Q for Miles-philes: "Dark Magus" or "Black Beauty" or "Live Evil" SACD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rich Malloy, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I'm really anticipating the May release of "Bitches Brew" on SACD, and hoping for something to tide me over in the meantime...

    I love Miles, but I'm really only familiar with his material up to "In a Silent Way" (and that latter one only because it was among the first SACD releases). I've been slowly adding all the Miles Davis SACDs to my collection, but I realized that I don't have any post-1970 titles at all ("In a Silent Way" being the farthest, chronologically, that I've yet ventured).

    So, I know some of you are experts - Keith? Mike? - and I'm hoping for some advice as to which of these three titles (or even another one altogether) would be my best first-step with Miles into the 1970s?

    (Foremost, would be quality of the music and the performance, but if there's one title that's sonically superior to all others, I'd love to know that, too!)
     
  2. PaulHeroy

    PaulHeroy Stunt Coordinator

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    Black Beauty & Live Evil are from 1970; Dark Magus is from 1974 and while all 3 are electric DM has more of a different sound then the first two. Personally, I really like the 2 recordings from 1975, Agharta and Pangaea. They have a strong African rhythm/funk element that just grooves like crazy. DM is closer to that 1975 sound then BB and LE which are closer to Bitches Brew sound (or maybe Tribute to Jack Johnson, which is a GREAT record), but they're all good. And to be honest they kinda start running together for me at times, except for Agharta & Pangaea because they have a more African/funk feel.

    As for sound quality, I'd really like to hear a cleaned up version of some of these. There were some limited edition CD sets that came out a few years ago from Columbia and I snagged a few of these, but not A & P, which I have older copies of that don't sound that great. Have no idea about SACD for any of these, though.
     
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Paul, I also prefer Agharta/Pangea over Dark Magus. I think the band truly found their way by that time and if it hadn't been for Miles' failing health, I believe they would have matched the greatness of any of Miles' best bands.

    Rich, like with almost any other band or artis, I generally recommend people to go in chronological order, so you can chart the development of the music in your mind. Therefore, you might want to check out Black Beauty. For one thing, if you're familiar with Bitches Brew, some of that material is performed live here (albeit arranged very differently at times). It's not the best live album of that band (that would be the recently released Fillmore East concert from 3/7/70), but there's some killer playing on it.

    Just to clarify all the "Fillmore" albums out there: Black Beauty is from the Fillmore West. The one I just mentioned is another concert from Fillmore East. Both are double CDs and contain relatively complete performances. There is another double live album from the Fillmore East simply titles At Fillmore, but it's not as good because the performances are cut and edited.

    Live-Evil is one I didn't really "get" at first, but I now I love it. Some of the tracks are out-right funk, and some of it does tend to get lost. IMO, Miles' music was struggling to find direction between '71 and '73, including this album.

    The sonics on both are comparable, with some of the stronger points on Live-Evil.

    It is shame none of these are multi-channel, as this music would be perfect for it.

    So, to sum up:
    From "best" to "worst"
    Musically: Black Beauty, Dark Magus, Live-Evil
    Sonically: Live-Evil, Black Beauty, Dark Magus

    I would also recommend against getting Big Fun, at least until you hear all the other 70s stuff and are really interested in exploring more. It is mostly a collection of left-overs.

    Finally, keep in mind that many people absolutely despise this music, including Miles fans.

    NP: Mozart, Complete Wind Concerti, Volume 1, Woodwind, Orchestra of the Old Fairfield Academy, CD
     
  4. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

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    I'm waiting for the stereo/MC edition of Aura .
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Rich, I can't help you on this one. I only have Black Beauty on CD and don't have any of the three on SACD...yet. I've been filling in my collection of older Miles titles, primarily on the Sony label. I still need to fill in some of the early Prestige titles and then the later stuff, including the three you are looking at. I'm glad you asked the question, though.

    You said:

     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mike said:

     
  7. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mike, thanks for the information. I am steadily building my Miles collection, as I am now up to around 37 or 38 titles. I love everything I have bought, but there is still a lot of stuff that I do not have, and that includes some SACDs. I've got to get on it. [​IMG]
    As for ordering Japanese SACDs (JSACDs), one can certainly do it through www.hmv.co.jp . As much as I want Bitches Brew on SACD, I am not going to go that route. I figure it will be released in the US. For now, I can live with the original CD, remastered CD, and the box set. [​IMG] JSACDs are expensive anyway. Back about two years ago, I ordered the WHAM! Make it Big JSACD from hmv.co.jp, and it cost me $43. The disc was $25, but shipping and handling was another $18. At least the Make it Big SACD hasn't been released in the US. [​IMG]
    I missed The Simpsons episode you referred to. Cook kid, though. [​IMG]
     
  9. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Rich, thanks for the info. on Bitches Brew coming to SACD. Brian Moura always seems to be up to date, and I trust his web site. A 5.1 mix of Bitches Brew could be really cool. I definitely want that SACD.
    I don't have a list of Miles SACDs at my fingertips, but here are some I know are available in the US:
    * Kind of Blue
    * 'Round About Midnight
    * Jazz at the Plaza
    * In A Silent Way
    * Miles Smiles
    * Sketches of Spain
    * Quiet Nights
    * Black Beauty: Miles Davis at Fillmore West
    * Live-Evil
    * Big Fun
    * Dark Magus
    * Cookin' (Prestige label; hybrid)
    Also, look at www.hmv.co.jp to see the titles available in Japan.
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  12. Peter Loan

    Peter Loan Second Unit

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    I'm a Miles neophyte. What SACD release do you guys recommend me starting out with? I think I'd prefer a studio recording before getting into his live stuff.
     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Peter,
    The quintessential Miles album is Kind of Blue. Start there. [​IMG]
    Mike,
    Thanks for the comments on In Concert. I picked up the On the Corner CD a couple of months ago. Your assessment is right on. It's a bit out there, but I like it. I would probably the In Concert set. I figured it would reflect the style on On the Corner.
     
  14. Vic_T

    Vic_T Stunt Coordinator

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    The album "A tribute to Jack Johnson" is great! Released in April 1970. Great playing, great music. Possibly my favorite album from Miles' 'electric' period. I definitely like it better than Bitches Brew.
     
  15. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Vic, that's high praise for the Jack Johnson disc. I love Bitches Brew. [​IMG]
     

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