelonious Monk's 'Round Midnight' are straight-up mind-blowers that are nearly impossible to absorb on the first, or even second or third, listen. There are no duds here, nor even any real hiccups along the way, at least that I can tell, which is amazing for a band so heavily improvisational.
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This band can also be heard on a live Fillmore set from June of 1970, and on various bootlegs. And like that official set, this new release is a corker. Woven into this music is jazz, funk, rock, and something else-courtesy of this band. These guys are changing music while they're playing it. First off, Davis doesn't hang back and let the rest of the band take over. He's fully engaged and in charge. He's throwing out stabs of trumpet that fit into the music like the meshing of well worn gears. At other times his trumpet solos seem to just flow out of him. It's evident that he's full of ideas on where he wants to go with both the band and the music. For a band that lasted only a couple of years, their level of intuitiveness and penchant for playing exciting music is awesome. Make no mistake-this is another of Davis' classic line ups. At times there's a feeling of a sizzling electricity surrounding this band. The music seems to move under it's own power, yet it's controlled before everything can unravel.

Besides Davis, Corea was playing some of his best music yet. His keyboard work brings this music to life. And Shorter was still playing with excitement and inventiveness, even though he would leave the band a short time later. But the real secret of this band was the rhythm section. Holland on bass-how could it get any better? And with DeJohnette's more straightforward style, the soloists knew they could go anywhere and still find their way back. In my opinion the rhythm section is this band's secret weapon.

The first two discs have several compositions that fans of this period will know-two versions each of of "Directions", "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down", and "Sanctuary".
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Don't get me wrong....I love the fact that Sony is finally releasing some of the live Miles performances that they've stored for decades. Keep 'em coming. The first Bootleg volume of live European recordings of the 2nd great quintet they released a couple of years ago remains one of my favorites. And this one is nice too....but if you're lucky enough to have the Japanese Sony mid-90's release of the first July Antibes show (the one on Disc 1 of this collection), hang onto it. The mix on that disc has some occasional distortion, but is SO much more "present" and exciting to listen to than this newly mastered version. It was a breathtaking first listen when I picked up a copy at the old Virgin Megastore on Times Square over a decade ago. And look online for a used copy of the 1992 JMY (Jazz Music Yesterday) label release of this quintet's November 3, 1969 concert in Paris...it's also superior in sound quality and performance to these shows. It's very nice to finally have the second Antibes show that's on Disc 2--I've read about it for years, and now get to enjoy it. But I think this package could have been much better in a number of ways. (Including the ridiculous format of the folded poster liner notes.)
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If you're like me, you've scrounged, begged, borrowed, and stolen to collect the 1969 European performances - mainly from radio broadcast sources, some in mono, mostly expensive. CBS recorded a couple of performances (e.g., "Juan Les Pins") but, oddly, the boot recording of the same performance was sonically far superior. Now you can have a compendium of the "third great quintet" live in Europe in 1969. The Juan Les Pins performance is back, among others.

These performances were recorded after the departure of Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. Yes, it's a different band but no less groundbreaking. Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette, in all their youthful glory, are the rhythm section. Wayne Shorter would stay with the band for another 6 or 8 months. This is what the band sounded like just before the Bitches Brew sessions in August 1969. There's a lot of experimentation; nothing appears to be off-limits. These are wonderfully adventurous performances. None of the new guys are trying to copy their predecessors; Miles and Wayne are in peak form. And there's a DVD performance! C'mon, this is a no-brainer.
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