"Directions" begins each of these sets, which reflect the change in direction that Miles Davis was pursuing with his landmark albums that had already been recorded in the late 1960s. Bitches Brew had not yet been released, when Davis and his band opened for The Steve Miller Blues Band and Neil Young & Crazy Horse in New York. All tracks are previously unreleased.
Davis, then 43, was in fine form. His pure trumpet tone carries through, both muted and open. Each session is marked by the trumpeter's crescendo builds that result in piercing high note action. An impression of machismo strength heightens audience interest; however, the leader's power is genuine. It's not only his persuasive qualities, but also the trumpeter's physical power, that serves to excite. Expressing with a little wah-wah conversation here and there, Davis builds each piece logically. With no break between numbers, he leads with changes in mood and volume. Long solos, primarily by Davis, Chick Corea and Wayne Shorter, mark each piece with a storyteller's charm. Shorter, who left right after this session to found Weather Report with Joe Zawinul, alternates from number to number on tenor and soprano. Shorter, Corea, Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland learned from the master first-hand. This 2-CD package has excellent sound quality to go along with the artists' perfect focus. "It's About (That) Time."
Track Listing: Directions; Spanish Key; Masqualero; It's About That Time/The Theme; Directions; Miles Runs the Voodoo Down; Bitches Brew; Spanish Key; It's About That Time/Willie Nelson.
Personnel: Miles Davis- trumpet; Wayne Shorter- soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Chick Corea- Fender Rhodes electric piano; Dave Holland- acoustic bass, electric bass; Jack DeJohnette- drums; Airto Moreira- percussion.