Columbia/Legacy again pays tribute to musical legend MiLes Davis with the release of MiLes Davis QUINTET – LIVE IN EUROPE 1969: THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 2, the second edition in the label's widely-heralded MiLes Davis Bootleg Series. The sequel to 2011's critical and commercial blockbuster, MiLes Davis Quintet - Live In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1, this new set moves ahead two years and presents the 'third great quintet' of Miles, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette, a lineup of the world's most highly-regarded jazz musicians, then and now. This 3-CD + DVD box set will be available everywhere January 29, 2013, through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
Live In Europe 1967 (released September 2011), the debut entry in the MiLes Davis Bootleg Series, was by far the most acclaimed historic jazz box set of 2011. It received a "5-star" review from Down Beat magazine, and was voted Historical Album of the Year in the Down Beat Readers and Critics Poll.
Live In Europe 1967 was ranked the #1 reissue in both the Critics and Readers polls of JazzTimes magazine, and the Jazz Journalists Association voted it Best Historical or Boxed Set. The package received an "A" from Entertainment Weekly, and Pitchfork.com said "At its heart, jazz thrives on bold, sensitive interaction in the moment, and Live In Europe 1967 represents the pinnacle of that practice." Rave reviews appeared in a wide array of publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Slate, and many others.
In his Sunday "Arts & Leisure" rave review of Live In Europe 1967, New York Times critic Nate Chinen concluded: "It's humbling to think that a release like Live in Europe 1967 might help illuminate jazz's present as well as its past, but that's what great archival work can do. So congratulations, Columbia/Legacy. Now, what's next?" The answer to his question is: LIVE IN EUROPE 1969.
"After we finished In a Silent Way," Miles told his biographer Quincy Troupe (in the definitive Miles The Autobiography, Simon & Schuster, 1990), "I took the band out on the road; Wayne, Dave, Chick, and Jack DeJohnette were now my working band. Man, I wish this band had been recorded live because it was really a bad motherf--ker. I think Chick Corea and a few other people recorded some of our performances live, but Columbia missed out on the whole f--king thing."
LIVE IN EUROPE 1969 lives up to the MiLes Davis Bootleg Series mission of presenting live performances that are previously unreleased, have previously only been bootlegged, or are very rare. The new box represents the first major collection to be devoted exclusively to the short-lived 'third great quintet,' sometimes referred to as Miles' 'lost band' of 1969-70: Shorter on soprano and tenor saxophones, Corea on electric piano (and occasionally acoustic piano), Holland on acoustic bass, and DeJohnette on drums.
The Miles-Shorter-Corea-Holland-DeJohnette lineup (in tandem with other players) began to solidify during the 1968-'69 recording dates that became the Filles De Kilimanjaro and In a Silent Way albums. And they were at the core of the dozen or so musicians joined together by Miles in August 1969, for the principal sessions that became the landmark turning point of his Grammy Award®-winning Bitches Brew.
But the 'third great quintet' by itself was never documented in the recording studio. Their European tours of 1969, represented on this new package, are some of the only existing recordings of the group, and the first legitimately released audio recordings by this stellar lineup. Underscoring their official debut here, over 43 years later, is a superbly shot multi-camera color DVD of the band at its hottest in Berlin in November, 1969. Miles is seen in the best of health in 1969, eating a macrobiotic diet (along with the other band members), and avoiding drugs. As a result, his playing was never stronger than on these 1969 concerts, with his chops at an absolute peak.
LIVE IN EUROPE 1969 captures the short-lived quintet in three separate concert settings, starting with two full-length (one hour-plus) sets at the Antibes Jazz Festival in France on CD One (July 25th) and CD Two (July 26th). The locale moves to Stockholm on November 5 for the program heard on CD Three. In Stockholm, the quintet performed as part of "The Newport Jazz Festival In Europe" and they are introduced (on the CD) by the festival's producer and founder, George Wein.
The DVD is the complete 46-minute color performance of the quintet at the Berlin Philharmonie on November 7, 1969. As with Live In Europe 1967, the paradox of LIVE IN EUROPE 1969 is the fact that the concerts were recorded by state-owned radio and television outlets – a case of European bureaucracies (thankfully) preserving our American jazz heritage. This has also enabled Legacy to have access to the best-sounding original masters in each case.
The audio and video sources of LIVE IN EUROPE 1969 have been remastered from the best available masters, which Legacy has secured from the European broadcast centers who originally documented the material. As with all of Legacy's MiLes Davis historic projects over the past two decades, the remastering has been done by multi-Grammy Award®-winning Sony engineer Mark Wilder. The audio and video is far superior to any previous circulating [bootleg] versions of this material.
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