DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Miles Davis Quintet – Live in Europe ’67

Special DVD bonus disc included with the upcoming Miles Davis mega box set.

Published on October 26, 2009

Miles Davis Quintet – Live in Europe ’67

Miles Davis Quintet – Live in Europe ’67

Produced by David Peck and Phil Galloway of Reelin’ in the Years
Concerts of 11/07/67 & 10/31/67
Studio: Columbia/ Legacy  [Release date: 11/24/09]
Video: 4:3 B&W
Audio: PCM Mono
Extras: the rest of the box set  
Length: 75 minutes
Rating: ****

(Miles Davis, trumpet; Wayne Shorter, tenor sax; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums)

As part of one of the most massive jazz CD box set releases ever, Columbia/ Legacy, has set Nov. 24, 2009, as the street release date for the 70 (!) CD box set of the Complete Miles Davis Columbia Album Collection. It will cover 52 Miles Davis Columbia issued albums ranging from the bop and cool period of 1949 up to the electric and rock influenced issues ending in 1985. This mammoth set will include bonus material along with the original issues. It will be packaged in Japanese styled mini-LP CD and double CD jackets, and will include all original artwork. A 250 page full color book is part of the package. Available through Amazon.com the list price of $364.98 comes out to less than $5.15 per disc.
 
To whet the appetite, Columbia has included a DVD of Miles’ 1967 quintet, recorded in Germany and Sweden. It is the only video of this group ever released commercially. It marks Miles’ move from the more mainstream straight ahead early 1960s groups toward the more complex accelerated tempos found in Davis’ later groups. It was the bridge that led Miles to begin exploring electric rhythms found in A Silent Way and Bitches Brew. From then on, Miles was ever changing, constantly ahead of his peers.

In the mid-60s Miles brought into his band Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock to bring a more exploratory youth movement to challenge and inspire him. More importantly, the inclusion of Tony Williams on drums (he started with Miles in his teen years) was the spark that lit the energy of this band.

Largely playing standards – i.e. Round Midnight, I Fall in Love Too Easily, Gingerbread Boy, and Walkin’ - the door was left open for new material like Shorter’s Footprints. Dressed in suits and tuxedos for both concerts, you can sense the electricity and telepathy that had set it among the quintet’s members. Miles had begun to prowl the stage, walking off when his solos were over and re-appearing when needed. His duel with Tony Williams on Walkin’ is classic.

Miles Davis was beginning to establish the standard for changes in extended compositions, which led to his use of electronics just a few years later. The opportunity to view these changes live on video on the ground floor is too good to pass up. The inclusion of this DVD in the huge box set to be released next month is quite special. I hope there will be consideration for a solo release of this material in the future.

 – Jeff Krow




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