From the psychedelic cover art to the expansive and innovative playing, Five Peace Band Live is a throwback to the great live albums Miles Davis made in the late-1960s-1970s, with some of the same musicians. Chick Corea and John McLaughlin actually met in 1969 during the recording sessions that would become the classic fusion albums In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew (both on Columbia).
Thirty years later they play the title piece from the former on a tour in Europe. Keyboardist and fellow Miles album Herbie Hancock sits in with the band and the efforts of the threetogether with Kenny Garrett pumping out Miles' signature lines on saxare pure bliss. They are equally adept playing original compositions, including the opening "Ragu," a spacey track full of furiously clustered notes that's anchored by Garrett's beautiful sax riffs. Corea and McLaughlin trade solos that become more complex as they build off each other.
The incredible cohesiveness among the group flows throughout this double album, capturing live performances from 22 concerts in Europe. Whether they're playing a blues on "New Blues, Old Bruise," or the deceptively-titled funk blowout "Hymn to Andromeda," the interplay is flawless. It's as if you can hear the history that's gone on between these legendary talents. This pleasure is enhanced by the excellent recording quality not available in Davis' day. An absolute must for any serious fusion fan.
CD1: Raju; The Disguise; New Blues, Old Bruise; Hymn to Andromeda. CD2: Dr. Jackle; Senor C.S.; In a Silent Way/It's About That Time; Someday My Prince Will Come.
Chick Corea: piano, keyboards; John McLaughlin: guitar; Kenny Garrett: saxophone; Christian McBride: acoustic and electric basses; Vinnie Colaiuta: drums; Herbie Hancock: piano (CD2#3).
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