Dec 16, 2016

Miles Davis "Call it Anything" From the Isle of Wight 1970

Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea playing piano in the same band?

 Then you throw in Dave Holland on bass, and Jack De Johnette on drums, pretty hot band huh?

For me, this music documented on vinyl "pictured" as well as the DVD video performance available now as:
 
"Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue"

 It's one of the best live documents out there of electric Miles.

The Aug. 29th 1970 show at the Isle of Wight Festival is a cookin' show, everything seems to run on all cylinders. Jarrett and Corea are both inventive, and somehow are making real music come out of these newly discovered toys.

As a long time Miles Electric music fan, I do endorse this Isle of Wight show on DVD. I like having it in audio form too, but the atmosphere is so good and the extra interviews are very nice, as well as the thick liner notes inside the DVD case.

 The so called electric piano toys are actually perfect for Miles' way of doing things, an instrument still in it's refining stages then, and musicians were only starting to figure out its nuances. Miles recorded off the cuff, didn't care for second takes, and didn't like his "guys" to practice much. He wanted to retain a sense of uneasiness in the music, perhaps to avoid cliches?

The live Miles music of the early 70's always sounds like a freight train ready to derail at any moment, visceral music, real music. Music organically made for the listener who had better feel this vibe, or all hopes of understanding it are lost.

Miles own playing here is superb, I have to laugh at those who knock Miles' chops, they still say he didn't have the chops of Dizzy, or Freddie Hubbard for instance.

Miles in the past may not have had the technical ability, and certainly didn't play with as much speed or brashness as Freddie Hubbard, but Miles sure made up for that with his tone, and his ability to take his foot off the gas to make those flourishes seem more heated.

Once electricity got involved in Miles music, seems to me his trumpet chops got super charged, check "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down", and "Right Off" from Jack Johnson. Miles is playing with speed there, and he bends notes in the upper register, his sound is wholly his own.

Miles offers some of this new speed and upper register flash throughout this Isle of Wight show, Miles really kicks some ass here too, it's a shame 90% of the crowd there that day probably could have cared less, such is the situation with multi-genre festivals.

I would mention this show is interesting, not only having the ability to not only watch the show on DVD, but also having a vinyl copy of the show. You do indeed focus on the audio, and the music its self on the record seems different somehow. Without having he distraction of the visual, I can focus more on the performances themselves.

I watched the DVD again after this vinyl listen, and when you see all those people, 600,000, yeah, over half a Million! Miles seized the moment, and damn that band might be the best fusion outfit Miles ever had.

You need the DVD, it's so cheap anyway, I don't know why you wouldn't get it. The DMM Vinyl pressing was very good too. That CD also appeared in the big 70 CD set Columbia put out in 2009.

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Taken by the Author

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