Miles Davis

Setlist: The Very Best of Miles Davis (Electric) Live

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This compilation assembles various live performances by different Miles Davis bands during his electric period, between 1970 and his comeback tour of 1981, sequenced according to feel rather than chronology. The concert sources these performances are taken from are the Fillmore East, Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, and the Isle of Wight Festival, all in 1970; the personnel included Davis, Gary Bartz, or Steve Grossman on saxophones, Keith Jarrett on organ, Chick Corea on electric piano, Dave Holland playing electric bass, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and percussionist Airto Moreira. Another selection, a scorching version of "Honky Tonk," was recorded at Philharmonic Hall in New York in 1971 with a larger group whose lineup featured saxophonist Carlos Garnett, Cedric Lawson playing electric piano and synth, Khalil Balakrishna on electric sitar, guitarist Reggie Lucas, funk bassist Michael Henderson, drummer Al Foster, Badal Roy on tablas, and Mtume on percussion. The lone '80s cut, an unissued short version of "Jean Pierre," was recorded in Japan at the Shinjuku Nishiguchi Hiroba, and has Foster as the lone member from the '70s bands. The other personnel included saxophonist Bill Evans, guitarist Mike Stern, bassist Marcus Miller, and percussionist Mino Cinelu. The lone complaint is that compilation producer Steve Berkowitz declined to include any of the hardcore voodoo funk from the concert recordings between 1973-1975, all of which featured the fiery guitar interplay between Pete Cosey and Lucas, and dazzling sax work by either David Liebman or Sonny Fortune. The reasoning is most likely that all of the released cuts from these performances were extremely long and would have had to have been edited to fit. That said, the attractive price tag -- between eight and ten dollars -- and excellent music that is here makes this hard to resist for fans as a solid live mix, or for newcomers who simply want to see what the fuss of the era was all about.

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