Miles Davis- Live at Montreaux

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Broadman, Oct 17, 2002.

  1. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey all, just lettin' you know that I got the new 20 CD box set that contains the complete Montreaux festival concert performances.
    Rather than reviewing the entire gargantuan thing after listening to it all, which will take me like a month or so, I'll post tidbits for those who are interested.
    Packaging
    Very cool. A rectangular black thick cardboard box with a picture of a smiling Miles holding his horn up contains the tomes of material inside. Opening the box reveals a slick black tall booklet that has pictures of and drawings by Miles, some notes and the track information- a stylish way to provide the information in a small package. The CDs themselves are in two booklets of 10 discs each, with each booklet being the same size as most CD box sets (like the Plugged Nickel set, for example). The one thing I don't like is that the tracks are only listed in the booklet, not on the CD case or the back of the box.
    Each performance is on two CDs except for the last two. The 19th CD was a concert Miles did with Quincy Jones and an orchestra performing some Gil Evans work. All the rest of the music has never been released before.
    Right now I am spinning the first CD, a performance from 1973. There are only two tracks, each simply called "Miles in Montreaux," so this is just the band jamming on new riffs. The band is essentially the one on the Dark Magus album. Dave Liebman on sax and winds and Pete Cosey on guitar take the bulk of the solo spots, while Foster, Henderson, and Mtume cook with their rhythm section. And what about Miles?- he kicks the whole thing into gear with his short, melodic statements, while popping in and out with his trumpet, adding some texture with the organ, and directing the mayhem.
    Jazz purists beware: this music is not for you. Michael Henderson's bass lines of repetitive riffs that come from soul and R&B (he had played with Stevie Wonder before Miles) instead of jazz turns a lot of people off. This music is more in line, at least conceptually, with acid jazz or trance. But it's damn good stuff.
    There's a reason why the vast majority of the 70s material is live. This music exists solely on the basis on emotion, reaction, and improvisation.
    The other 18 CDs are from 1984-1991, a period which is universally dismissed. However, there is some A-class stuff in that era and I am excited at the prospect of hearing the extended versions of some of those songs. The studio album tracks are generally limited to about 5 minutes a pop, while these live tracks are listed as much longer.
    The 2nd disc has three tracks, two of which are on other albums (Ife, Calypso) and a third new jam.
    Of course, the third disc is where we get to the meat of the set, but we must wait until I get there...
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Mike, thanks for the early review. I love straight jazz, but I also love fusion, meaning Miles efforts in the late '60s and early '70s. As a result, I fully expect this Montreux set to suit me just fine. [​IMG]
    You said:
     
  3. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Keith,
    No, Mike is correct - there is only one performance from 1973, and then the set jumps directly to 1984. Obviously Miles didn't play Montreux at all between 1974 and 1983. But with your little winking man next to your reply you might not have been totally serious. [​IMG]
    Needless to say I picked up the set also - at Borders with a 20% off coupon. Have yet to listen to any part of the set yet, but will try to soon.
    I am a little miffed though since I read that someone was able to pick up this box set at Costco for $140.00. That is one good price - and much less than I paid at Borders even with the 20% off coupon. Oh well - win some and lose some.
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Michael, no, I was serious. A colleague of mine told me when the set was announced that it had every performance Miles did at Montreux, and I just assumed that Miles did not take a hiatus. Given that many of those perfomances capture Miles late in life, I wonder how good they are. Guess I'll have to buy the box to find out. I might look for it at Costco. $140 sounds too good to be true.
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Keith, Miles basically retired from music from 1975-1980. He was strung out and spent those years self-destructively and then eventually getting healthy.

    Even people who like his 70s stuff often don't like the 80s material. His studio material consisted of short songs, including covers of Michael Jackson (Human Nature) and Cyndi Lauper (Time After Time). It's too "pop" for some folks.

    However, the musicians he played with are top-notch and would go on to become stars in their own right. The studio albums are more like a rundown of the material they were working off of. Live, however, it was very strong. Before this box set, the only live material from the 80s I'd heard was the album "We Want Miles," and it was by far my favorite one.

    Now I'm giving discs 3 and 4, the concert from 1984, a second listen. John Scofield, a guitar favorite of many, is in fine form. The big difference in the band between the studio albums and these performances is that Marcus Miller wrote and produced the studio albums, and are therefore loaded with his very flashy playing style, heavy production, and technology. Daryl Jones is on bass here, though, taking a more traditional but strong role. The tunes are longer and the band stretches out a lot more than on the albums.
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Mike, I know that Miles did not record for a period, but I was not aware that he did not perform live during that period either. I have only gotten into jazz and Miles Davis in a big way recently, so I am still learning!
     

Share This Page